The line: Ya crossed it.

Mr. Swarbrick, I like you. I really do. But it’s a 2-6 Maryland team the Irish are facing this weekend. At a pro-football stadium in DC. Can we not just watch the Irish show up to the game without any gimmicks and kick some ass? Because that’s all the fans really want to see. That’s all that would be interesting.

Plus these helmets remind me of the scenes in my life that made “That 70s Show” resonate so strongly.

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  •!/PootND PootND

    As I said on twitter, the only gimmick so far this year was the Michigan game and
    1)Both teams used the retro uniforms
    2)It was for a big rivalry game

    The only other changes were:
    -The new helmets which took over a year to come to fruition and are definitely here for the long term
    -The in-game music which seems to be here for the the long term

    So, by my count, we’ve shown up in 8 of 9 games without using gimmicks. 7 of 9 if you want to be pedantic about the SC game.

    In short, as ugly as the helmet design is and as cool as the green facemasks are, there are bigger things to worry about with the program.

    • Matt Q. (DMQ)

      I agree. I wasn’t so much talking quantity as quality. This is awful. Partly because the design sucks worse than a typical 3 year old’s drawing of his house, and partly because we’re doing something beyond showing up and kicking the teeth of the opponent in for a game against a 2-6 Maryland team.

      •!/PootND PootND

        I like that the release explicitly states that we will be doing something special for all the neutral site games. That totally cuts off any exclamation of us doing this for a 2-6 team and makes it more so ND doing it for their neutral site game.

      • Nate

        You realize this has nothing to do with the opponent, and everything to do with that this is the “away-home” game? It’s not some ploy to get up for Maryland. It’s….what Poot says right below where I’m typing this…

    • paul o

      Stop complaining, the times are changing and are long overdue for Notre Dame. As a life long fan of 26 years it makes me sick to hear old time Notre Dame fans complain about change. I’m sick of a mediocre football team as well as listening to old fans say that the stadium doesn’t need sound enhancement. Do us all a favor and hand in your life long season tickets for you to sit there on a key third down and read the The Wall Street Journal. The full house backfield days are over. I’m sorry you are getting old and grumpy. the things you should care about are that Notre Dame becomes relevant, not a pa system, uniforms, field turf, nor jumbtron. go Irish!

  • tlndma

    Just win and then win again and then again.

  • DJ

    I’m not really a fan. However, I’m not going to use it as the latest reason to go on a psychotic rant, unlike other ND fansites.

    • Nate


      • pem55

        Man, you are a moron

        • trey

          Im fairly certain nate was being facetious.

      • Jose Kortez

        Or the New England Patriots?

  • SH

    Those are ugly but I’ll be honest:

    1. I don’t really care what the uniforms/helmets look like – it has been and always will be about the play on the field.

    2. It’s almost intentionally trying to piss off the folks at other fansites (Kelly’s gone too far!) and that really cracks me up.

    • Big J T

      “1. I don’t really care what the uniforms/helmets look like – it has been and always will be about the play on the field.”

      Exactly. The results in games with g gimmicky uniforms/other things this year have been shit-tacular.

  • Big Red

    They’re ugly. They look like those annoying memes that make the rounds of the interwebz. Plus I agree that a a) 2-6, b) Maryland team is nothing special for us and therefore should not be the recipient of ‘gimmicks’ that we would normally reserve for rivals (U$C, UM ) or traditional opponents (Army). Sad.

    • Nate


      • Big Red

        IT. SHOULD.

        • DJ

          Recall that Maryland was going to save their State Flag uniforms for this game, but the players wanted to wear them in the first game of the season. Which they did, to widespread scorn and ridicule. FWIW, the Maryland state flag is great, and could be the basis of a cool uniform. Perhaps not the one Maryland wore that night…

      • Matt Q.

        Doesn’t matter. You can bet Maryland will hype themselves up over it. It’s perception that matters.

        • Nate

          The same Maryland that changes their uniform every week? I don’t think they’ll read too much into a uniform change. 10 years ago that might have been valid. Oregon has changed everything.

  • SDI

    These one time deals aren’t worth getting worked up over. More permanent changes maybe, but not this.

    •!/PootND PootND

      I totally agree with you SDI. If this was some type of long-term change, I’d care way more

  • The Biscuit

    Fact is: they are butt ugly. If you want to go gimmick, fine, but execute it well. The new helmets were well executed. This is not.

    • MarkG

      They are, as you say, butt ugly. Also, probably expensive. Let’s save the dough and use it somewhere else (like more victory crab legs).

