Deep in the woods
The University of Oregon is going out on a design limb once again...and this time there's a forest theme.
Already well known across the nation for their numerous, and at times outlandish, uniform combinations, the designers are taking it to another level next year. The uniforms have brought all sorts of attention, some of it positive and some critical.
But for the 2011 Pac-Ten basketball season, the attention will shift from the designs on the jerseys to the design on the brand new basketball arena floor.
And while the uniforms have a duck-based wildlife theme, the court is all about the forest.
Taking inspiration from the 1938-1939 Oregon men's basketball team that took home the first ever NCAA national championship trophy, the floor represents a towering fir forest. The 1939 championship team was known as the "Tall Firs," after several players who towered over the opposition, including 6' 8" center Slim Wintermute.
Of course, tall firs weren't just found on the basketball court that year. Since long before the 1930s, Oregon was well known the world over for having some of the tallest and biggest trees in the world.
Themes for Oregon sports teams, including local high school mascots and team mottos have sprung from our forests (and the loggers who worked in those forests back in the days of misery whip logging) for years. Most of those names pay tribute to the timber industry heritage of towns like Scio (high school mascot is the Loggers), Vernonia (also the Loggers), and South Eugene (the Axemen).
Of course, most Oregon high schools pay tribute to the many native wildlife of our state: Elkton (the Elks), Days Creek (the Wolves), and Canby (the Cougars).