Irish Wear Green: Will Notre Dame’s Latest Green Out Work?

It’s Official.  The “Green Out” is coming to Notre Dame Stadium. A movement that started back in June, has now publicly been endorsed by Head Coach Brian Kelly, the players, students, and fans.

In case you are unaware, the “Green Out” or the “Irish Wear Green” campaign is the University attempting to get fans to wear green in large numbers to the season opener against Michigan.

“We are listening to what our students wanted,” Brian Kelly said earlier this month. “ It started back in April with our shirt. As you know, the shirt is green,” he added. “They wanted that to be emblematic of a color that was outside maybe our opponents at home, and so we’ve taken that, we’ve listened to their wants and desires to be unified in that stadium with a color, and obviously the green is the one that they have chosen.”

This isn’t the first time Notre Dame has attempted this spectacle. Just five years ago an attempt for a “Green Out” against Oklahoma was a total failure. But under new circumstances, will this year’s “Green Out” of South Bend be a success? Notre Dame has their work cut out for them.

Significance of this Matchup

When the Fighting Irish and Wolverines clash, it will have major College Football Playoff implications. Both teams are ranked in the top 15, and since these programs haven’t squared off in four years, the anticipation has caught the eye of College GameDay. The entire crew will be returning to South Bend for the first time since 2012.

The last time that Jim Harbaugh or the Michigan Wolverines won in South Bend was back in 2010. During that meeting, the Wolverines were coached by Rich Rodriguez. Conversely, Jim Harbaugh was coaching a Stanford Cardinal team led by Andrew Luck, that left South Bend with a 37 to 14 victory.

Under Jim Harbaugh Michigan is a paltry 1-5 against their 2 main rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Harbaugh gets his first taste of the Michigan Notre Dame Rivalry in week one. The biggest storyline of this game will be Michigan’s new transfer quarterback Shea Patterson, who has been hyped up the entire offseason. Experts say that he is the missing piece that Michigan has desperately needed the past few years.

Many believe this is the year that the Wolverines will make the playoffs, and lots of experts have picked Michigan in this matchup. The key advantage for the Irish will be playing in their home, the house that Rockne built. Perhaps the “Green Out”, if successful, will give the Irish a mental edge.

Oklahoma at Notre Dame 2013 Failure

After Oklahoma fans striped out Notre Dame in 2012 with Red and White checkered stripes, the Notre Dame fans responded with a “Green Out” of their own when the Sooners came to visit in 2013. Instead of a stadium full of green shirts, the stands were filled with navy, white, grey, gold, and every color of merchandise available. Oh yeah, there was a healthy bit of Sooner Red as well. The build up for this event only took place a few weeks prior, and never fully reached the masses.

Will the Irish wear green jerseys?

According to Brian Kelly, Notre Dame will be wearing their traditional Home Blue Jerseys. “I have not made a decision on that. My sense is, there’s going to be plenty of green in that stadium. Our home jerseys are blue. I love that tradition,” Kelly said at his opening presser for fall camp.”

He did leave a little wiggle room though.  “Unless something happens drastically in my thought process, you know, we’ll wear our traditional blue coming into that game.”

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

If they do wear green, it wouldn’t be the first time they did it as a surprise. In 1977, the Irish warmed up in their traditional uniforms, but went into the locker room to find green jerseys awaiting them. After players ran onto the field, Notre Dame Stadium went berserk and the rest is history. The same occurred in 2005 for the USC game when the Irish warmed up in blue but came out in their hunter green jerseys.

Although Brian Kelly has denied rumors, wearing green jerseys is something that is supposed to be a surprise, not something that a coach announces 50 days before a big game. Green Jerseys are something that the coach shocks the players with right before the game. Still, the odds of this happening at least appear low at the moment.

For the full effect, Notre Dame would need to come out wearing green jerseys after they went through warmups in the traditional navy jerseys.

Color Outs the Irish have Faced

The Fighting Irish have been the road team for several of these Color Outs, which present an astonishing visual appearance and hostile environment.

  • Penn State Nittany Lions: White Out (2007)
  • Oklahoma Sooners: Red and White Stripe Out (2012)
  • Michigan Wolverines: Yellow Out (2011 and 2013)
  • Michigan State Spartans: Green and White Stripe Out (2017)

Unfortunately it’s easier for these schools to support a Color Out, because they don’t have nearly as much colors associated with their athletic teams.

