The Notre Dame Fighting Irish officially announced that their 2021 game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field in Chicago is in fact a Shamrock Series game.
Before I go any farther at all and for the millionth time — this isn’t about the alternate uniforms because I am fully on board with alternate uniforms as long as they don’t look like they’re borrowing some crappy baseball team’s unis.
For a few months now I have been adamant that this wasn’t a Shamrock Series game because they never once announced such a thing before. Of course, Notre Dame proved me wrong today and I can’t help but laugh at the silliness of why.
Because of the COVID season, the Shamrock Series game in Green Bay against Wisconsin was cancelled, and then recently rescheduled. That game was Notre Dame’s HOME game while this one in October is technically an away game.
But they just can’t let it go.
It was bad enough (borderline criminal) that these two games were scheduled off campus, but now Notre Dame is trying to squeeze bunt its way into some sort of marketing plot by saying this is a Shamrock Series game. It’s kind of how despite the Shamrock Series “starting” in 2009, it never had the name until 2011 when Notre Dame was trying to defend another neutral site game — but this time with fancy helmets. They rushed out a press release just a week or two beforehand — so this must seem like real progress.
Just explain away the noon start on Fox as the visiting team, because somehow this makes everything okay.
This is an abomination. At no point ever should Notre Dame vs Wisconsin be at a neutral site unless it’s in a bowl game. One of the greatest things about college football are the college football venues that are scattered across this great land. it’s called “a home and home” and no way was Wisconsin the lead culprit in this — it was us — it was Notre Dame and their deep seeded need to market a filet mignon as SUPER STEAK.
Just days ago, Notre Dame put out their sell job that fans should be overcome with joy that Notre Dame will never be higher than a 5 seed in the 12 team college football playoff because the Irish will have a great chance of hosting a playoff game. They really sold everyone that they should be excited about Coastal Carolina or Western Michigan or whatever because it’s at ND — and days later they are once again selling this fantastic matchup at boring ass Soldier Field.
Notre Dame even went so far as to put this in their release:
Neutral-site matchups are nothing new to the Notre Dame-Wisconsin series. The 1904 and 1905 games were played in Milwaukee, while legendary Irish head coach Knute Rockne led Notre Dame to a 19-0 victory over the Badgers on Oct. 19, 1929, at Soldier Field.
We’re really selling that something as “nothing new” because of games played 100 years ago? HORSE AND BUGGIES ARE NOTHING NEW TO AMERICA FOLKS!
It’s all semantics and marketing plots, but I suppose we already knew that. If you want to wear an alternate uniform — just wear the damn thing. Be proud of it, and don’t hide behind this whole “Shamrock Series” thing.
In the end, none of this matters, and yet the fact that Notre Dame tries to make it matter just continues to be silly to me. Can’t wait for the Ohio State series to be the next Shamrock Series in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. That’s awesome college stuff right there.
The logo looks nice though.