After Notre Dame teased us with the release of five different swatches, the Shamrock Series uniforms were finally revealed at today’s media day.
Before I get into my reactions and opinions, and before the internet explodes with opinions on them, I want to point a couple things out. First, as media day kicked off, Reggie Brooks commented that the players loved them. Further, he commented that if the players like their look, it adds to a positive attitude which can indeed lead to better play on the field. Reggie also admitted that, even though there weren’t many jersey changes in his time, both himself and his teammates tried to make any minor changes they could to get a similar feeling.
So the target demographic, the players, love this. We all got that? Good. Let’s get to the new look:
Overall, I like it.
The jersey is simple. Beyond “IRISH” being prominently displayed and a little different font and a gold color for the number, very little has changed from our home jersey. The blue works, and the gold number pops.
The undershirt is an interesting compliment to the jersey as well. I’m not a fan of designs being exposed on sleeves, but keeping it to the number is a lot more bearable. In fact, One Foot Down had a similar concept that included just this. Again, it’s a simple change that works and is a lot more “jersey-like” than putting a logo or another design on it. It’s a change I can deal with, even if I’m not the biggest fan of the idea.
The gloves though, I am a fan of. Gloves are usually a safe area to play around with. Even “old school” gloves had multiple colors often and these days, a “dual palm” design is standard. So really, not too much out of the norm here; in fact, kudos to us finally getting some gloves with a blue and gold color scheme instead of just white with colored accents.
The pants are a radical change. Gone is the single color, but the large blue stripe with white piping works. It ties all the elements of the uniform together, right down to the leprechaun logo on the helmet (which again, I will get to later). Personally, I like stripe designs on pants, so I’m a little biased here. I could’ve done without it being so large, but I assume the intent was to have the leprechaun logo be rather prominent.
The socks, uh…well, let’s just say I don’t understand the purpose of differing designs on the front and back. The colors again, work, but the dual design is just so strange to me. I’m a fan of sticking with one design and sticking with it. Then again, they are socks, so this doesn’t move the needle for me too much even if I do think they are overly tricked up.
The cleats are great. I love the design and the gold and white accents are great. Zero complaints here.
Now, the helmet….I’m on the fence somewhat.
Here’s my issue with the helmet. It looks like two decent helmets combined into one (and asymmetrically at that). I can see the logic here: try to tie in the leprechaun logo into the uniform, but try to retain the standard of a gold helmet. Doing a leprechaun logo on gold would look awful (especially when it is already on a blue background on the pants and gloves) and I’m not sure if sticking to the solid gold helmet would make it look much better with that much blue going on in the uniform. Personally, I would’ve gone with the navy/leprechaun side of the helmet as the entire helmet; however, taking the gold out of the helmet completely would’ve likely received even more backlash so I can understand the compromise.
However, I will say this, the picture doesn’t do the helmet justice. Having Eifert and T’eo walk out on stage to reveal them makes it look so much better. Especially in comparison to last year when Grooms, though well intentioned, took a very unprofessional shot of the helmet, immediately dinging opinion of it into the negatives (which didn’t help an already bad helmet). Being able to see how the uniform actually looks on the players makes a world of difference, especially with such a radical helmet design.
To me, this uniform and the entire process surrounding it, shows that ND is really learning how to better work in these changes. From the entire reveal process to the actual design, the improvement this year in comparison to last year’s disastrous execution is very encouraging.
Bottom line though:
“The Shamrock Series is a great opportunity for our football program to play in an exciting venue located in an area with so many Notre Dame fans,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “This year’s game at Soldier Field will be part of an incredible weekend for the University in Chicago and will be a great experience for our team. The players absolutely love the uniforms designed by Adidas for this game and they will help make it a memorable night.” ~ via Notre Dame Press Release
And really, that’s all that matters.
Full Press Release:
ADIDAS AND NOTRE DAME UNVEIL NEW TECHFIT FOOTBALL UNIFORMS FOR SHAMROCK SERIES
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – August 16, 2012 – adidas and the University of Notre Dame today unveiled new TECHFIT football uniforms that the Irish will wear Oct. 6 when they host the Miami Hurricanes at Soldier Field in Chicago for this year’s Shamrock Series game.
This marquee contest is Notre Dame’s second annual Shamrock Series event, an off-campus home game, and will kickoff at 7:30pm ET on NBC This marks the fourth straight year Notre Dame has played an off-site home game. The Irish previously have played in San Antonio, New York City and Washington, D.C. Notre Dame will play in Dallas in 2013.
“The Shamrock Series is a great opportunity for our football program to play in an exciting venue located in an area with so many Notre Dame fans,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “This year’s game at Soldier Field will be part of an incredible weekend for the University in Chicago and will be a great experience for our team. The players absolutely love the uniforms designed by adidas for this game and they will help make it a memorable night.”
Notre Dame’s new adidas TECHFIT football uniform is a modern take on the classic blue jersey and features gold metallic numbers and IRISH in a Celtic font. The bright gold helmet is split with a blue section highlighting a large white Leprechaun graphic. Notre Dame’s gold pants feature a blue stripe on the left leg and the updated Leprechaun graphic. The team’s adidas TECHFIT base layer features gold numbers on the sleeves and the Leprechaun graphic on chest. The updated interpretation of the classic Notre Dame Leprechaun logo also appears on the team’s adizero Smoke gloves.
“Notre Dame’s Shamrock Series is one of the most highly anticipated games of the season and this year marks the first time we’ve created a head to toe new look for theIrish,” said Mark Daniels, director of football for adidas America. “To celebrate the historic matchup at Soldier Field, we worked with the Irish to create a bold new uniform that honors the school’s rich football tradition and bright future in a modern way.”
Notre Dame’s adidas TECHFIT jersey features multiple innovations to reduce the weight of the jersey by 30 percent, including a streamlined fit, new fabric, reduced seams and an ultra lightweight numbering system. In addition, the adidas TECHFIT jersey keeps players cool with integrated ventilation zones and moisture management fabric. Reduced seams and a restriction-free, high-stretch collar design increases range of motion to support player agility and speed.
adidas Notre Dame Shamrock Series jerseys and fan gear, including men’s, women’s and youth apparel, hats and accessories will be available this fall at Follett, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Champs Sports, Football Fanatic, Fans Edge and Kohl’s.
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adidas Football develops high-performance and lightweight football cleats, apparel and accessories for some of the top players and teams in the game including more than 70 collegiate football programs. adidas is a global designer and developer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world.