The Shamrock Series Part One
As preparations are made for Notre Dame's neutral site game against Maryland at FedEx Field, it was a foregone conclusion that the Fighting Irish would wear green jerseys.
Some thought the green would come out against USC a few weeks ago, but since they didn't many suggested it would just become an annual tradition for Notre Dame to wear emerald for their barnstorming games.
Now, it has become a partnership with Adidas.
Welcome to the Shamrock Series.
The biggest news of all?
Shamrocks on the helmets of course---again.
Oh boy, this could get ugly.
Here's the breakdown:
There will be new shamrock helmets with a leprechaun on the back (we'll get to those in a second) as well as the same green jerseys and gold pants worn last year against Army.
The team will also wear new Adizero gloves with gold palms and shamrock logo as well as white cleats.
The Irish will also feature "various uniforms" throughout the annual Shamrock Series games in the future against Miami next year at Soldier Field, and Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium in 2013.
This is a lot to digest, so let's break it all down.
The Concept and Idea is a Good One
In the statement released by the school it was announced that Notre Dame will wear its regular uniforms for the rest of the upcoming seasons, and have these neutral site Shamrock Series be the change of pace.
There's nothing wrong with that.
In fact, with Notre Dame's traditions, it's probably the safest most acceptable route to take.
The traditionalists get the blue and gold the vast majority of the time, and the progressives get their new uniforms once a year.
This also takes the difficult task of breaking out the green as a "surprise" or for "big games" out of the equation, and allows the coaching staff and team to just continue the tradition of wearing green without much of a fuss.
Created in Partnership with Adidas---Presented by Sprint
The corporate manner in which this was announced is going to bother some people.
Well, probably a lot of people.
The university probably should have gone about this in a different way.
This is bad, real bad.
- The shamrock is bloated, fat, and far too big.
- The new gold is unnecessary and a big head scratcher after working so hard to get a new gold for the "regular" helmets.
- The biggest mistake---green facemasks. As much as people will point to other aspects, this is truly the biggest slap in the face of tradition. Notre Dame has worn nothing but gray facemasks, and the worst part is the green doesn't even match the shamrock.
Luckily, Maryland will likely wear something far more eye bleach worthy, but Notre Dame is going to be part of the fashion faux pas nonetheless.
With the green facemask, the helmet looks cheap and something a JV team in Pennsylvania would wear in imitation of Notre Dame.
After finally wearing the sharp kelly green with the UTL uniforms against Michigan this year, the Irish will revert back to the crappy hunter green uniforms with the dumb gold numbers. Throw in the white cleats, and the shamrock not matching the rest of the uniform and you have a recipe for ugliness.
Then Again---It's Not the End of the World
Despite the frenzy these helmets are already firing up, it's not the end of the world.
Sure they are ugly, and we'd be better off just scrapping the idea, but we'll move on after Saturday.
It's just one game.
Of course, the chatter is already turning to how Swarbrick & Co. can't do anything tastefully and all sorts of Doomsday scenarios are being bandied about.
Everyone just take a deep breath---it's going to be okay.
Some people are going to like this (probably including the players), most of us are not going to like it, but it will be just one game. If they are hideous this year, maybe it will look better next year at Solider Field. After all, the stadium music experience stunk in game one, and got better for game two.
It might be hard to realize right now, but this could be a cool annual tradition.
But you have to have a sharp and appealing design for that to happen.