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MacPhee: A look back at some of the best and worst from Nike at UW

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As the UW starts transitioning out of its Nike uniforms and gets ready for their new contract with Adidas, we look back on some of the best and worst from Nike at the UW.

The good

Baseball’s pinstripes


The Washington Baseball team’s best current look is its crisp white with purple pinstripes. This classic look paired with the cursive “Huskies” makes the squad look clean and bright. The stripes add an unique twist to the standard uniforms. This nostalgic look is perfect for the spring sport. The lower corner numbering on the front of the jersey is the perfect accent that doesn’t distract from the main decal. The striped pants also look great straight down or tucked into socks, which allows the players to have more options with their uniforms. Nike really hit it out of the park with this one, we’ll see if Adidas can compete.


Football’s gold chrome helmets

Gold helmet

This 2014 statement with the all matte black and bright metallic gold helmets is the perfect contrast. This combination looks tough and intimidating. The Huskies usually were fitted in their home purple uniforms but, for the game against Oregon State, the team and the crowd were all in a black-out. The purple accents on the shoulder pads and numbers add just enough color and the pop of gold made the uniforms go from good to great. In Chris Petersen’s first year as head coach, the Dawgs may not have been the conference power that they are today, but they looked the part.


Softball changes up a traditional look


We couldn’t do this list and call it complete without a purple look, but the UW softball team’s best uniform combination, featuring the UW’s official color, is one the Huskies have only broken out a couple of times in the past couple seasons. The Dawgs usually wear their purple jerseys with purple pants, but changing up the look with gray bottoms just boosts a signature look. The purple pinstripe and logo give the combo continuity from the top to the socks, while not becoming monochromatic.

The bad

Purple and… gold? Khaki?


This 2009 basketball uniform went wrong when they strayed away from gold and went to more of a khaki-tan color. In this shot of Jon Brockman, the uniform blends in with his skin tone. This look is not flattering on him or the rest of the team. The boring purple font does nothing to contrast the bland coloring. Even though the Dawgs were dominant at this time, the jerseys did not match their caliber. Nike had so much potential with creating a fresh look for the team, but fell flat in one of the most boring UW basketball uniforms ever.


Purple helmet outrage

Purple helmets

Purple helmets have a history at the UW for creating controversy. The public was no fan of the purple helmet look in the late 90s, and here in 2017 the overwhelming color stands out ... not in a good way. The dark purple from head to toe reminds me of Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and definitely does not get a golden ticket. In addition, the mirror-esque helmets do not reflect the success that the Huskies had during the 2017 season. Nike’s history of football uniforms has been hit or miss, so let’s hope that Adidas can provide the UW with more consistency.


Volleyball tank tops


Even though the volleyball squad during this time was on top of their game, they did not have jerseys to match. This mix between a tank top and short sleeve missed the mark like a lot of early 2000s clothing did. I don’t know how this in-between sleeve could be practical for attacking and defending. The jersey number consumes the entire front of the jersey, leaving no room for the UW logo. To finish off, the asymmetrical imbalance between the white and purple leaves much to be desired. Luckily, the UW has come a long way since 2005, so hopefully Adidas can learn from Nike’s mistakes.

After a long Nike reign, with both standouts and missteps, Adidas will have a chance to prove themselves for better or worse in July.

Sports editor Josh Kirshenbaum contributed to this article.

Reach reporter Madison MacPhee at . Twitter: @madison_macphee  

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