Usually it's the Oregon uniforms that get people talking during bowl season, but this year they've added a new wrinkle. Their Darth Vader uniforms are still unreal, but the helmets that take things a whole new level. Courtesy of photographer Thomas Boyd:
Whenever some alien race descends on earth to take over the world, you gotta think they'll be wearing helmets that look something like that. As the Portland Tribune notes, "The new Oregon helmet for the Rose Bowl — silvery metallic, reflective — resembles a mirror. You can see yourself in it."
Even Wisconsin's players are impressed:
"Dang, this is really their face mask?" an admiring Wisconsin center Peter Konz said Friday. "I'm going to have like metallic stains on my jersey. Wow. That's pretty cool, though."
The helmets are part of a collaboration between Nike, Hydro Graphics Inc., and Riddell. And they'll look very different as the game progresses in Pasadena--because of the way the light reflects off each helmet, it may look like Oregon has completely different helmets by the time the sun goes down.
Wisconsin's got a new look, too, of course. Adidas added a rose pattern inside the 'W' on their helmets for the Rose Bowl. "We're not as wild as Oregon," says one player, "but it's different. It's nice." ... Yeah, totally. It's stable. It's full-bodied and fun. It's got a great personality.
As for Oregon... Who knows when some insane Nike designer will figure out how to turn football uniforms into full-on storm trooper body armor and/or come up with Harry Potter invisibility cloaks for kickers and quarterbacks, but whenever they do, I can't wait to see 'em on the Ducks the next day.