The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 10-0 as they head into a (surprisingly) difficult matchup against the 12th ranked Syracuse Orange in Yankee Stadium. The big storylines before the season started and even this week revolve around both the questionable uniforms as well as Jack Swarbrick’s and the University’s decisions to have a neutral site home game.
When this was announced, the anxiety of fans was calmed mostly by the fact that this was seen as an easy game sandwiched between 2 powerhouse foes in the Florida State Seminoles and the USC Trojans. However, that narrative has completely shifted with the surprising success of the potent Syracuse offense. Despite the heightened anxiety of heading into the top matchup of two top 12 teams, I feel a general sense of calm, mostly because the Orange are so highly ranked.....and I will explain.
At the start of the season I pegged this game as one full of distractions and definite trap game. The uniforms screamed, “cursed”, and our opponent seemed like one that we would inherently overlook in anticipation for the season finale in Los Angeles. However, the big time matchup is something that will focus this team even more, to the point where the added elements of this game will serve as fuel. Brian Kelly’s team will undoubtedly be fired up for the game, and can and should use everything to hype them up more for this game. The uniform gimmick is something that is really cool for college players, despite what traditionalist say. I agree that these uniforms are not great, though they give something for the players to be genuinely excited about. As a former player, there was something special about the prospect of wearing alternate combinations, especially matte black helmets. Unfortunately, the Holy Cross Crusaders decided do do this after I left (sad), but regardless was something that I loved seeing. Weirdly, that game was also at Yankee Stadium, but I liked HC’s uniforms a litttttle bit better.
In general, players love different uniform combinations. It gives them a feeling of swag and appreciation that Notre Dame is spending significant amounts of time and money to design something that will be special for them (they also get to keep the gear, which is awesome). With all of that said, I believe all of these added elements (optimistic term for distractions) will inspire this team to come out with their hair on fire.
I immediately pegged this game as them, “Curse of the Black Helmets” game.....but have done a complete 180 and think this will inspire the Irish to have another statement victory. I believe the matchup, the venue, and the uniforms will all end up being positives, though I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts. Please vote and share your thoughts below!
Are The Added Elements of the Sharmrock Series a Distraction?
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Who cares, football is football