  • NDtex

    If we were wanting to slap a shamrock on something, why not the other helmet design? I just don’t get this.

  • miked

    Is change that bad, its one game.. their not that bad..

  • The Biscuit

    “Change” isn’t bad. In fact, I like the idea behind it – formalize our annual ‘special’ uniform. No problems with that. But some things are just poorly designed. This is one of them.

  • Pat

    Check out the pictures on Facebook. The one above is a terrible pic. They look a lot better in different light, and they’ll probably look great under the lights at FedEx on Saturday.

    Speaking of “gimmicks,” have you considered why the Irish are playing a HOME game in Maryland in the first place, with a pep rally on the National Mall? This program is trying to appeal to an audience further and wider than just the people that are already in the bag. It’ll be okay, guys.

  • Pat

    By the way, this doesn’t pertain to Saturday since we are technically the home team and could just elect to wear blue, but has anyone thought the whole white away jersey could use a reboot? I really think they are nothing special and have thought this for years. In other words, and I don’t want anyone to have a heart attack, but I think our away jersey “tradition” kind of sucks.

  • radirish

    Just win, baby.

  • Mark

    It would be a sweet bowling ball.

  • notredamegrad

    The picture on is much superior to the one Grooms tweeted (here) – looks extra garish under fluorescent lights, but I think they’ll look surprisingly great on the field with the green jerseys and white cleats. Unfortunately, this somehow made it onto the Yahoo homepage (there’s ND being irrelevant again) and they’re using the tweeted photo. Much to my surprise, the great majority of the first comments left on the Yahoo story were positive.

    Now let’s see ND crush MD with those helmets on…

  • Red

    I guess if you are going to release an ugly helmet you may as well do it against Maryland. They pride themselves on horrible uniforms.

  • DeepTeaKup

    Wow, when I first saw these I thought it was a joke. Those can’t be real.

  • Shea

    I’m going to wait for the full uniform to judge these helmets, anybody have any idea what the jerseys will look like on saturday night?

    • Matt Q. (DMQ)

      They already announced it’ll just be the regular “tech fit” green jerseys they’ve worn before.

      • MarkG

        But with gold sequins, and little bells on the sleeves, and blinking lights on the back that spell out “count on me,” and … wait … oh … we are saving those for the Car Care Bowl ….

  • Shea

    Bummer, I’d like to see the throwbacks ND wore against USC in ’07 make a comeback, maybe next year vs the U.

  • johns

    Wow, had to check the address bar in my browser. Thought I was on a NDNation message board with the above post. Maybe I will see it later as a tweet for @shitNDNationsays.

    Relax! It’s not like they changed the mascot to “the fighting doberman pinchser genatalia”

    • Matt Q. (DMQ)

      I think the key between my position and some more, shall we say “dogmatic” positions is that I’m all for tinkering. What I can’t stand is a lousy result. The helmet design is lousy, and screams “Prototype #1.”

    • MarkG

      If we bring back a dog, it will be Clashmore Mike!

  • Chuck

    The entire culture related with the “game” of football lives in the Tower of Babel, where NO ONE understands nor cares about any other person and about living in harmony and goodwill.
    ALL football forums are fetid with hate even among supposed partisans of the same team. Just look into the mirror after taking off the pink lenses.

  • trey

    You know, maybe this whole debacle is jus swarbrick doing the Maryland AD ‘a solid?’ is there any debate who owns the absolutely most garish uni’s in CFB? Maybe Jack ha a meeting andthe Mary guy pleaded, ‘Look, Jack, we tried to do something new and exciting and it all just went to hell. Now, not only do our fans not care about the program and we’ve resorted to selling tix to our biggest game of the year on Living Social for pennies, but we’re also the laughingstock of the CFB world. Do you think you could do ANYTHING to take some of the heat off?’

  • pem55

    People, people, people, a lot of you are getting worked up over nothing. It seems to be that this is going to be the look for all of the so called ‘barn storming’ games. The games that are being played at neutral sites, with ND being the home team. ND wore the green uniforms against Army at Yankee Stadium, they are going to wear the same green uniforms against Maryland. That is all. You can expect to see the green jerseys in Chicago next year and in Dallas in 2013. Stop getting your panties in a bunch.

  • Mark

    When you do ignoratn stuff like this you cease to be Notre Dame and just become one of a bumnch of faceless equipment marketing gimmick colleges. I wanted to believe Notre Dame was above this. It used to be.

