What if I told you that the Nike sneakers you are currently wearing are the sole reason that the Oregon Ducks football team has gone from a nobody in the college football world to playing in the BCS National Championship Game?
Don't believe me? Well the way I put it might be a little too black and white, but nonetheless, you and millions and millions of other people around the world deserve credit for Oregon's success in football.
Here is how it works: Tens of millions of people and a countless number of universities pay Nike billions of dollars every year in order to receive some of the coolest sporting gear. Where does that money go, you may ask?
Well a lot of it goes to the people who actually manufacture Nike apparel although not nearly enough. A lot goes to great charities that are partnered with Nike. And a lot, a whole lot, goes to Phil Knight, the founder of Nike and the biggest college sports booster in the country.
Phil Knight then takes a good portion of his profits and invests it in the University of Oregon, more specifically, its athletic department...more specifically, its football program.
In fact, Knight, who has a net worth of $11.1 billion, has spent over $300 million on Oregon's athletic department, and you can be sure that most of the money doesn't go to the women's basketball team. Most likely, the majority of it goes to the undefeated football team.
To sum it up, almost all of Oregon's opponents this season have funded Phil Knight, who has funded the Oregon football team. The Ducks then crushed all of those Nike-wearing opponents, along with the ones who don't wear Nike (only Tennessee and UCLA).
Knight has brought Oregon from a school with pretty much no football history to a national championship contending team year in and year out.
He has created a state-of-the-art football atmosphere in Eugene, and he is far from done. Oregon will soon build an unprecedented 130,000-square-foot football operations center that will make recruits drool endlessly.
The scariest part is that it's not just football. Oregon's basketball team, which is horrendous this year, is moving into the Matthew Knight Basketball Arena. Its brand new baseball team is already one of the best in the country.
Why do I have a bad feeling that it won't be long before Oregon is making the Final Four and College World Series every year?
Knight is making Oregon athletics his legacy, and that is a very scary thought. The fact of the matter is that it is already too late to stop him. Right as I am typing this, Phil Knight is making thousands of dollars, which will one day be given to the Oregon athletic department.
So just remember that the next time you are about to buy anything with Nike on it, you might as well be writing a check to Oregon football, basketball, baseball, and every other sport. On the other hand, these shoes would look awfully nice on me.
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