Uniform rotation revolutionized by Oregon Ducks has jumped the shark

Eric Adelson
Yahoo Sports

View gallery

.

The University of Oregon sports one of its multiple uniform looks against Fresno State. (US Presswire

This is getting to be ridiculous. Unveiling different football uniforms every week has gone from awesome to tired to grating in about the time it takes Phil Knight to pocket another 500k.

The latest abomination comes from Florida's Atlantic High School – yes, a high school – and provides a garish sign that the shark has been jumped (see photo below). It appears as if this poor kid's been sideswiped by a Sherwin Williams van.

The University of Oregon started this trend and, depending on where you fall, either mastered it or prompted an epidemic of unsightliness that's since swept across the nation. (You'll notice Atlantic High's unis have shoulder pads with the Duck wings on them.) It's still amusing to see what the creative geniuses at Nike come up with on a weekly basis – as Michael Kruse wrote in Grantland, the Ducks are "college sports' undisputed champions of the 21st century's attention economy" – but the slope is getting more slippery with each new uniform unveiling.

For example, last year the University of Maryland rolled out a uniform that appeared to be two in one (depending on which side you're looking at) with their state flag tribute digs. This year Notre Dame, a proud program if ever there was one, introduced an alternate "Shamrock Series" uniform that broke something that didn't need fixing. Then Michigan used the Cowboy Classic this month to trot out neon maize road unis (or as Yahoo! Sports' Jay Busbee wrote, "firefly goo") that were about as subtle as a four-year-old's highlighter. And let's not even bring up the bird tracks on Virginia Tech's latest helmets.

View gallery

.

Florida's Atlantic High School unveiled a very Oregon-esque uniform. (Twitter)

Going forward, we're more likely to be disappointed if not entirely unimpressed.

Yes, the kids love it. That's important and will keep this train going even if it careens off the rails. But while it's news when a recruit goes to Oregon for the uniforms, recruits have been going to places like Michigan for the uniforms for decades. That's because there's something else that draws the attention of kids these days: winning.

[Related: Castigated at Michigan, Rich Rodriguez is finding redemption with Arizona]

Anyone who saw the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the relationship between rap music and the Oakland Raiders knows the only truly marketable trend in football is success. Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg loved the Raiders gear, but when the team started struggling, well, that was it. If Oregon starts losing, the uniforms won't seem so cool anymore. And the unforeseen problem with changing a uniform every year is that a bad season can get pegged to a bad uniform for decades on end. Right, White Sox fans? Pretty sure not many middle-aged southsiders have baseball shorts in their closets.

Meanwhile, a simple uniform that lasts for decades can mean good things long after the good times have passed. For example, USC is the only college football program never to have surnames on the back, but still you know the surnames: Allen, White, Bush and yes, Simpson. To put on that uniform is to put yourself into a fraternity that will go on long after you're gone. If USC falls apart after its loss to Stanford, the uniform won't.

And that brings us to one of the greatest of football fraternities: Alabama. A canvassing of Tide fans at last weekend's road game at Arkansas drew a mixture of scoffing and laughter at the idea of their team altering its uniforms. "Not gonna happen," said Anna Springer. "Don't have to do that to look good."

Yes, this is the South, and you'll notice no changes in any SEC teams' threads over the past few years. But you'll also notice the common thread of victory. And you may notice that, as the other college football uniforms change, the crimson of the Tide and the red of the men of Troy and the burnt orange of Texas all look newer, fresher. The changes around them make old look new again.

"I like the classic style," said Shaun Gilbert, a 25-year-old Alabama fan. "Now it's actually different. Everything else is changing, and it's still the same."

A new uniform is great every now and then, but there's nothing uniform about a new uniform every other week. It's a contradiction.

The irony is after all of Oregon's experimenting, from the gun-metal helmets to the feathers on the shoulder pads to the neon numbers, the coolest uniforms they've introduced were by far the simplest:

White pants, white tops, white helmets.

A thing of beauty.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Improved Texans defense could give Peyton Manning fits in Denver
Video: Who is the NFL's best team?
Y! Finance: Strong opinions about Apple's new Maps app for iPhone and iPad

  • A's reject 10-year Coliseum lease offer

    A's reject 10-year Coliseum lease offer

    The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. A's President Michael Crowley issued the statement Wednesday after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority said the team owes more than $5 million … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Ducks without captain Getzlaf, Selanne in Game 4

    Ducks without captain Getzlaf, Selanne in Game 4

    DALLAS (AP) -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is out of Game 4 against the Dallas Stars because of an upper-body injury. … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Sanchez's slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

    Sanchez's slam in 11th helps Giants beat Rox 12-10

    Hector Sanchez hit two of San Francisco's six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning Wednesday that gave the Giants a wild 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies. With the Giants on the verge of being swept in a three-game series at … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Heat extend deal, commit to Miami through 2040

