In a way, the uniforms are perfect.
They are a uniform scheme, patterned after a major league baseball team, that nobody wanted, to play in a venue nobody wanted to play in. Notre Dame, for one night, is paying homage to the New York Yankees. They’ve adopted their color scheme, their famous pinstripes, and their signature font for the front of the jersey.
Sometimes, I don’t understand what Notre Dame is trying to do.
Perhaps the biggest problem with the whole thing is the context in which it is taking place, because at least for me, it’s very important. This Shamrock Series game, these uniforms, it doesn’t have to be anything we are talking about at all.
This game was originally scheduled as a home contest, the final home game of the 2018 season. There wasn’t going to be any special uniform. Notre Dame announced on December 17th, 2017 they were moving the game to Yankee Stadium, a move that brought almost consensus criticism, and drew a muted response from head coach Brian Kelly who said, “I play wherever they tell me to play.”
It was noted, almost immediately, that for a team already traveling throughout the country, this seemed to be an unnecessary November trip, especially for a program that has broken down in the regular seasons final month.
And now the uniform, which was billed as a blend of “two iconic brands”, seems to mostly feature the New York baseball team, as noted by One Foot Down Writer, andrewwinn on Twitter:
So…again…tell me how this is the synthesis of "two iconic brands"?
Every element on this jersey comes from the Yankee except the monogram.
— Jude (@andrewwinn) August 16, 2018
Why Do Any Of This?
The Notre Dame football team hasn’t won a national championship in 30 years. They haven’t seriously contended for one since 2012, and the time before that was 1993. Two serious runs in the last two and a half decades. Why are we giving up home games to play dress up in baseball stadiums? The Shamrock Series is defensible in a vacuum, it always has been. It’s fun to change things up now and then, no big deal.
But Notre Dame has a program that for lack of a better way to put it is pretty stale. And it isn’t stale because the uniforms are boring. It’s stale because they are stuck at 10 wins or less. It’s stale because they have a coach who many are sick of, whether Notre Dame agrees or not. Heck, they just played Georgia at home for the first time ever, and Notre Dame fans sold all the dang seats.
The athletic department needs to focus on winning national titles. No one cares about Yankee Stadium right now. No one cares about the Shamrock Series, or how recruits think the jersey’s are cool. The only question that matters is “how does this help the football program win a national championship?” This entire thing, from the venue, to the jerseys, to the conversation, doesn’t serve that purpose in any way. None percent.
The decision to move the game was poor. The decision to turn the football team into the Yankees was silly. That we are having to talk about either of them is an error on the part of the athletic department, who simply shouldn’t be a hinderance to their athletic programs.