Get ready to see green again this fall in Notre Dame Stadium. On Friday night Notre Dame announced another initiative to get fans to show up in green for one of 2019’s marquee home games when archrival Southern Cal comes to town October 12.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) July 20, 2019
Notre Dame went almost all in with the “green out” last year for the season opening victory over Michigan. They made merchandise, they flooded social media with posts asking Irish fans to wear green. It worked pretty well. There was still a contingent of fans who ignored it because some faction of the fan/alumni base think such coordinated efforts are beneath Notre Dame. Whatever. The only thing Notre Dame stopped short of, was wearing green themselves. Notre Dame wore their traditional home blues for the game.
Notre Dame eventually did wear green during the 2018 season, but it was for Senior Day against Florida State as more of a reward for the Notre Dame seniors. With that in mind, it’s seems unlikely Notre Dame will wear green themselves. They could, however, wear the same green cleats and green gloves they wore in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame wore white jerseys against Clemson, but they did top off their uniforms in Dallas with green on the edges.
Without a Shamrock Series game again this year, look for Notre Dame to once again use an alternate jersey at some point. Senior Day this year features Boston College, but fans might still have flashbacks to that terrible green jersey nightmare against the Eagles in 2002.
Whatever your feeling is on these coordinated efforts, they look great on TV and they do help make for an intimidating environment. Penn State’s whiteouts are a great example of this. Last year’ Michigan game was a great example too. It wasn’t a full green out and wasn’t exactly close to a Penn State whiteout, but it was by far the best effort Notre Dame has made to get fans to wear green. Remember that weak attempt for the 2013 Oklahoma game?
Hopefully Notre Dame dials it up a notch this year and adds a little green to the stadium themselves. My one criticism of last year’s green out was that Notre Dame didn’t do something like have green rally towels throughout the stadium. The student section had them, but not the entire stadium. Hopefully this year they team up with a sponsor and get those on all 80,000 seats.
One potential problem for this year’s green out is that The Shirt this year is blue, not green like it was a year ago. That alone will make this green out more challenging and skeptics are bound to argue that it’s a ploy to get people to buy more merchandise since they’ll need a green shirt for the green out on top of The Shirt. The marketer in me can’t really get bent out of shape over something like that though.
Depending on how USC’s season starts, there might not be a ton of USC fans in the stands October 12. Their fans tend not to travel well when their team isn’t in the the top 10 and USC is going to start the season unranked. Before they make their trip to Notre Dame in mid October they have to face Stanford, BYU, Utah, and Washington after their season opening tuneup versus Fresno State. That’s not exactly murder’s row, but given how USC played in 2018, that set of games could result in a loss or two. American Airlines did, however, introduce some direct flights to South Bend from LA for the game though so maybe some SoCal Notre Dame fans will have an easier trip back for this game.