Oregon uniforms for this weekend’s massive game against Washington have been unveiled, and they are throwbacks to the program’s very early years.
Back in April ahead of the spring game, Oregon unveiled new “Webfoots” uniforms, which honor the 1916 Oregon Webfoots football team, which won the 1917 Rose Bowl over Penn 14-0.
The team wore a version of the unis for that spring game, but a new, updated uniform will be broken out this weekend, featuring a new helmet that uses the Oregon state flag as the main logo.
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) October 3, 2016
— Oregon Football (@WinTheDay) October 3, 2016
Oregon’s uniforms trade in the fluorescent greens and yellow that usually highlight the Ducks’ look for some more understated blues, which were a school color for the university back in the early 20th century.
UO put together a cool page explaining the history behind the “Webfoots” name, as well as some of the uniform features.
The nickname, however, was not a synonym for a duck. It was rather a term that had originated in Massachusetts during the 1700s to describe locals who lived in wet conditions. The term was proliferated by miners coming northward from California as a pejorative descriptor of the locals of the waterlogged Willamette Valley and had grown in popular usage by the 1860s. By the time the University of Oregon began forming sports teams for intercollegiate play in the last decade of the 19th century, the term Webfoot had become synonymous with Oregonians.
One of the coolest uniform features: the shoulder, which feature lyrics from the school’s fight song “The Mighty Oregon March.”
On the field, Oregon is reeling a bit, dropping three straight games to Nebraska, Colorado, and this weekend, Washington State. Washington, the Ducks’ Week 6 opponent, is the favorite to win the Pac-12 after dominating Stanford on Friday night. We’ll see if this week’s new Oregon uniforms, and moniker change, shift’s the team’s mojo at all.