It’s 2018, and much has changed in the aesthetic world of Notre Dame Football fandom.
- There’s a Stadium, but it now has a $500 million facelift, a video board, and an artificial playing surface.
- Our helmets, while no longer painted on Fridays by student managers, are proper gold to match the Dome. The pants, too, are a darker gold.
- The Shamrock Series is on hiatus currently, but we still see the special uniform every once-and-again at a neutral venue.
- NBC keeps nudging home games closer to primetime Saturdays.
The Shirt, too, has its traditions. We’ll see the latest incarnation on Friday, and the color is its chief selling point. But in 2018, we’re in the HDTV era, where aesthetics matter. If the school colors are blue and gold, there needs to be a vibrant third color option that is highly visible in the background and provides a bright contrast to the on-field participants.
You already know: The Shirt should be kelly green.
Enough of y’all have witnessed a game, whether in person or on television, where the crowd attire adds to the visual experience. So, taking a page from the “respectful innovation” playbook of recent Notre Dame aesthetics, let’s examine all the ways a concerted effort would make this successful:
- The Shirt goes kelly green every year.
- “But then annual sales would go down!” Ok, have the Bookstore limit sales of green shirts in the fall to the official current-year variety.
- “But then the weather gets cold!” Ask Under Armour (and other vendors) to produce fall runs of kelly green jackets, pullovers, sweaters, sweatshirts, knit hats, etc
- “Who would buy the same color shirt every year?” Hello Under Armour? Yeah, it’s Notre Dame again….listen, we have some students who need graphic design internships this summer because they’ll be designing the kelly green shirt for the following season. What’s that? Yes, we’ll send you those student names right away.
- “But what about rain?” Last I checked they made those plastic ponchos in a bright yellow, and since we’re not Michigan let’s give those a subtle color tweak for consistency, hm?
- “Won’t this hurt other merchandise sales?” When’s the last time y’all walked out of the Bookstore spending less than you anticipated walking in?
- “People will just wear other ND stuff or their own gear to games.” Great, and few colors stand out more than kelly green. So over time we’ll be encouraging a more visible coherent fanbase color.
- “But what will people wear to away games?” I don’t care — wear what you want. Just remember: bright colors stand out pretty well in visiting stadiums too (gesturing in the general direction of Athens, Georgia)
- “You’re just a Brian Kelly lover and then what will we do once he’s gone?” The only way I see this causing a problem is if Swarbrick hires Ron Burgundy as our next coach. Just about every other varsity squad leverages kelly green and the Fighting Irish moniker to its advantage. It’s time the football gameday experience follows suit.
- “What happens when we play a team wearing green?” There’s not one on the schedule between now and 2021.