“The Oregon Ducks-themed Air Jordan 3′s pop up once more. Yesterday we got a first-look at an ‘Oregon’ Air Jordan 3 White/Cement, and today we get a second look at the Air Jordan 3 – Black Oregon Ducks, which popped up a few weeks back. Like the white pair, there’s no reason to expect that these will ever release publicly, but of course we’ll let you know if anything changes. Via @thisisdaners” – NikeBlog
By: Kelly McGillivray
Coming up a wrist and a field goal short of raising the BCS National Championship trophy last season, the 2011 Oregon Ducks have reloaded and have a return trip to a BCS bowl on their mind. Despite a clouded offseason that saw Ducks making headlines for off the field incidents, on the field the 2011 Ducks have solidified themselves as one of the elite programs in college football. Replacing the seniors who led the 2010 squad to the first ever 12-0 record in school history and the only team in Pac-10 history to go 9-0 in conference play will is a task that cannot be completed in one year, but the newcomers to Eugene look to be the most “field ready” group in recent years.
At the head of that group is Los Angeles native De’anthony Thomas, who has drawn comparisons to Reggie Bush with his exceptional elusiveness and speed at running back. Another freshman who should contribute on offense is receiver Devon Blackmon from Fontana, CA. A quarterback in high school, Blackmon is a speedy wideout who should fit well into Oregon’s high-powered, hyperfast offensive attack.
The Oregon offense looks the same as it did in 2010, with a backfield that got bigger and stronger. Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman finalist LaMichael James will once again be receiving handoffs from Darron Thomas. Kenjon Barner, the other feature back, has added significant muscle to his frame and gives the Ducks two legitimate #1 options at running back. Josh Huff, who was held out of a majority of fall camp due to an undisclosed injury, Lavasier Tuinei and Justin Hoffman will be the main passing targets for Thomas. David Paulson returns for his senior season at tight end, and next to him the Ducks have filled the three holes in the offensive line left by Bo Thran, Jordan Holmes, and CE Kaiser.
On defense, Terrence Mitchell is expected to fill in for Cliff Harris in the season opener as Harris is expected to be suspended following his much-publicized driving ticket for speeding 118 MPH, and line up opposite senior Anthony Gildon at the cornerback position. John Boyett and Eddie Pleasant round out the secondary, and Josh Kaddu, Michael Clay and Dewitt Stuckey will start the season at linebacker. Terrell Turner and Dion Jordan will line up at end, with Jordan playing the hybrid end position that Kenny Rowe gave opposing offensive coordinators nightmares. Taylor Hart and Ricky Heimuli are the likely the interior lineman on defense, but with the rotation the Ducks defense has used in recent years expect to see Brandon Hanna, Issac Remington, Wade Keliikipi, Boseko Lokombo, and a wide variety of other secondary personnel.
Looking at the schedule, it doesn’t get tougher than a showcase game like the Cowboys Classic against LSU. Playing in a game that LSU turned down a home game for, 37,000 tickets were made available for LSU, making this season opener in Dallas, Texas a must win if the Ducks hope to be in contention for a return trip to the BCS National Championship Game. Home games against Cal, Arizona State, Washington State, USC, and Oregon State make this year’s home schedule certainly a favorable one if the Ducks hope to make the first ever Pac-12 Championship Game on December 2 a home affair. An early conference road challenge begins the season for the Ducks, who open Pac-12 play at Arizona, after two other non-conference matchups at Autzen with Nevada and Missouri State. Other road games include Colorado, the final game at Husky Stadium before its much needed renovation, followed by what should decide the Pac-12 North crown and home field for the Championship Game, in addition to a potential Natty contender elimination game, on November 12 on the farm against Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck and Stanford. (Two years ago the Jeremiah Masoli-led Ducks went into Stanford sky high after beating USC on Halloween a week earlier and found out just how hard playing on the Farm can be as Toby Gerhart and Andrew Luck ripped through the Duck defense en route to a 51-42 Cardinal victory.)
With Chip Kelly at the helm, expect another season of Fast, Hard, Finish on both sides of the ball. The offense is full of speed and playmakers. The defense has added size to its speed and uses a rotation that allows them to go full speed every play. In addition, traditionally Chip has had a few tricks on special teams as well. Duck fans should expect a third straight trip to the BCS, the only question is…which one?
