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Nike vs. …everyone



Florida can have their titletown. Auburn their underarmourtown. Eugene has its Niketown. Literally.

Oh have you not heard? The 2011 title game is not Cam Newton vs. LaMichael James. Nor is it the “battle of the coaches who have strange names that start with the letter ‘C’.” It’s not even a uniform battle, like all the Autzen hippies might want you to believe.

Hold on, let’s stop for a second and talk about uniforms. I got a text about .00002 seconds after Oregon beat Oregon St. last Saturday that just said “omg, what are they going to wear for the title?” I’ve been pondering it ever since. I mean where can you go from where they’re at? Do you come out in pants made of real duck skin? Perhaps helmets made of Egyptian gold (though that might be a bit heavy)? Or, my personal favorite, maybe they’ll just play the game naked to psyche out all the Auburn people expecting the duck skin or gold helmets. Because not wearing duck skin would be the strange part of that scenario…

Anyway, the title game is none of the above. It’s a slugfest between dueling symbols. One stands for winning and greatness, the other for gimmicks and tricks. It’s the upstart trying to slay the 10x defending champ. Kevin Plank trading blows with Phillip Knight.

A look back at Nike’s reign:

2010 – Bama over Texas – Nike over Nike – It’s not cannibalism when you’re eating millions of dollars with billions of dollars, right?

2009 – Florida over OU – Nike over Nike – I wish they’d turn the Tebow Gator chomp on Nic Harris into a “become legendary” commercial…

2008 – LSU over Ohio St. – Nike over Nike – Yawn, wake me up when somebody throws a forward pass.

2007 – Florida over Ohio St. – Nike over Nike – I call it “the last time I got to watch Chris Leak throw the prettiest ball in college football history” game.

2006 – Texas over SC – Nike over Nike – AKA the year VY made Texas + Nike > $100M and saw none of it

2005 – SC over OU – Nike over Nike – I wish OU would go Adidas…that would be so sweet.

2004 – LSU over OU – Nike over Nike – See above.

2003 – Ohio St. over The U – Nike over Nike – This is like classy, sweater-vest Nike over hood, reflective facemask protector Nike. Still Nike over Nike but not quite the same as some of the other ones.

2002 – The U over Nebraska – Nike over Adidas – The closest call Nike has had between the Peerless Price game and this years festival.

2001 – OU over FSU – Nike over Nike – 13-2 is a baseball score…and yes, it pisses me off.

2000 – FSU over Va. Tech – Nike over Nike – The Vickstravaganza.

1999 – Tennessee over FSU – Adidas over Nike! – A dark day in Phil Knight’s home. Peerless Price and Tee martin ran roughshod over whoever FSU was paying to play for them that year.

This might be the last shot Adidas or Under Armour has for a while. Cam’s leaving after this year and only Wisconsin, A&M, Nebraska, Mississippi St, and Hawaii represented non-Nike schools in the top 25. Only Nebraska and Wisconsin, incidentally the two most boring offenses in Div. 1 college football not named Northwestern or Indiana, have a fighter’s chance at sniffing the title next year.

A big W in Glendale could be the catalyst for another decade of dominance for Nike.

Maybe Under Armour is paying Cam to break the streak?

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