When a team is bad, rivalry weekend typically stands out as that team’s Super Bowl.
Noted bad team Oregon played Oregon State Saturday in the Civil War. Noted Nike founder and Oregon superfan/alum Phil Knight was not there.
Instead, Knight was at Ohio State, enjoying the epic game at Ohio Stadium.
"Of the top 25 teams, Nike supplies 20 of 'em," Knight said after the game to the Buckeyes. "None of those are we more proud of than the one in this dressing room."
The Michigan-Ohio State game was the Nike Bowl in a way. Michigan recently switched from adidas to the Nike-owned Jordan Brand. And Ohio State has been a loyal Nike soldier, so much so that LeBron James gave the Buckeyes fancy cleats for today’s game.
But there’s another subplot here, too. With the Ducks struggling, Oregon’s most prominent booster not being in attendance is not exactly a public show of support for embattled head coach Mark Helfrich. Big-time booster Pat Kilkenny also didn’t take the trip to Corvallis, and no-commented after the game as well.
Feelings are icy towards Helfrich in Eugene from a lot of different factions of the fanbase, including those who have the power to get rid of him (like Knight). This likely won’t do anything to warm them up.