How vain it is to sit down to write when you haven't stood up to live?
The website Oregon Authentic launched today, providing diehard Duck fans an opportunity to get their hands on authentic football gear. As much as I need (WANT) an Oregon helmet on my mantle at home, or an official game-worn jersey to ceremoniously position in a green n’ yellow Duck football shrine, this bidding war is bound reach outrageous financial heights. Proceeds funnel directly into the athletic program as a whole (not just the cash cow football squad). The price tag on LMJ’s ‘fighting ducks’ uni has been skyrocketing already on day-1, hitting
$335 early on, no wait, $515, oh sure, it’s at $595 now! If you’ve needed proof, yes, we love our Ducks that much.
(Here’s an FAQ section if you are confused about the auction process)
Most Wanted: The (in)famous #21 LaMichael James Kelly Green Fighting Ducks Jersey
The debate will never end about whether this was a hit or miss in the Nike-Oregon fashion department, however the significance of this jersey is unarguably one of the more timeless pieces of memorabilia in the history Oregon football lore.
First, allow me to touch on the positive memories: Reflect back to October 6th, 2011 when LMJ torched the CAL Bears’ defense for 239 yards on the ground (8.0/carry) including a 53 yard got-the-edge scamper down the sideline for six on Oregon’s opening drive. Below, watch LMJ house it on his very first carry through the eyes of a fan’s POV:
LMJ went on to set a pair of school records on this day that may never be touched again (a’yo De’Anthony, I’m calling you out, young stud!)
You might also remember the rather infamous role this uniform played on the Ducks’ season. Early in the fourth quarter—with Oregon protecting a comfortable three-score lead—60 thousand+ hearts came to a standstill watching LMJ roll around the Autzen turf cringing in what looked like significant pain. The same pain he would later shed off like an arm tackle in the secondary (picture the @Tennessee run). The jumbotron footage of LMJ’s elbow instanteously sunk stomachs far-and-wide and brought the pulse in the entire city of Eugene to a deafening flat-line. Ironically, the two other times I’ve witnessed Autzen that noticeably jolted by a single play came both times against CAL (I won’t dive into the dreary details, I’ll just mention two names: Cam Colvin, Keith “no man’s land” Allen).
I recall getting a text via an insider source within the locker room when LMJ’s status was still very much in limbo—the rumor swirling from behind closed doors was absolutely devastating news. One player on the team declared LMJ ‘done’ plain and simple (WHY, OH, WHY did you do that to me?!) Remarkably—contrary to our deepest, darkest fears—shortly after I received that gut wrenching text, THIS happened and a legend was born…again:
‘I could tear all my ACL’s and still play’
Say what you want about the jersey design. Although I personally considered the creation leaning closer toward a bust than a fashion success, I firmly stand behind the concept that all press is good press (so long as it has nothing to do with a player’s rap sheet). Uniform buzz is not placed on a decorative platter for “expert” writers/columnists to chew on, they are tactically manufactured (and filtered through the media) to recruit for us—it’s about the 16, 17, 18 year old ballers still undecided on when/where to sign on the dotted line. By the way, all you grey beards are lightyears out of the loop when it comes to youngster “swag” nowadays, so stand down, sirs. While the majority preach “FAIL” one this one, I personally find this jersey to be even more epic than the Rose Bowl victory attire. The layered story behind the Fighting Ducks coinciding with LMJ’s tremendous toughness speaks volumes about one of Oregon’s most successful seasons in the history of the program.
Stormtroopers: Remember when we first debuted this look? Jonathan Stewart—in familiar, yet enemy territory—got loose on the road versus the filthy Huskies, running unconsciously for an easy 250+. I was there—the streets of Seattle were barren that night. Drinks on me for everybody!
The Ducks kept the successful Stormtrooper tradition alive with an enormous victory on the road at USC in 2010. Enter: wing blades, exit: whatever the hell you want to call those funky grid-shaped reflective shoulder patches.
Stew doing work.
Tall Firs throwback:
I picture Akili ✈✈✈✈airmailing✈✈✈✈ it deep downfield to Hartley
Whatchu know ‘bout matte black, son?
Remember Reggie Bush’s tweet about the release of these matte black helmets? Nike: always one step ahead of the game. Reebok, Adidas—you there? …Didn’t think so.
You can even purchase the entire football uniform set the Ducks rocked vs. LSU in last year’s season opener. Yeah, I know, rough loss, but this combo still ranks VERY high on my short list of the dopest uniforms in the history of the game. So clean. I’d vote to bring these back for a chance at redemption in a heartbeat.
Last, but not least, a few “support our troops” Oregon spring game joints:
Time to break the bank Duck fans—best of luck to all you
rich bastards lovable lucky Ducks!