*Be sure to check out WWW.ENLITEN.ME for more blogs as well as our clothing line!*
Released 8/25/11 – Nike unveiled the new Oregon Pro Combat football uniforms today. They will be worn against LSU in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas. The game will be played in Dallas Cowboys stadium (JerryWorld) on Sept. 3, 2011 and will be shown on prime time ESPN. College GameDay will be on hand for the first week of college football as well. Below are some pictures of the new uniforms, which are similar to what Oregon wore in the BCS National Championship game. The uniforms are again really light helping keep players cool, and they also feature Kevlar, the same material used in bullet proof vests. Again the “BLUR” yellow makes appearances on the helmet, gloves, jersey and shoes, which are all new. The undershirts are Nike dry-fit and sport the players numbers on the sleeves.
UPDATE 12/15/10 – Nike recently released new Nike Pro Combat football uniforms for Oregon to wear in the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona on January 10th, 2010. The new uniforms are similar to the ones that the Ducks have been wearing this season, with a few notable differences. The uniforms were unveiled at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, with NFL players as models. Here is a picture of what they will be wearing:
*EDIT* To see the exact uniforms that were worn in the BCS National Championship game, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
These new uniforms are similar to the all whites worn against USC this year, with the carbon fiber helmets that were worn during the Portland St. game (yellow O’s on the sides). The numbers are also outlined with the bright yellow that matches the socks and the back of the shoes. The material of the uniform is the newest and best material which is way lighter than the previous uniforms.
Nike has kept these new uniforms a big secret around town, but finally released Oregon’s new football uniforms for the upcoming season. They are similar to the “winged” all black uniforms that Oregon broke out for the Arizona game last season. A few thing to note about the new uniforms.
*All new material – 25% lighter than previous uniforms
*No longer any yellow pants or yellow helmets.
*A new “silver” color is added to the uniform combinations, along with a “carbon fiber” helmet. (down the middle of the helmet it says ‘go hard. go oregon. go ducks’)
I am interested into hearing what others thinking about the new uniforms?
Attached first is a picture of last seasons jerseys, followed by a few pictures of the new ones, along with a link to a slide-show of the new jerseys.
Last seasons uniforms:
NEW 2009-2010 Oregon Football Uniforms:
Click on the link below to view more pictures in a slide-show format on the University of Oregon’s athletic website.
*All photos courtesy of goducks.com*
Here is a look at what Oregon wore in each of their games during the 2009-2010 season. What combination is your favorite?
2009-2010 Season Uniforms:
*Oregon At Boise St. 09-03-2009 (White, White, White) – Jeremiah Masoli
*Oregon Vs. Purdue 09-12-2009 (Green, Green, Green) – Kenjon Barner
*Oregon Vs. Utah 09-19-2009 (White, Green, Grey) – Walter Thurmond III
*Oregon Vs. California 09-26-2009 (*RETRO* Yellow, Green, Yellow) – Ed Dickson
*Oregon Vs Washington St. 10-03-2009 (Black, Yellow, Black) – LaMichael James
*Oregon At UCLA 10-10-2009 (Green, White, Green) – Nate Costa
*Oregon At Washington 10-24-2009 (Black, White, Black) – LaMichael James
*Oregon Vs. USC 10-31-2009 *Halloween “Fright Night”* (Green, Green, Black) – Offensive Unit
*Oregon At Stanford 11-07-2009 (Green, White, White) – Jeff Maehl
*Oregon Vs. Arizona St. 11-14-2009 (Black, Black, Black) – LaMichael James
*Oregon At Arizona 11-21-2009 (Green, White, Black) – Ed Dickson
*Oregon Vs. Oregon St. 12-03-2009 (*RETRO W/NEW “O” Yellow, Green, White) – LaMichael James
*Oregon Vs. Ohio St. 01-01-2010 ROSE BOWL (White, Green, White) – Kenjon Barner
2010-2011 Season Uniforms:
*Oregon Vs. New Mexico 09-04-2010 (Black, Black, Gray) – Kenjon Barner
*Oregon At Tennessee 09-11-2010 (Green, White W/Green, White) – Cliff Harris
*Oregon Vs. Portland St. 09-18-2010 (Carbon Fiber W/ Yellow O, Green, Gray) – Darron Thomas
*Oregon At Arizona St. 09-25-2010 (Green, White W/Silver, Green) – Kenny Rowe
*Oregon Vs. Stanford 10-02-2010 (Green, Green, Green) – Eddie Pleasant
*Oregon At Washington St. 10-09-2010 (Black, White W/Green, Black) – LaMichael James
*Oregon Vs. UCLA 10-21-2010 (Black, Yellow, Black) – Darron Thomas
*Oregon At USC 10-30-2010(White, White W/Green, White) – Jeff Maehl
*Oregon Vs. Washington 11-06-2010 (Black, Black, Black) – Brandon Bair
*Oregon At California 11-13-2010 (White, White W/Green, Green) – Cliff Harris
*Oregon Vs. Arizona 11-26-2010 (Green, Green, Gray) – Kickoff Team
*Oregon At Oregon St. 12-04-2010 (Carbon Fiber W/ White O, White W/Silver, Gray) – Josh Huff
BCS National Championship Game
*Oregon Vs. Auburn 01-10-2011 (Carbon Fiber W/”Blur” Yellow, White W/Silver and “Blur”, Gray) – LaMichael James
The Portland Timbers are new to the MLS this year, but that doesn’t mean their fans don’t know the game. With a sluggish record in their first year, The Timber Army still shows up STRONG. Especially when they beat the LA Galaxy 3-0 to ruin the Galaxy’s 14-game winning streak. Watch as the Timber Army reacts to Jorge Perlaza’s goal. Amazing.
