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Notre Dame Football Uniforms: A Madonna Blue Analysis

So much potential in this hue of blue

The combination of the gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish football helmet, navy blue jersey, and gold pants serves as a comforting constant in the exciting but sometimes overwhelming world of endless alternate unis, crazy colorways, and unnecessary camo. However, the bold and beautiful shade of Madonna blue has been one of a few ways the Irish have shaken things up in the image department, even though the color has had its own place in the university’s history all along.

So Totally ’80s

Gerry Faust introduced these stripes and this shade to the mix in 1981 after facilitating a dive through Notre Dame records and seeing the use of Madonna blue in particular as a school color. The stripes at the sleeves were the result of Faust giving some creative freedom to the players.

In 1984, the navy blue returned and remained, but the how and why of it all remains a mystery, as a 2020 OFD article concluded.

Mock-Up Magic and Fresh Fan Gear

There are some excellent throwback opportunities, here. Few Irish fans would complain about the immortality of the classic navy blue and gold combo, but few of them would turn down the chance to stock up on new swag, either.

I have not been able to get this Twitter find out of my mind. Graphic designer Colin Gallagher proves how clean an early ’80s throwback could be. Could Madonna blue and the classic gold be a little UCLA? Yes. Am I still obsessed? Yes. Someone get in touch with Under Armour, sign a few things, shut up, and take my money.

There’s been talk all over Twitter of the widespread jealousy of Marcus Freeman’s Under Armour gear, and I’ve experienced it myself. Brian Kelly’s polo in the above picture is a true gem. We could build the sweetest gear line around this piece. It would be so much more versatile than the tried and true navy, and a fun yet muted twist on tradition.

A Shamrock Series Contender?

While I love a good shot of green in a Shamrock Series alternate, I would love to see how the Irish could play up this vibrant shade in a future season. Just think of the fan gear. Whether it’s a subtle shoulder detail on a white jersey, or blue everywhere but a souped up gold lid, it would be a fun way to follow up some of the more minimalistic alternates of past seasons. After all, what color could pay better tribute to the lady on the dome?

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