By Phil Hecken
Late on Thursday, the Notre Dame fighting Irish revealed their 2016 “Shamrock Series” uniforms (ably covered by Paul yesterday both on the Uni Watch blog and also over on the Mothership). Since Paul covered those already (and you should read those if you haven’t yet), I thought today would be a good day to take a look back at the history of the “Shamrock Series” and the
costumes uniforms worn by the Irish in each of those games. Interestingly enough, the Irish are (so far) undefeated in “Shamrock Series” games.
First — a bit of background. Beginning in 2009, Notre Dame has “hosted” an annual off-site home football game known as the “Shamrock Series” — and the Irish have traveled to San Antonio, New York, Maryland, Chicago, Arlington, Indianapolis and Boston. This year they’ll be traveling back to San Antonio to play Army (and why their uniforms have an olive-ish color green).
So, let’s take a look at the uniforms worn in each of those games, shall we? You can click to enlarge the photos below.
October 31, 2009 vs. Washington State; Alamodome, San Antonio
The first S/S game actually didn’t have Notre Dame wearing a special uniform. The team wore their regular gold/blue/gold outfits:
November 20, 2010 vs Army; Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
The first “special” uniforms for the S/S were not all that different from their regular uniforms, except for the color — ND went with green for their jersey. In fact, the jerseys weren’t exactly new — they’d worn those same jerseys in 2005 (against USC) and 2006 (against Army). Even though ND’s colors are blue and gold, they’ve occasionally broken out green tops. The helmet remained the same for this game as well.
November 12, 2011 vs. Maryland; FedEx Field, Landover, MD
By the third game of the S/S, the team (outfitted by adidas) began to add some ‘flash’ to the uniform (although not too much), wearing the green jerseys again, but getting a special helmet. These would feature a ‘foil’ stamp and contain a green shamrock (fittingly) on the topper. While it was pretty garish (by ND standards, anyway), it was their first attempt to mimic their iconic golden dome. (They would later do a much better job and that forms the basis for their current helmet).
October 6, 2012 vs. Miami; Soldier Field, Chicago
Not satisfied with the piece of flair added in 2012, Notre Dame gave the keys to the car to adidas and let them go to town. This was not a wise decision. The result was a two-‘sided’ helmet, asymmetrical at that, featuring the same gold leaf covering 2/3rds of the helmet (right side), while the remaining 1/3 was blue, with the “Fighting Leprechaun” decal on the left. Jerseys were blue (not too bad, with shiny numbers in a different font), and the pants were a special matte gold with a very wide white/blue/white stripe. Not one of their better looks.
October 5, 2013 vs. Arizona State; AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Despite being the designated “home” team, this time the Irish decided to wear white jerseys and pants (both brand new) and returned to wearing a very shiny gold helmet (which had a reflective gold shamrock); some players had kelly green undersleeves, and the numbers were gold outlined in kelly. They also wore green belts. This was probably my favorite uniform of the entire series. This would, incidentally, be ND’s last year with adidas, and they did them some justice with these.
September 13, 2014 vs. Purdue; Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Having won the contract to outfit Notre Dame (and not messing with their primary uniforms too much), new outfitter Under Armour was anxious to kick the tires on a fancy design for the 2014 S/S unis. I guess they liked the monochrome (white) uniform worn in 2013, because they decided to outfit ND in another monochrome uniform for 2014. Only it was mono-navy. This time they went with a matte finish gold helmet which featured “ND” (for the first time ever) on the sides, blue jerseys with gold shoulder caps, and blue pants with stripes at odd angles on the thighs. The jerseys had sublimated designs, and the socks were blue, bottomed-off with gold shoes. Not a terrible looking uniform, but not what you think of when you think “Notre Dame.”
