In search of Nike's uniform motivation

Thu, Sep 9
Tyrod TaylorOtto Kitsinger III/Getty ImagesVirginia Tech would probably do a lot better against bugs.

When Boise State and Virginia Tech wore those crazy uniforms on Monday night, a lot of people were asking, "Where did Nike get the idea for those designs?"

The standard joke, even before the game was played, was that the Virginia Tech design, with its circuit-board uni numbers, was based on the movie "Tron". As it turns out, however, that might have been the wrong movie.

Take a look at these two images side by side. Interesting resemblance, right down to the color schemes, right? The shot on the left is from the 1997 sci-fi movie "Starship Troopers". It's from a scene early in the movie, when several of the main characters play a game called jumpball, which is basically a futuristic version of football. The ball is silver, the players can jump ridiculously high, and the hits on the field are super-bone-rattling, almost like in a cartoon. Sounds a lot like Nike's vision of football, no?

In fact, the more you look at the jumpball outfits, the more obvious the Nike-"Starship Troopers" connection becomes. That means things could end up getting really interesting later on, since the jumpball players in the movie end up joining the military, where they fight giant bugs. C'mon, Nike, bring the bugs!

Just one problem: In "Starship Troopers", the jumpball uniforms are made by adidas. But hey, that's why it's called science "fiction".