    Saying they reaffirm the team's commitment to the city, the Miami Heat announced Wednesday night that they have agreed to extend their partnership with Miami-Dade County another 10 years through 2040. Heat managing partner Micky Arison, whose team … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    Formula One boss Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany

    By Keith Weir MUNICH (Reuters) - Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial for bribery in Germany on Thursday in a case that could see the Briton's long dominance of the motor sport ended by a jail sentence. Prosecutors in Munich … More »

    Reuters - 19 minutes ago
  • Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    Ryan Getzlaf to miss Game 4 versus Stars with upper-body injury

    The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night's pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars. According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 19 minutes ago
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Phelps having fun in his return to swimming

    Michael Phelps is making a comeback after nearly two years out of the pool for the simplest of reasons: He missed the sport that has been his entire life. ''Looking at a black line for hours on end, I don't know what made me do it,'' he said … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Red Sox demote struggling Daniel Nava to minors

    The Red Sox demoted struggling switch-hitting outfielder Daniel Nava and recalled right-hander Alex Wilson on Wednesday. Nava, 31, was a big part of Boston's run to the 2013 World Series title, but was hitting just .149 with two homers and three … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • James Spins and Hits

    James Spins and Hits

    LeBron James spins off his defender and lays it in. … More »

    NBA.com - 26 minutes ago
  • Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    Maddon: Escobar 4-2 strikeout should be walk

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has an interesting suggestion after Yunel Escobar's stuck out a pitch with a 4-2 count: give him credit for a walk. Escobar struck out in the fifth inning Tuesday night after the … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void. Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Horschel aims to regain winning form in Big Easy

    Horschel aims to regain winning form in Big Easy

    There's something about the rhythm of life in the Big Easy that appeals to Billy Horschel, who acknowledges that he can be a little ''hyper'' for even his own liking on the PGA Tour. Horschel earned his first PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    The Chicago Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field in the most appropriate way: with a gut-wrenching loss. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five runs in the ninth to … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
  • Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

    Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

    By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One day after joining baseball's exclusive 500 home run club, Albert Pujols insists he is not concerned with reaching another longball milestone. Let the fans and the media talk about 600 or 700 home runs, … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago
  • Jones returns to Drake for shuttle hurdle relay

    Jones returns to Drake for shuttle hurdle relay

    Lolo Jones has decided to run the Drake Relays after waffling on a return to her hometown meet a year ago. But rather than compete in the high-profile 100-meter hurdles, Jones will make her transition from the bobsled back to the blue oval in a … More »

    AP - Sports - 32 minutes ago
  • Padres RHP Johnson out for season

    Padres RHP Johnson out for season

    San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson is scheduled to undergo elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time and will miss the entire season. He strained his elbow during spring training and the Padres initially thought he would be out … More »

    AP - Sports - 38 minutes ago
  • NBA playoffs - Three things to watch for Thursday

    NBA playoffs - Three things to watch for Thursday

    Yahoo Sports' Evan Doherty looks ahead to the trio of Game 3's between the Thunder-Grizzlies, Pacers-Hawks and Clippers-Warriors. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 38 minutes ago
  • Trumbo sidelined by stress fracture

    Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo will be sidelined for an extended period of time because of a stress fracture in his left foot. Manager Kirk Gibson said Trumbo will get a second opinion from Dr. Michael Lee in Arizona before a timetable … More »

    AP - Sports - 41 minutes ago
  • Thursday's NHL Playoffs in :60 -

    Thursday's NHL Playoffs in :60 -

    Yahoo Sports' Melanie Collins previews all three Game 4's in one minute. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 43 minutes ago
  • Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing. Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks on Wednesday. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks … More »

    AP - Sports - 47 minutes ago
  • NHL Live: Overtime

    NHL Live: Overtime

    NHL Live goes to Overtime to watch Bruins forward Brad Marchand try to get his soccer ball and then his shoe unstuck from the rafters. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 49 minutes ago
  • Wrigley Field gets party of a century on 100th anniversary of first game at Chicago ballpark

    Wrigley Field gets party of a century on 100th anniversary of first game at Chicago ballpark

    "Happy Birthday, Wrigley Field," it read. Exactly 100 years after the Chicago Federals pounded the Kansas City Packers in the first game at the famed ballpark, Wrigley was the scene of a joyous birthday bash on Wednesday afternoon. Banks and other … More »

    The Canadian Press - 50 minutes ago
  • Injured players eager to get to work with Colts

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Andrew Luck is eager to see some old faces on the practice field. … More »