November 21, 2015 vs. Boston College; Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Under Armour liked the monochrome look so much in 2014, they decided to do it again in 2015 — only this time in kelly green. Predictably, it did not look particularly good. This time ND sported a sparkly gold dome, with a blue/green stripe, and a facemask that was half blue and half green. The Leprechaun returned to the helmet, but it wasn’t the fighting variety (just angry). The fighting Leprechaun would be relegated to the sleeve caps. Trying to weave a “story” into the uniform, the jerseys had stripes with 11 slashes (to represent the 11 National Titles they’d won or something like that), and the pants again had thigh stripes (in blue and gold), this time extending up the side of the leg to the waist. Socks, shoes and undersleeves (for those who wore them) were all green. Jersey numbers were blue with gold outlines. If you liked kelly green, even this might have been too much for you.
November 12, 2016 vs. Army; Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
I’ll have a full report on this game (for Sunday Morning Uni Watch) once it’s played. But here’s one more look at what the team will be wearing:
It’s probably the most “traditional” (if you can call it that) of the UA S/S uniforms, and at least it’s not monochrome. Gotta see how the muted olive and gold look on the field.
What say you, dear readers? Which is the best S/S set? The worst? Feel free to rank them below.
UW’s Friday Flashback
In case you missed it Friday, Paul’s latest Friday Flashback column over on ESPN takes a look at the history of MLB vests (including some discussion of the ultimate sleeveless player, 1950s Reds first baseman Ted Kluszewski, shown here). Paul even wore a vest for the video accompanying the piece.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, a pitcher, has worn a variety of uniforms (including an awesome Opposuit design), from MBDChicago. As a personal aside, I have that same Opposuit. … Looks like a colorful uni matchup from Japan this weekend with the Seibu Lions (emerald) vs. Softbank Hawks (blue); from Graveyard Baseball. … The West Virginia Black Bears will be wearing these Star Wars-esque jerseys tonight (from OT Sports). … The Bluefield Jays (an Appalachian League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) will wear these jerseys for their “Bob Denver” weekend (OT again). … Fans who went to last evening’s KC Royals game got Mizzou-themed Royals cap (from Robert Hayes). … On Monday, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are giving away a Santa hat with bacon for their X-mas in July promotion. … Here’s the full set of 2016 MLB Postseason logos for the coming fall, including the World Series (and here’s a bit more on that). … We may have seen this or maybe not — but the Dodgers raised helmet logos just aren’t working — as evidenced by this splash photo of Justin Turner (from Stetson Pevear). Here’s an even better look. … Here’s a very cool look at the creation of Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame plaque (from David Goodfriend). … Speaking of Mike Piazza’s HOF induction, the Brooklyn Cyclones will be wearing these jerseys on Sunday to celebrate it (OT Sports). … Here are the camopander jerseys the Pulaski Yanks will wear on Tuesday (h/t OT). … If you happen to be heading to the Mariners game on August 7th, you’ll be able to snag this neat throwback jersey (“thanks to Nike”). … “Interesting making-of article in the Times [yesterday] morning,” says Marcus Kamp, “including this uni-centric tidbit: ‘And, yes, Griffey’s hat is facing forward’.” … Check out the new Ken Griffey, Jr. display at the @Louisville Slugger bat museum (from J. Walker). … OH BABY! Look at this beautiful vertically-lettered placket for the Arkansas Hogs, circa 1910 (from Tanner Winn). … Star Wars-esque jerseys for the Salt Lake Bees (from Brandon Flemming). … Dios mÃo, look at the uniforms sported by the Fresno Grizzlies last night (from Jenna PK). In case you’re wondering, those are a tribute to the Three Amigos. ‘Tremendous’ doesn’t begin to describe that uni. … Looks like Yoenis Cespedes has a custom shinguard (from Greg Inkpen). … Yesterday evening, the Cincinnati Reds wore red jerseys, something they almost always reserve for day games (from Patrick O’Neill and Alex Hider, respectively). Why? Apparently because it’s Grateful Dead night at GABP (Patrick again). … Last night was Christmas in July at White Sox game. “Sox Players’ scoreboard pics have Christmas sweaters,” says Mike Chamernik. … “I recently rode my bike from New York to Washington. (It took four days of riding rather than the expected three, on account of a flat tire and two short rain delays.),” says Ferdinand Cesarano. “While I was in Baltimore, of course I checked out Camden Yards. And I was pleased to see that some of the garbage cans have Orioles helmets on them. Strangely, however, it is the road helmet.” … Wow – last night Cameron Maybin had super high cuffs (good spot by Dan Kennedy.