Marketing the “Green Out”

In order for this project to work, Notre Dame will need to do more than social media marketing. I have no doubt in my mind that everyone who is on social media is aware of Notre Dame’s efforts. However, there is a large group of older fans that may never see this message, and even if they do, would not be persuaded on supporting the cause.

Notre Dame could market the “Green Out” on their tickets which would be a great way to guarantee all the fans were informed, but that ship has likely sailed. Perhaps the University could give the fans green t-shirts, but that would be costly. Maybe Notre Dame will provide towels (ND USC 2011) or pom-poms (ND BC 2011). That might be a more realistic option, but that campaign would likely need a sponsor.

Will it Work?

This remains to be seen. The movement has been going on for several months and has gained the support of everyone associated with the football team. However, the “Green Out” is dependent on two factors. First, have Notre Dame fans sold their tickets like they did last year against Georgia? Secondly, has the University marketed the event in a way that reaches the entire Notre Dame fan base?

I believe that we will see a majority of the Irish fans in the stands sporting green – easily more than 2013 when Notre Dame barely marketed the effort. How much Notre Dame Navy (white, grey, gold) and Michigan Blue will be in the stands? We’ll find out soon!

Notre Dame has never pulled off a green out.  If this endeavor works, it’ll be the first time and it could give the Notre Dame players an added mental edge. At the same time, if the “Green Out” fails, that edge could be headed Michigan’s way.If it doesn’t work, it’s also very likely that such efforts won’t ever work for Notre Dame unless they go all in.

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  1. What color is a win? Do you guys have a football team or a box of Lucky Charms? I would suggest uniting in your love of your team with your voices during the game. It is proven effective especially when the opposition has the ball deep in its own territory. You’ll find that what color shirt youre wearing won’t even matter… but if I have a vote, I would go with the purple horseshoes.

  2. Irish fans are notoriously bad at this sort of thing I’ve noticed. This has been going on at other schools for years.

    As for mental edge, sure, I imagine in any football game, even NFL, it helps to have the fans at your back (Hell, that is probably the case in any sport).

    And it can go the other way like last year when they let Georgia take over the stadium. As it is we already ‘lost’ a home game with the whole Shamrock series thing. No matter what the fans wear don’t let Michigan fans steal another home game

  3. I think it would be great to see a green out ! Although based on past experience, Notre Dame season ticket holders tend to trade their loyalty for money in big games. Last years Georgia game was embarrassing!

  4. I don’t think the team needs to do this as other ND teams have in the past. Just let the team wear the same color as the rest of the student body (if the team wants to do it). Come out for the warmups in green…no surprise intended or needed.

    As for the 60,000 other ND fans…there will be a lot of green (but not the solid block you’ll see in the student sections). If the weather is wet or cold, you’ll see all different colored windbreakers, etc. So what? As a descendent of Irish immigrants, I must say that it is almost as annoying to have someone pressuring me to wear green as it is to have someone telling me we should not wear green. Let the team vote on it guys…it’s that simple!

    BGC ’77 ’82

  5. I think it is a great effort! College football is an emotional game that hinges on small advantages. We are pretty equally matched with Michigan by what I read. Can we get some unity to back our gladiators? The excitement in the stadium could be the difference that drives Yoon’s 53 yard winner through the upright!

  6. No one would have noticed you under the bus. But, then who in their right mind would have put you there in the first place.

  7. At the Coliseum I tried bringing in my large Green Irish flag and pole. The ticket taker took them from me and Told me I could pick them up on my way out. We won anyway10-6. Then I went to pick up and much to my delight I met Raghib Ismails Mother. We high fived. Over on closed end of Coliseum there was one of my Brothers jumping in front of the Notre Dame team bus with His Fightin Irish flag. I could see the players get up taking a look. I’m sure this helped motivate the team to Victory.

    1. One of the wildest interviews ever was with Mrs. Ismail during a home game. I was watching on TV, though I attended the ’89 Michigan game with several ND alums, spouses, and a guy who was ND undergrad and Michigan Law the day Rocket ran two back against Bo.

      In any event rocket’s brother Q’adry was the Missile, and the little Brother Suleimon was the Bomb. It didn’t take much prompting, as Mrs. Ismail beamed proudly “That makes me the Launching Pad”:

  8. Devine caught lightning in a bottle. Subsequent attempts have been embarrassing. Jersey or t shirt color means nada.

  9. Pandering to fools. If you think the wearing of green shirts will compensate for Kelly’s legacy for big game depantsing, go crazy.