By Kelly B. McGillivray
When LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach, the whole nation responded. It became instant news, full of images of torched jerseys, billboards in heaps on the sidewalk, and even the now famous all caps rant in Comic Sans by Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert, complete with a personal guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers would win an NBA Championship “before the self-titled former King wins one.”
But what people didn’t care to think about was how this would change LeBron. He later fired back, via twitter, that he was “taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at him” this past summer. And now the NBA is starting to understand what LeBron meant.
Welcome to LeBron James 2.0: (which is what I’m going to refer to LeBron as) a more aggressive, intense, and scariest of all, better LeBron James. On top of that, at least to me, it seems that 2.0 looks bigger and stronger than his Cleveland days, which doesn’t bode well for opponents. In teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who decides to show up every once in a while and prove he’s worth the $110 million Miami has to pay him, (like he did in Game 4 against Boston with the late tip-in) 2.0 had his ups and downs during the regular season, doing so under a constant microscope. There was a bump with head coach Eric Spoelstra early in the season that made the media rounds and was critiqued from every angle, his inability to hit shots in the final seconds of games, and a regular season that did not go as Miami had hoped. But in these playoffs, 2.0 has seemed to embrace the Us against the World mentality, which so far has taken the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals.
He closed out the Boston Celtics in a ruthless, almost revenge-like manner. He matched Ray Allen shot for shot in Game 4, hitting two huge 3 pointers late, including one directly in front of a Boston bench that was doing their best to distract him. In Game 5, he fed off the momentum started by James Jones’ 3 pointer with 3:43 left, a shot he assisted on, turning that into two 3 pointers, a steal and uncontested dunk, and an icing-on-the-cake bank shot that sent the defending Eastern Conference Champions home.
So the real question is: why now?
Teamed up with a legit #2, or 1A, however you see it, LeBron seems to have more confidence in his game knowing there’s D Wade right with him to match his intensity. At the same time, LeBron knows that not everything has to be done by him, a feeling he never felt in Cleveland. Their collective talent and energy have pushed 2.0 to a level that have the Heat in a position to do something they intended to do, in the words of LeBron himself “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” times. The Heat are eight wins away from getting to the first one.
The target is on their back, in that fiery shade of Heat red. And what better color to have than red, when staring straight back at them is a team of Bulls, led by the youngest MVP in the history of the NBA in Derrick Rose? The Philadelphia 76ers were breakfast, which must make the Boston Celtics lunch. Dinner is being served, and the Heat are hungrier than ever. LeBron’s stomach is empty, and so is his ring finger. Come late June he hopes to have finished dessert, and wear a ring that shines brighter than a South Beach summer sun, for the first of what LeBron, D Wade and company hope will be the first of not five, not six, not seven…
Kelly B. McGillivray can be found on Twitter @kellybmcg
This article is brought to you by our friends at SwishScout.Com!
“Even at a relatively young age, I’ve seen and experienced my share of storied locations in the sporting world: Michigan Stadium (The Big House), Neyland Stadium (Tennessee), Memorial Stadium (Cal-Berkeley), Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, The Rose Bowl, and of course, historic McArthur Court. However, after taking a recent sneak peek at the brand-new $200 million Matthew Knight Arena, my jaw may need some dentistry work done, as it spent so much time on the floor during the tour.
