You’ve seen the University of Oregon’s crazy football uniforms, you’ve seen the black-on-black basketball uniforms, and the baseball uniforms with the words to the school’s fight song functioning as pinstripes. And even taking all those into account, the floor of the university’s new basketball arena will still probably shock you.
Yes, it’s a real thing. A few people love it, but most will probably hate it. And yes, of course it was Nike’s doing. The company’s excellently-named vice president for design and special projects, Tinker Hatfield, explained it as follows:
“We wanted to design the most iconic television presence possible for the University of Oregon by conjuring up a highly unique and visible basketball floor design. It’s inspired by our beautiful tree-covered region and the UO 1939 NCAA Championship basketball team nick-named the ‘Tall Firs.'”
And yes, Oregon has a lot of trees and the “Tall Firs” inspiration is clever, but…trees are for the outdoors. I’m not a rabid traditionalist, but this is too much. Innovation is nice, but like those uniforms we mentioned earlier, this feels a lot more like doing something just for the sake of doing it.