clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Notre Dame Football: Ranking every green Fighting Irish uniform

Which of the Irish’s glorious green alternates are the best, and which are the worst?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 17 Cal at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I am a sucker for our green uni’s. I hate to glorify a loss, but when the Irish went in from warm-ups with blue and ran out in the green against USC - 8-year-old me’s mind was absolutely blown. It is something I will never forget and it had a cool factor at the time that will be hard to ever match. Ever since then, I have been a proponent of wearing green more often, even when it seemed everyone else thought it would be bad luck. So I went through every green jersey Notre Dame has worn and put them in order from my least favorite to my most. These are uniforms where with numbers or the jersey itself is green. So the Shamrock or other green items/details on the standard blue or white jersey does not count. Those have a special place in my heart though. I may have to do a list of ones I would like the Irish to do now, maybe as part of Freeman’s “touch” to the uniform. The only other caveat is that these are from 1977 onward. Notre Dame wore green in the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, and once in the ’60s. The thing is - we do not have colored picture evidence of any of that. It makes it a bit hard to judge a green jersey if it doesn’t look green no matter how much I would’ve liked to. We will go from worst to best and when it’s all done you can tell me why I’m wrong.

2016 Army Green

Army v Notre Dame Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

I don’t feel I need to justify my reasoning on this. Why? Just why? You could’ve done something with these uniforms. The issue is they chose all of those somethings and just slammed them together. On their own, the Army green, matte gold, or unique helmet may have worked, but they mashed it all together into one big terrible soup of a uniform.

2011 The Ugly Bowl

Notre Dame v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

For this, I feel like the designer at Adidas couldn’t think of any way to tie this game or these two teams together in any way so they just said let’s make them just as ugly as Maryland. The only reason this isn’t last is because I have a soft spot for the jersey itself (we will get to that later). What were they thinking with this helmet? I love the Shamrock but these things should be burned. The twisted gold look combined with a facemask I still have yet to distinguish the color of. Is it black, dark green, or navy blue? I still can’t tell but it’s awful. Plus the undershirts were a weird pale gold color. At least with Maryland, the uniform is ugly for a reason, there was absolutely no reason for this atrocity.

1970/80’s Green Away

University of Notre Dame vs University of Texas, 1978 Cotton Bowl Set Number: X22036

Full disclosure the next 4 were all extremely close. These are ones I love aspects of but one or two things maybe not so much. This one I like a lot, I love the idea of white with green numbers. This one falls just short because some of the ones higher on my list do this better in my opinion. Also since it’s one of the oldest on the list it’s more plain than others. That is not entirely a bad thing, I like it and think it would be a cool throwback uni to try one season.

2018+ Green Alt

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 10 Florida State at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I want to like this one so much more. It’s the most recent version of the green jersey, and I love the green they chose for it. The problem is the blue numbers seem to clash with the gold pants and helmet. I think if this jersey had gold numbers on it, it would flow so much better. Green jersey with gold numbers is one of my two favorite number/jersey color combos that Notre Dame has done and I feel they missed an opportunity here. The white names in ‘22 I liked more, and improved it for me a bit (hint hint), but not enough to separate it from the original.

2015 The Green Monster

Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Another one, oh so close. This jersey took the navy blue numbers and made it flow better by adding stripes to the numbers, collar, and pants. The helmet also took some of the navy blue which also helps with that flow. If they would’ve just chosen a different green this uniform would’ve been much higher. Depending on the lighting sometimes the green looked decent, other times it looked almost more teal-ish. Maybe it’s just me, but either way, these are better than our current ones and I would rather have these.

1970/80’s/07 The “Joe Montana”

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Football - NCAA - Notre Dame vs. USA Photo by John Pyle/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

At first, I was going to separate the 70/80’s version from the ‘07 USC version, yes the green is slightly different but overall I like them about the same so we will group them together. This one takes all the reasons I liked 70/80s away and does it better. It could just be because it’s more iconic than the white with green numbers, I’m not sure. Something about that yellow #3 just looks right. I really would like them to do this as a throwback again one season but who knows if that would ever happen. Look how clean Zibby looks out there, I guess if you’re gonna get beat look good while doing it.

The 1990s/2000s Green Alt

Autry Denson #23
Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There are also slightly different variations of green depending on which you look at (95,99,02) but again I like them all about the same so I’ll keep them together. They all have the same white numbers and interlocking ND on the shoulders which I love. The 90s versions have the Golden Dome with the ND on the collar. Which they should bring back by the way, or at least something on the collar again. The Golden Dome, a shamrock, the interlocking ND - they all looked sweet.

1990s Green Away

Notre Dame Jerome Bettis, 1992 Sugar Bowl SetNumber: X42308

I love a white jersey with green numbers. I’ll say it again, I love a white jersey with green numbers(trying to manifest here). It’s something I feel has not been done nearly enough and every time it is, it’s hit out of the park. I can’t tell you why I like it so much, maybe it is because it’s not done as much as the other green jersey/number combos. All I know is that it’s my favorite (hint hint). I may be in a small minority here but I think that our standard away uniforms should be white jerseys with green numbers. At the very least I hope we get an alternate like this soon.

2005 Green Alt

NCAA Football - USC vs Notre Dame - October 15, 2005 Photo by Michael Hickey/WireImage

I know some people hate the green on this one (and in regards to having it on a uniform today I would tend to agree) but when I was a kid this was the coolest jersey I had ever seen and it wasn’t even close. Before Nike Pro Combat or when Oregon went nuts, there were these beauties. The gold numbers on this one are chef’s kiss and go together extremely well with that kind of gold helmet. You know I had both my Brady Quinn #10 and Darius Walker #3 jerseys in this color. Once again I hate to glorify a loss, but if you take everything about the game away these are awesome.

2011 Under the Lights

Notre Dame v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Now this my friends is how you do a green Notre Dame jersey. Unfortunately, again it’s a game where you have to suppress just about every memory about it to avoid the pain. The uniforms on the other hand are absolute perfection in my book. The white jersey with green numbers, the type of green, the shamrock on the helmet, the stripes on the shoulder, and even the throwback Adidas logo all go perfectly together. Like I said with the 90s green away - I think a style like this should be our away uniforms permanently. Even for me, the Shamrock can stay. Even though I know that’s not necessarily the consensus with everyone else. Regardless I’d go far as to say this may be may favorite uniform overall point-blank, period.

Which are your favorites? Do you think green jerseys should be incorporated more or less?