September 4, 2013 BY Aaron Kr. / 16
If you have a passion for both sneakers and college sports, there is no rooting allegiance that yields tastier or more plentiful footwear fruits than the Oregon Ducks. Nike outfits a vast majority of elite Division 1 programs in both basketball and football, but the company’s ties to the University of Oregon go back to its very inception. Nike founder Phil Knight was born and raised in Oregon and his connections to the school and legendary coach Bill Bowerman traces back all the way to his time spent running track while he was a student there. The two eventually formed a business partnership that would change the world of athletic footwear forever, and with all the growth and success that has followed, the revolutionary brand they created has always found time to honor its collegiate roots and the breeding ground that it first sprouted from.
Over the years, Nike has whipped up countless special editions for the Oregon athletes, students, and fans – a practice that has gone into overdrive as of late with their football team’s recent ascension to the top tier of the sport’s perennial power rankings. In addition to equipping the school’s teams with some of the most interesting and progressive uniform designs ever seen in their respective sports, the Swoosh has also supplied an abundant variety of footwear
drops to celebrate the brand’s heritage and accommodate the Ducks’ faithful supporters in the process. Because most of the focus is understandably on Oregon’s football prowess, the majority of the retail-bound offerings have come by way of the Training category, but the biggest splash has been made by the player exclusive Air Jordan Retros that have popped up over the past few seasons.
The Oregon Pit Crew edition of the Air Jordan III was raffled off to students as a free giveaway at the school’s home basketball games, but the rest have been nearly impossible to come by – that is, unless you’re the collector known as QuacksonQuacks. This Oregon alum has been steadily “duck hunting” for any and all U of O PEs that have surfaced, dating back to the original Hyperdunk and Air Force 25 releases, and including multiple pairs of every Air Jordan Retro installment. Quacks’ deep collection and general sneaker interests go well beyond just Oregon shoes, but with such an impressive concentrated focus in one specific area, we’re putting a spotlight on his extensive assortment of Ducks PEs and special editions. Enjoy the full gallery ahead, as well as an interview with the devoted individual behind all that green and yellow.