The Notre Dame Fighting Irish road uniforms are in need of an overhaul. Ok, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Upset? Incredulous? Confused? That’s fine. Let’s also address this: Notre Dame’s standard home uniforms are a classic and should not be touched in any major way. The 1988 throwbacks that Notre Dame rolled out his year were a move in the right direction and should be the primary home kit moving forward. Fans can quibble over the color of the pants, white or black shoes, and other small features, but the home uniform doesn’t need much help.
The road uniforms are another story. For as classic as the home uniforms are the road uniforms are just as plain. There’s no real distinguishing factor about the current road uniform set up. This makes them feel too generic. Notre Dame could approach a change to the road uniforms in two ways; one would be a safer angle to keep gold seaters as happy as possible. The other would be a more extreme change but well within the school’s current branding. Let’s take a brief look at both.
Option 1: Simple and sweet
The 1992 Sugar Bowl inspired look is the safer of the two options that won’t make the always angsty Notre Dame fan base squirm as much. There aren’t many changes to the base road uniform here. The obvious major change is the numeral color going from navy blue to green with navy piping and the socks would go to green as well. Notre Dame could opt to amp up this look by incorporating elements of the 2018 College Football Playoff uniforms and go with green shoes and the metallic gold piping around the new green numbers. Another bonus is that using the 1992 Sugar Bowl look carries some cachet as drawing from a uniform that the Irish wore during an important and memorable bowl win. If Notre Dame were ever to make a move on the road uniform these would seem to be the direction the university would take. The most boxes are checked here and would cause the least amount of controversy.
Option 2: Golden is thy fame
Are you done hyperventilating yet? Notre Dame, if they wanted to make a big change to the road uniform, could go with a callback to the 2013 Shamrock Series against Arizona State with this very clean white on white look. I would make the suggestion that the university stay with the current helmet rather than use the helmet shown above, however. The 2013 shamrock look aligns with some of the changes the university has made in terms of branding in the recent seasons. The metallic gold plays into the look we saw the team use in the College Football Playoff after the 2018 season and the kelly green works with direction the university has taken with the 2015 Shamrock Series, the 2018 green jersey game against FSU, and the “Irish Wear Green” push the university has made in recent seasons. The one major downside to these is that there would be a very stark contrast and disconnect between the standard home and road uniforms and you risk the university feeling pressure to re-design the home uniforms as a result. I’m not sure that’s a risk worth taking.
Keep checking in here at One Foot Down all week for more uniform talk and be sure to check out our podcast where Josh, Jude, and Brenden take a deep dive look at all thing Notre Dame uniform related!