    AP - Sports - 52 minutes ago
  • Sherman addresses race issue at Harvard

    Sherman addresses race issue at Harvard

    Richard Sherman was called all kinds of names after his raging rant at the end of the NFC championship game. ''I wanted to educate the uneducated,'' Sherman said in a discussion at the Harvard Business School. ''I felt the need to turn the … More »

    AP - Sports - 52 minutes ago
  • Real gets 1-0 1st-leg CL win over Bayern

    Real gets 1-0 1st-leg CL win over Bayern

    Real Madrid hopes a narrow home win put it in position to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 2002. In a matchup of teams acclaimed to be the best in Europe this season, Karim Benzema scored in the 19th minute to give the Los … More »

    AP - Sports - 53 minutes ago
  • Baseball-Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat

    By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - One day after joining baseball's exclusive 500 home run club, Albert Pujols insists he is not concerned with reaching another longball milestone. Let the fans and the media talk about 600 or 700 … More »

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago
  • Good ambiance crucial to get best from Messi - Sabella

    Good ambiance crucial to get best from Messi - Sabella

    By Rex Gowar BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina must create the right team climate to give the world's best player Lionel Messi the right support to enable him to shine at the World Cup in Brazil, coach Alejandro Sabella said on Wednesday. Sabella … More »

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago
  • Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    Ancelotti happy as Real thrive without much from Ronaldo, Bale

    By Iain Rogers MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his team for beating holders Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final, first leg without their two biggest names taking a leading role. Cristiano Ronaldo, … More »

    Reuters - 56 minutes ago
  • Smiling, relaxed Michael Phelps happy to end retirement and race again

    Smiling, relaxed Michael Phelps happy to end retirement and race again

    MESA, Ariz. - Michael Phelps is making a comeback after nearly two years out of competitive swimming for the simplest of reasons: he missed it. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 56 minutes ago
  • Suns PG Dragic named NBA's most improved

    Suns PG Dragic named NBA's most improved

    Of course, the NBA's most improved team would have its most improved player. Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, was presented the most improved award at a ceremony Wednesday at US Airways … More »

    AP - Sports - 59 minutes ago
  • Swinney won't change despite complaint

    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday he wouldn't change procedures after the Freedom From Religion Foundation's letter of complaint expressing concerns about the football program's connection to the coach's Christian religion. According to the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 3 minutes ago
  • The Great Canadian Ratings Report: NHL scores big — and so do the Raptors

    The Great Canadian Ratings Report: NHL scores big — and so do the Raptors

    As the NHL and NBA playoffs continue to eat up air time, there's nothing but good news for Canadian broadcasters -- at least so far. Outside of a Game 7 triple overtime win by the Montreal Canadiens, the CBC couldn't … Continue reading → … More »

    Eh Game - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Ex-UFC fighter Homer Moore charged with first-degree murder in 1999 case

    Ex-UFC fighter Homer Moore charged with first-degree murder in 1999 case

    The veteran MMA fighter was charged with the murder of Arizona teen-ager Karam Hussein Jabbar. … More »

    Cagewriter - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • As errors, losses mount, Nationals get extra work

    As part of rookie manager Matt Williams' emphasis on defense, the Washington Nationals regularly schedule extra infield practice for their backups. On Wednesday, starters Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon took part. That's because the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
  • Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX (Reuters) - Michael Phelps has withdrawn from one of the three events he planned to compete in at his eagerly-anticipated return to competitive swimming. Phelps had entered the heats for the 50 metres freestyle, 100m … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 8 minutes ago
  • M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    M's end skid at 8 on Seager's walkoff HR

    Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth and the Seattle Mariners rallied for a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday to snap an eight-game losing streak. Seager homered for his second straight at-bat after … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Stephenson admits 'scuffle' with Turner

    Stephenson admits 'scuffle' with Turner

    Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner were unified on three points Wednesday. Yes, they scrapped during a practice before Game 1 of their first-round series against Atlanta. Pacers players and coaches all described the physical confrontation between … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Whoops: Clippers color commentator mistakenly filed MVP ballot for Most Improved Player award

    Whoops: Clippers color commentator mistakenly filed MVP ballot for Most Improved Player award

    To be fair to Clippers color commentator Michael Smith, Kevin Durant *does* have an MIP case. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 1 hour 15 minutes ago
  • NL home run leader Mark Trumbo diagnosed with stress fracture in left foot

    NL home run leader Mark Trumbo diagnosed with stress fracture in left foot

    An already rough start to Arizona's season gets a little rougher. … More »

    Big League Stew - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Swimming-Phelps ditches one of his planned comeback events

    By Julian Linden PHOENIX, April 23 (Reuters) - Michael Phelps has withdrawn from one of the three events he planned to compete in at his eagerly-anticipated return to competitive swimming. Phelps had entered the heats for the 50 metres freestyle, … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago