Nike Air Max '97 OG: Worlds Collide, Are You A Silver Bullet?

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By Dionte' Johnson / @DionteSays

What is a Silver Bullet? The phrase has so many uses and interpretations but has lived in two neighboring worlds for years. Growing up, I was always told that the original colorway of the Nike Air Max 97 was a nod to the invention of Japanese Bullet Trains. Up until two years ago, had you asked me the inspiration behind the AM97 nickname "Silver Bullet", without hesitation, you would have received that answer from me too. I was later surprised to find out that the shoe that I hold so high in the food chain of "most important shoes of all time" was, in fact, inspired by something far less exciting.

Photo Credit: James Drakeford/@JamesDrakeford

Drawing inspiration from titanium frames with silver aluminum finishes on mountain bikes, Nike designer Christian Tresser was able to create this classic sneaker design that may have had its fair share of critics but is undeniable in its positive impact on the sneaker industry. So, why is it nicknamed the 'Silver Bullet'?. We have to agree with a recent Complex article by Gary Warnett: our only guess is that it sounded a lot better than Silver Bicycle.

The words 'Silver Bullet' together are indeed a globally known household phrase. Whether referring to urban folklore and Werewolf-stopping bullets or actual trains that can practically teleport you from one destination to another, these two words have been embedded in popular culture for generations. However, what 'Silver Bullet' means to Ohio is a completely different story. In Ohio, athletics reign supreme. Within these state lines, there is one particular sport that rules the land, air and the waters; that sport is Football. And you cannot mention football in this great state without mentioning The Ohio State University.

Photo Credit: James Drakeford/@MrKingJD

The nickname 'Silver Bullet(s)' doesn't have a meaning correlating to its design, nor does it represent grace and beauty. In fact, there is nothing pretty about the group of guys who assume the nickname each passing Fall season. Here in Ohio the name represents a group of trained marksmen who take the field of battle week in and week out to seek and destroy birds, mammals and other mythological creatures, in particular, wolverines. Here in the heart of America, the two words represent The Ohio State University Football Defense, and maybe I am a little biased, but it is not by chance that something so bold, groundbreaking and visually appealing in the sneaker world would share a nickname with a defense that has time and time again brought millions to their feet in awe. I don't believe that it is ironic at all.

Photo Credit: James Drakeford/@JamesDrakeford

I believe Nike knew. They always know. Now ask yourself, Are you a Silver Bullet?

The Nike Air Max 97 OG QS "Silver Bullet" releases on April 13th, 2017 at 11 a.m. in-store only at Sole Classics. First come, first serve. Retail $170. Purchases will receive one complimentary ticket to the 2017 Ohio State Spring Football Game. The photography and direction was completed James Drakeford and future NFL Linebacker Raekwon McMillian (@Kwon_DaTruth) is the model in the pictures.

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