Apparently, it isn’t easy being plain, old green

The topic of most debate last week? The blown calls in the last minutes of the Oklahoma-Oregon football game.

The Pacific-10 Conference refs received death threats. The president of the University of Oklahoma threatened to secede from the country, or something. Conference officials this, instant replays that. It’s all very serious, yet somehow the experts missed the obvious problem: After nearly a full game on the field, the referees were blinded by the Oregon Ducks’ dazzlingly ugly uniforms. Those colors no doubt contributed to that one official’s blood pressure problems as much as the death threats.

This football team needs help. It would make great television to have an episode, or a season, of the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” team rescuing the Ducks from this fashion disaster. “Oh, the humanity.”

Oregon is in its fourth full uniform redesign since the 1996 Cotton Bowl. USA Today recently reported that his year marks the team’s biggest uniform makeover ever – giving the Ducks 384 possible uniform combinations. All of which are unattractive.

The team can choose from four colors of jerseys and pants – green, yellow, white and black. There are two helmet options – green, a fine tradition since 1999, a white one, and a yellow one in production. There are four colors of socks and two colors of shoes.

(Imagine a John Facenda-type narrator, the voice of God in the NFL Films, announcing, “And here come the Ducks, wearing their fall mix-and-match outfits – green helmets, yellow tops, white pants, black socks, black kicks … “)

Because of the overwhelming choices, coach Mike Bellotti will forgo input from the team’s seniors and choose the uniform combo himself each week. Surely Team Nike can afford a head-setted assistant coach for uniform picks.

The explosion of uniforms comes because the team has already expanded its stadium, built a new locker room, weight room and indoor practice facility, thanks to millions and millions in donations from Nike co-founder Phil Knight. (Former UCLA coach Bob Toledo is credited with the line, “Knight is the best owner in college football.”)

So the team has to spend current donations on something, like 384 possible uniform combinations.

The uniforms are supposed to be all about intimidation. But since they are really about excess, wouldn’t it be darling to replace all those hundreds and hundreds of Nike swooshes adorning the uniforms with a dazzling array of Imelda Marcos’ shoe emblems?

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