NFL/WFL News: Does your kid (or, OK — YOU, if you’re small enough) want to own a fuchsia Southern California Sun jacket? Now’s your chance (from Smelly Hobo). … Speaking of the Sun, check out this great photo of the SoCal Sun and the Philly Bell (from Sports Paper).
College Football News: The WVU Football account has tweeted out a photo of this 125(th Anniversary) flag — wonder if that’s a patch we’ll be seeing on the unis this year. … The University of North Dakota has some new gray uniforms for 2016 (from UND Hoops). … Here’s a look at the new American Conference Championship logo (h/t Clint Richardson). Here’s a bit more on that. … Just like he did at BYU, new Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall is pushing for his team to wear throwback style uniforms. … Because we don’t have nearly enough of these lists, here are the 10 worst college football uniforms of all time — I actually agree with a good number on this list. One responder to my tweet, Jim Bendat, mentioned this awful number from BYU in 1999 should be on that list. Those were only worn once, on 9/9/99 (from Scott Johnston), and were banned by the NCAA. … Looks like the Houston Cougars have some new uniforms.
Olympics News: French designer Christian Louboutin will be part of the Cuban national team’s look for the Rio Olympics. A collaboration between Louboutin and the French online retailer, SportyHenri.com, was announced Thursday to supply uniforms for the Cuban delegation. The uniforms will be worn for the closing ceremony and other formal events. … Because it needed to be done, Dime Mag has decided to rank all the Team USA hoops unis for the past 40 years. … Ewwww — the lagoon in front of Rio’s Olympic Park is so filthy, the fish are dying.
NBA News: Take THAT Johnny Manziel: A sporting goods store in Oklahoma City has taken a drastic move — marking down some Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys to 99 percent off. The jerseys were hanging on a rack this week at an Academy Sports+Outdoors store in town with a sign advertising them for 48 cents. … Check out this beautiful ABA warmup jacket for the 1967-1968 Pipers (from John Turney). The Pipers called both Pittsburgh and Minnesota home during their ABA years.
Soccer News: AS Roma is celebrating their 90th anniversary with a new Nike away kit for 2016-17. Also, the return of the Lupetto badge (from Anne Celestino). … This is a shame: Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic’s shirt is missing a
sponsor advertiser logo (from Yellow Away Kit). … Several ug-lee soccer kit tops were revealed, including Spanish Club CD PinzÃ³n who unveiled Strawberry and Blueberry Kits and these Norwich City 16-17 Third Kits, which are based on their 1992 shirt (from Trev). The last item was also sent in by Josh Hinton who adds, “Norwich City (FL Championship) have a horrible and completely pathetic third jersey. It’s a blessing that third kits are rarely worn by Norwich.” … Here’s a look at Norwich City’s keeper jersey (from Patrick Thomas). … Also from Josh, here’s a look at the MLS Kit matchups for this weekend. … Here’s a look at the Bayer Leverkusen away jersey (from Patrick Thomas).
And that’s going to do it for today. Apologies on the “somewhat” short post, but I’m out at the summer place and all day yesterday we were literally experiencing gale force winds. I sometimes lose power in a zephyr, so I wanted to get this post locked and loaded earlier than usual.
I’ll be back for my final weekend post tomorrow (until after Labor Day) so I’ll catch you guys then. Until then…
follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Maryland, Wisconsin, potayto, potahto.”
— R. Scott Rogers