The new home to the University of Oregon basketball program has to be inducted as one of the wonders of the sporting world. TVA Architects, the Portland based architecture firm, developed a magnificent vision to represent Oregon basketball and revolutionize how NCAA basketball arenas are built. According to their press release, one of the main goals of the design firm was to “not only honor the heritage of Mac Court, but to also create a forward-looking, modern ‘theater for basketball’ that will provide an unprecedented experience for players and fans alike.” Mission accomplished.
For Ducks fans, Mac Court is a cornerstone of the Ducks experience and a wonderful venue to experience a basketball game. However, ‘The Pit’ has been around for 84 years and, for as much as fans love its nuances, has become outdated. As much fun as it is to sit in hardwood seats, cramped quarters, have multiple obstructed views, and only a couple bathrooms to choose from, it was time for a change. It was the second oldest on-campus arena in the nation and it definitely looked and felt that way. It will be forever remembered for having the crowd on top of the action and raucous noise the audience generated to back their team. Thankfully, all of this has been preserved and recreated to a greater extent in the new venue.
The outside of the building is a tease to the anticipation of the action that lies inside. Lead designer Robert Thompson: “The building’s orientation, scale, and transparency all serve to create a sense of anticipation for fans from the moment they park their cars or bikes to the time they take their seats.”
Thirty percent of the building’s outer façade is made up of glass, giving the fan a glimpse of the inside. From the three main entrances of the building, the hanging scoreboard is visible through the entrance, lending to the excitement. To fit in with the local tradition of Eugene, there is a large collection of hanging bike racks for fans to hang their bikes just outside the arena, with an underground parking garage available as well.
Walking through the main concourse of the structure, everything is simply a cut above. From basic signs, vending carts, extensive interior white oak wood paneling, the whole feeling of the building exudes ‘extraordinary.’
“We wanted Matthew Knight Arena to embody the values of the University: innovation, creativity, and optimism,” stated Thompson. The building is just that, being the first anticipated LEED Gold certified facility in the NCAA, a mark of how environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and ‘green’ it really is.
The history of Ducks basketball is accurately captured along the perimeter of the concourse’s main level. It’s captured with team photos of the 2002 and 2007 men’s teams who reached the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight, women’s legendary player Bev Smith, the great volleyball teams of the school, and a special dedication to the 1939 ‘Tall Firs’ Oregon basketball team who won the first NCAA Basketball Tournament title.
All of it tells a story of the University of Oregon athletics and tradition on the hardwood. So whether you are a UO alum or a diehard fan, it will give you chills to see the history recreated in front of you as walk to your seats.
Walking inside the actual bowl of the arena, all the anticipation and build up of expectations comes to a point of unparalleled excitement. The enormous HD scoreboard is lit up with “Knight Vision” and you can see two interlocking Oregon ‘O’s between the four main screens of the display.
The actual basketball court itself is something special with an aura and energy that jumps out at you upon first sight. Seeing the designs of the trees and being “Deep in the Woods” pays homage to the ‘Tall Firs’ and it pops out at the viewer with an ominous glow that may have never before seen from a basketball court. It is named ‘Kilkenny Floor’ after prominent booster and former UO athletic director Pat Kilkenny.
Staying true to its Mac Court roots, all 12, 364 seats are on top of the action. The acoustics will support the obnoxious amount of energy from the Oregon fan base. There isn’t a single obstructed view in the building, with nearly every seat (with the exception of the student section) being padded and comfortable. The actual interior of the arena is still very steep, much like Mac Court, in order to preserve the intimate feel of the building. There are no suites in the arena, just seats. For a comparison of how Matt Court is versus its predecessor, here is a link to differentiate the amenities.
The 405,000 square foot arena is the most expensive on-campus arena in the United States. In addition, there are two full-size practice courts that adjoin the facility. There is also the McArthur Club lounge on the main floor level, which is for VIPs and boosters. It pays tribute to Mac Court with recreations of old floor designs and newspaper articles that highlight the history of the renowned building. The ‘Matthew Knight’ name comes from Nike founder and foremost University donor Phil Knight, whose son Matthew died in a 2004 diving accident.
As a very recent graduate from the University of Oregon, my expectations were very high based on how much the entire cost of the facility was. After getting a firsthand look of the arena and seeing everything up close, it has far exceeded those lofty expectations. The entire building has a ‘legendary’ feel to it, a special place where the legacy of Oregon basketball will be played for years to come. It will, and already has become, a major point of contention for Oregon recruiting and in the arms race for modern facilities.
Come January 13th at 7:30pm tip-off against USC, it will be, as usual, a great day to be a Duck!