  • Mark

    Geeze, nice spelling/typing by me. My bad.

  • art

    I visited two guys last night.

    Here is my diary entry of 11/7/2011:

    “Love what we’re doing with the unis, helmets and the music and all that. I hope they adjust our name and colors too.”

    So what if we once had the best looking uniform in all sports. Addidas knows best. That’s pretty clear.

    After all they were right at Rockne’s elbow in the 1920s and early 30s and part of ND tradition for the past 80 odd years when the Irish grew their mystique. They were whispering in Leahy’s ear no doubt in the 40s. My uncle is one of the ‘golden boys’ ’46-’49. He and Johnny just looked sad at the news of all this. The reputations of all those warriors so diminished, they felt.

    But I reminded them of how we should change with the times. We should be a follower not a leader. Those silly guys and their four national championships. Sheesh! I told them BK knows best.

    So after awhile they “saw the light” and began to get the idea. They saw the decals and the other stuff as warm fuzzy happy images for today’s world. We then began applying it to other things. If it works for ND it should work for anyone. Right?

    As we watched MNF, we started wondering why the Bears didn’t have a ‘Monsters of Midway Series’ uniform with glow sticks sprouting out of their helmets and glow-in-the-dark numerals. They could shut off the stadium lights and it would be eerie. The ball could glow too. I saw a glowing ball in a little kids flag game recently. It would work I tell you! Also neon orange shoes looked good.

    More orange neon!! That’s what we needed too at ND, obviously.

    It was all so plain to see now.

    We thought that maybe ND could get some for the Sat. night game? Oh dare to hope! We need circus-attraction styling. I’m sure Michigan and USC do that too…oh wait, they don’t! That’s right they don’t need to. But we do for gosh’s sakes.

    At the end of the evening we were unanimous: ND should jazz it up, change the pants to green to match the facemask and add some orange tiger stripes on the jerseys and maybe some catchy names on the back of their jerseys, like “muffin” “sweety-pie” and ‘blondie”. Yeah. BK could have “stay classy” on his.

    And this whole name thing….ND Fighting Irish. We started thinking of something powerful and manly to fit BK. Like “Hurricanes” or “Beavers”. We kicked around several names and decided on “Hurricane”. It’s edgy. And “The Bend” would describe the location of the team in a very “now” manner.

    So we could have a team called “Hurricane from The Bend” (HFTB) wearing mostly green and orange. Soooo Sweet!

    Those guys back in the day never were clever enough to think of all this cool stuff. They were caught up in the pride of representing our lady; and they spent all their time practicing and playing games that they won. Not only did they win them all, they never trailed in a game.

    Big deal. We got decals baby!

    So our night ended with smiles and handshakes. We understood. “Go HFTB!”

    We went home to our beds all happy, warm and snuggly.

    And this morning I wrote it all down for you.

  • Erik ’04

    Times have changed, Mark, I guess. None of the recruits were alive during the last ND championship, the last ND heisman, etc. You can’t just say “well duh it’s Notre Dame” anymore. Not that we’re irrelevant, it’s just a sign of the college football culture. I’m with MQ. I don’t mind tinkering with fun ideas for these neutral site games, as long as it’s not permanent and as long as it actually works. I’m interested to see how the green facemasks look on TV. Didn’t even notice that until it was mentioned.

    • trey

      I like the SB nation article. Why is it always a Shamrock? Thats one of the big issues to me…it goes hand in hand with Irish Green and ISEP, everything ND has to Disneyfied/Family friendly. This has to freaking stop. I dont love logos on the Domes because the plain gold works. See our rection to the new paint job. Those were just a plain old single color but they ROCK! however if we HAVE to have a logo, why not the Monogram or the leprechaun?

      • trey

        You know who else rocks a leaf as their mascot? Freaking Canada…

  • MarkG

    I was just thinking, “oh crap, can you imagine the shit we are going to get from other fans, like the guys at EDSBS.” And then I went to their site and saw this:

  • TNT’65

    That helmet looks like a place marked in a Plastic Monopoly game!

    We are letting these vendors whore our tradition and it only makes them money.

    This “Crosses the Line” by a 100 miles!

  • Randy

    That is a sad looking helmet. This constitutes “special”? This so crosses any line that I can imagine. Did the Under Armor Dude come up with this?

  • domer90


    GO IRISH!!!

  • Sean F

    To Quote Poot from the Wire:

    “Does the chair recognize we gonna look like some punk-ass bitches?”