    What this gimmick announcement WILL do — along with the announced attendance of the biggest whorehouse/carnival act on TV — is raise the going price for tickets. Which means that some more (IMO smart) ND fans will be incented to sell their seats to Michigan fans (….as the article warns, but without the dots connected).

    If the price is right, let Michigan fans subsidize your seats for the rest of this season, send ND a message that Kelly isn’t the guy, and DVR the game (just in case it turns out differently than the basic human learning function supports).

    1. Kelly makes $11,,000 a day, all in. . Man that is 110 Franklins per DAY, or 4.6 an hour, awake or asleep, on the sideline or at his Lake House.

      Now after you’re done with your Masochism support group and your passive aggressive shock treatments, buy a Strunk and White. read it. Outline it. In yellos. “Different from” not “Different than.”

      You have your nose stuck in a lot of people’s business. And you are obviously a failure at caring for your own personal and psychological business.

      But, it’s not my circus, and you ain’t MY monkey/.

      In the “mother” it is

      Nie mój cyrk, nie moja małpa

      You see, the master race, the Poles, had figured out the pitiable irrelevance of your type even before America was invented

      It’s a friggin t shirt, man, it’s just for spits and giggles.

      1. Well, Mr. Oblivity: It’s a friggin message board, man, it’s just for spits and giggles.

      2. BTW…..Kelly makes a lot more than will ever be made public, because ND is a private institution. Straight salary does not come close to his annual income.

        That aside, he isn’t worth even a fraction of your alleged $11,000 a day. He is a fraud who should be either coaching Div 2, or running for public office somewhere (…and God help those poor fools).

    2. Yeah, your protest simply didn’t work.

      Burgundy has fun here and creates fun for others

      Shazam rock was playful and brought some needed frivolity to the board.

      Toulmin Brown brought a refreshingly different perspective.

      But you’re not having fun here, nor creating frivolity, nor providing insight.

      David, your life frustrations are showing through here on this board. And if you think a mere coaching change at Notre Dame is going to make you a happy person, content and peaceful, then think again.

      Adversity and joy are not mutually exclusive. But what ever you are compensating for with your dour, self-pitying, other-demeanding posts here, well, David, that is not compensation enough, today or tomorrow.

      I have see this film before. It doesn’t have a happy ending. Take care of yourself

      1. WOW!!! Looks like you hit a nerve with dopey dave!! MR DURANKO I have a question for you: have you ever seen anything davey has said to make you believe he has any knowledge of football!! ITS always the same thing over and over FIRE KELLY!! NO true ND fan could EVER b this bitter!! dopey davey is an example of what happens when you have NO LIFE OR NO FRIENDS!! And now he turns back to the gutter with the obscene language below!! SAD!!

      2. Well, crazy mike, while I may have hit a nerve it may be the truth that I hit. You know what they say,
        Clean air is the best disinfectant
        the light of day is the best illuminant

        I thought about giving poor David’s recommendation a try, but, despite my morning stretching, I lack the necessary flexibility to give it a good faith try!

        There are football issues to discuss and they are myriad.

        Will ND suppress the rover role this year versus 2017 due to the need to get Shaun Crawford on the field more?

        Is Eichenberg’s starting status more solid than Kraemer’s?

        What is the game plan, the program, the agenda, for keeping Dexter Williams involved and engaged while he awaits game five, the Stanford “I used to be an Indian but now I’m a Cardinal?”

        With Tua now apparently in at QB for the Tide has Saban completely shifted from the JP Wilson, McElrohy, Barnett type to the true dual threat? Will most of college football follow? If so, is Harbaugh’s style an asset or a liability.

        Is Georgia the true challenge to Bama, in the intermediate term?

        When will USC and LSU realized they made mistakes in head coach selection?

        Meanwhile, David pursues Brian Kelly as if he were Ahab chasing that fish, errrrrrrrrrrrrr, mammal. and we know how THAT story ended.

        Oh well, ndcrazymike, I kept this post lower case, as I am trying to, like a good linebacker, stay in my lower case lane.
        YOU are in charge of the Upper case, and a great leader at that!

    1. JC, I’ve heard of a room in East Lansing with a green and white helmet, a gold helmet, and a Maize and Blue helmet painted there. They are labeled the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Can you guess who got “the Ugly” moniker for their helmet?

      BGC ’77 ’82

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