Future is Fast

Nike speed summit

This week Nike invited me to Oregon to check out the latest in football innovation. We started in Portland, where NFL legend Marshall Faulk and Oregon star LaMike James unveiled the newest cleat and uniform designs.

The jerseys feature a single piece of fabric, with just one seam along the back. The design creates a shrink-wrap effect that decreases wind resistance and increases range of motion.

The carbon-fiber cleats are the lightest ever made, because even the slightest fraction of an ounce makes a serious difference on the field.

Vapor Untouchable II

Developed using 3D printers, these weigh just 9.5 ounces. All four College Football Playoff teams will wear them in the playoffs.

The next day we drove to Eugene for a behind-the-scenes tour of Autzen Stadium, home of the Oregon Ducks. We'd also be the first to ever test the new gear.

The Heisman

When Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy, the school created a unique display: The trophy stands on eight pillars, each representing a group that he thanked in his speech. There are also eight seats around the floor, shaped like the eight Hawaiian islands in homage to his home state.

The "smart track" is one of only three in the entire country. It collects real-time data in stride, speed, and more.

The team meeting room seats more that 200 and looks out over the stadium.

The locker room

This is by far the coolest part. Every locker has its own ventilation system, so it doesn't smell! There are digital keypads to open them, and a barber's chair where the players cut their own hair.

After the tour, it was time to test the gear. Nike stocked a locker for each of us, complete with cleats, running shoes, jackets, socks, long-sleeve shirts and leggings.

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