hen ones thinks about the Oregon Ducks, a few things come to mind: W
- The blur offense
- The mascot
- The uniforms
But, it hasn’t always been that way.
It's New Year’s Day in Dallas, Texas and the Oregon Ducks just finished playing Colorado in the 1996 Cotton Bowl. The year prior, the Ducks were in the Rose Bowl against Penn State. They were blown out in both games. After decades of irrelevance, most Duck fans were just happy to see the team end those seasons playing games on the national spotlight. But, the Ducks didn’t have traditions or much to set themselves apart. And for one fan, just playing in big bowl games wasn’t enough. He wanted to see the Ducks win and look good doing it. That fan is Phil Knight, an Oregon alumnus and the co-founder of Nike. After the Cotton Bowl loss, Phil Knight approached then head coach Mike Bellotti with two burning questions: What did Bellotti need to start winning and what could Phil Knight do to make it happen. Then, Phil Knight put a different idea on the table — something that would make it more exciting, more visible, more recognizable to athletes across the nation and to that 16-19 age group. Knight was talking about changing the perception of the entire program’s character.
NBC Sports Northwest takes a deep dive into how Oregon sparked a fashion transformation across college football with unique Nike uniforms that helped push the program into the national college football conversation.
The episode features in-depth interviews with former Oregon football head coach Mike Bellotti, former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington, and more.
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