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Notre Dame-Michigan Retro Uniforms Impress: You’re Going toBuy One

So, the 6-10-11 Retro Uniform Unveiling went off without a hitch.

Michigan held a short press conference (but not in the Big House as originally intended due to inclement weather) with a couple players modeling the Wolverines new duds.

More on those in a bit.

Now, on to the Notre Dame throwback uniforms. You can view three CGI pictures of the new creations right here.

I don’t want to brag or anything, but these are pretty much my brain child.

You’re welcome.

Remember during the Uniform History Pictorial and some of the changes I advocated? Well, Adidas and Notre Dame decided to implement several of them.

Here’s a blurb from the official school statement:

"Paying homage to the rich football tradition of Notre Dame football, the Irish "Under the Lights" Adidas uniform includes a white jersey with Kelly green lettering and two Kelly green shoulder stripes, old gold-colored pants, white socks with green stripes and white shoes. A large shamrock logo appears on the traditional gold helmet for the first time since the early 1960s. The years the Fighting Irish won National Championships are listed inside the bottom hem of the jersey."

Let me break down some of the changes as well as the uniform as a whole.

Shamrock Helmet

This is something I’ve been clamoring for in a one-off "big game-type of situation" for a long time. I know some people aren’t going to like it and The Streak for longest unchanged helmet will be finished (really though…who cares?), but I think it looks great.

The biggest thing with the helmet (and the uniform as a whole) is that they didn’t get too crazy with the shamrock or anything else. It’s pretty much the exact same one the team wore in the 1960’s, complete with keeping the gray facemasks.

The Jersey

So incredibly happy they decided to go with green numbers and trim and create the road green jersey that hasn’t been worn since the 1992 Sugar Bowl. Someone has been listening to me!

I also love that they didn’t outline the numbers in blue (like the Sugar Bowl version---never looked like an Irish jersey) or gold, and finally broke out the bright kelly green instead of the more forest green shade in use since 2005.

The simple green numbers on a white jersey look incredibly sharp.

The shoulder stripes I’m not crazy about, but there was potential there to really blow the whole uniform up and I’m glad they didn’t.

As have become the norm with modern jerseys, the shoulder stripes are short and don’t wrap all the way around like they used to back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

As a result, it looks kind of stupid, but at the same time the stripes are not as prominent and are barely noticeable from certain angles.

There are no ND monogram or team logos on the sleeves (or anywhere) which gives off a traditional look. Yet, squeezing in the TV numbers on the sleeves with stripes on the shoulders with these modern uniforms is always a tricky proposition with the limited space.

I love the Trefoil Adidas logo being used, although a staunch traditionalist wouldn’t want any logo on a "throwback" jersey. Still, if you squint, it kind of looks like a shamrock anyway.

Overall, this jersey is tremendous.

Pants

The official press release is saying the pants are old gold, instead of the modern metallic gold being worn since 1986.

They don’t look that way to me in the pictures, but I’ll take their word for it. They probably just removed the metallic aspect but kept the same shade of gold.

Either way, this is another change I’ve wanted and it’s something you kind of had to do to make it more a true retro look.

Socks

Simple, yet so effective.

Two plain Kelly green stripes to match the shoulder stripes on the jerseys. That is exactly what I designed in my masterpiece for the Uniform Survey.

It’s been decades since the Irish wore stripes on their socks, it fits with the throwback theme, and looks great.

Cleats

I didn’t even notice at first, but white cleats!

For the first time since the Faust era.

Once people start noticing I expect a lot of complaining (what else is new from our fan base, right?) but it’s not that big of a deal, especially for just one game.

If anything, it will be neat to see some Kelly green on the cleats.

It probably would have looked a little more authentic had they worn green socks with black cleats, but the heavy emphasis on white is really going to pop at night under the lights.

Final Thoughts

They really knocked this one out of the park as far as I’m concerned.

There could be some changes, there will be some complaining about parts of the design, but that was going to happen no matter what they did.

They kept the overall design simple and tasteful, while at the same time bringing in some eye-catching changes that are also true to Notre Dame’s past.

You really couldn’t ask for more if you were like me and wanted to see a cool modern looking uniform that paid homage to the past.

Like Michigan’s uniform, this really isn’t a specific throwback as much as it is a blending of a few different look from Irish history.

The helmet is from the early 1960’s, the jerseys from the late 50’s, the pants from pre-1986, the socks from the late 70’s into the 80’s, and cleats from the same period.

For all of the people complaining that this is just a lame example of the school being a revenue whore…really?

I have to pay $20 to park in a field a mile from the stadium on game day, but I’m supposed to get upset that the school is making money off of awesome merchandise (that I have the choice of buying or not buying) that I can proudly wear for years?

The players love it, recruits love it, and fans get to quench their thirst for new and cool merchandise while the University of Notre Dame makes some money to…oh I don’t know, fund scholarships, pay top professors, and be an elite academic institution.

And the football team can have nice things too! It’s not a sin.

On Michigan’s Retro Look

You can see a lot of pictures here if you would like, and like I told you, theirs look a lot better once they were put on the players with pads.

The striping doesn’t look as abrasive as it did on the replica versions leaked in previous days.

They also have the block "M" on the front, with a tiny number to the upper left chest area. Small numbers are on the helmet as well as gray facemasks.

Ours are better, but Michigan didn’t do too bad of a job either.

What’s more, the Wolverines just picked up two more 4-star recruits, and Hoke is really doing a great job with his first class in Ann Arbor.

"Under the Lights" on September 10th is going to be hyped, and then hyped some more.