Notre Dame introduced a new alternate uniform to the world, which the Irish will wear against Navy in their home finale on Nov. 18. They are actually pretty awesome.
On November 18th, we come together to honor the man who built it all.— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 18, 2017
Introducing our ROCKNE Heritage Uniform. pic.twitter.com/7jmysrepFM
Let’s zero in on those shoes:
The cleat looks like pretty old-school leather, but the zigzags keep ‘em flashy. I prefer an all-gold Notre Dame cleat, but for one game these are pretty fantastic.
For the most part, Notre Dame’s uniforms have stayed constant.
In an era of college football teams constantly switching up their looks (ahem...Oregon Ducks), the Fighting Irish have kept their uniform throughout the decades roughly the same. The exception has been the annual “Shamrock Series” game that is usually played at a neutral site against a rival team. Those uniforms have varied from “Wow those are sweet!” to “Holy shit these are so ugly my eyes hurt.” When Notre Dame deviates from the norm, it’s a pretty big deal in South Bend.
These uniforms were designed to commemorate legendary Irish coach Knute Rockne.
Rockne was a huge proponent for having a big, loud home stadium. Notre Dame’s newly updated stadium will be unveiled at the start of the 2017 season, a likely reason for the inspiration behind these uniforms.
Via Notre Dame, here’s Under Armour design director Nick Billiris’ take:
"I think it is a unique opportunity with this uniform to celebrate the past while creating the future," Billiris says. "That's why we incorporated some of these elements that harken back to the 1920s and 1930s when Knute Rockne was there, but we did it with cutting edge fabrics and technology. The whole idea is that this uniform is a time-capsule of Notre Dame football from when Rockne first grew the football program into the national power it has become today."
Notre Dame’s less-than-trendy alternate uniforms in the past were mostly under former uniform manufacturer Adidas:
But these Rockne-themed uniforms are actually pretty cool!
Here are some other close-ups:
The back of the helmet looks like it has some leather head pattern on it, which is problematic as hell if you consider that Michigan also has a striped-helmet pattern. From the front though, it appears the helmets are all gold:
Here, we have three stars to represent Rockne’s three national titles. Does it matter that they were in an era when football was virtually unrecognizable to the game played today? To some yes, but not to Notre Dame fans. They are likely extremely relieved that Rockne didn’t win four championships, because then there would be four stars on this uniform and 4-8 jokes would ensue.
My favorite part of the uniform is a famous Rockne speech embedded on the sleeves. I’m typing this with the soundtrack to Rudy stuck in my head:
Under Armour kept it old-school with the navy and gold but revamped the uniforms in an extremely cool way. My only complaint is that they’ll all say Rockne on the back. Just seems a little bit like overkill on the theme, but I get it:
Need a new phone wallpaper?— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 18, 2017
Uni Tidbit: ROCKNE will be on EVERY nameplate during November 18th game vs. Navy. pic.twitter.com/N6nf7BO8mA
So far, Notre Dame fans seem to be thrilled with the uniforms:
After thoroughly going over the new uniform... It's D-O-P-E!https://t.co/Y2PpYxb6pO— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) August 18, 2017
There’s no more appropriate time for the Irish to show off these uniforms than when they wrap up 2018 against rival Navy.