The 2011 Notre Dame Uniform Survey: The Results
First let me take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this survey. We had nearly 100 people send in answers and that is a great turnout as far as I’m concerned.
I also appreciate anyone who took the time to comment on some of the questions, so thank you to everyone for that as well.
With that said, let’s get right to the good stuff and see how things turned out!
1. What Is Your Favorite Home Uniform?
1986-91 Monogram Sleeved—23.4 percent
2004-09 Adidas 2.0—20.9 percent
1992-97 Gold Trim—16.0 percent
2001-03 Adidas Shamrock Collar—13.6 percent
1977-80 Green Machine—12.4 percent
1964-76 Simple Blue—11.2 percent
1940s and 50s Green—2.5 percent
1998-00 Striped Trim—0.0 percent
1959-62 UCLA Striped—0.0 percent
1981-83 Northwestern Striped—0.0 percent
My Choice—1986-91 Monogram Sleeve
This essentially turned into a six-horse race with a lot of differing opinions, which is to be expected with so many choices.
I think this question (and many others) points out how attached we grow to the uniforms our favorite team(s) or player(s) wear, and this ultimately has a big influence upon which we think looks best.
Although it’s not my favorite, it was surprising to see the 1998-2000 uniform receive zero votes. I always thought the striping pattern added something nice to the uniform without compromising its integrity.
That, and I have a giant poster of the team in the huddle with those jerseys on, which I’ve always liked.
I voted before everyone else, but my pick did end up topping this group. I’d say it has a lot to do with the winning that was involved, but it was also a sharp look that really balanced the traditional aspects of the uniforms with a few modern touches (e.g. the monogram).
I was never a big fan of the jerseys from 2004-09 and probably would have put those much farther down the list than most. To me, they were unnecessarily boring, the numbers were way too big and I’ve always preferred the monogram on the sleeves.
2. What Is Your Least Favorite Home Uniform?
1981-83 Northwestern Striped—40.2 percent
1959-62 UCLA Striped—33.0 percent
1977-80 Green Machine—7.2 percent
1940s and 50s Green—4.9 percent
1964-76 Simple Blue—3.7 percent
1992-97 Gold Trim—3.7 percent
1998-00 Striped Trim—3.7 percent
1986-91 Monogram Sleeved—1.2 percent
2001-03 Adidas Shamrock Collar—1.2 percent
2004-09 Adidas 2.0—1.2 percent
My Choice—1981-83 Northwestern Sleeve
Interestingly, every single uniform received at least one vote, but not surprisingly, the Northwestern and UCLA striped jerseys dominated this category.
Both of the losers in this category had the distinction of moving away from a more traditional or standard Notre Dame appearance, as well as being associated with losing on the football field.
I will, however, submit the theory that Notre Dame could come out with a new uniform design that everyone loves and then after three or four years of losing, everyone will hate it.
That’s not to say that the Faust jerseys and UCLA striped jerseys aren’t the worst, because they are, but people attach a lot more to the uniforms than purely aesthetic concerns.
Since the Faust jerseys were the most recently worn of the two “bad apples” and the coach changed the color of the blue and had the team continue to wear white cleats, it’s understandable that they were picked as the worst.
3. Should Gold Jerseys Be Banned in Regular-Season Play?
I’ll go ahead and say that this question was probably worded poorly because I was shocked to see so many people support this look. On more than one occasion, I believe some thought I was asking if they should be worn, and they answered “no," so this may have skewed the results a little bit.
As it is, there’s just not a whole lot of support for this look, and rightfully so in my opinion.
Some commented that this should be Notre Dame’s road uniform or third jersey, but I don’t think it could ever really look good. Teams like Purdue, Vanderbilt, UCF and Georgia Tech have all experimented with a gold jersey and it looks decent for them, but they also wore white pants.
With white pants, Notre Dame could wear a gold jersey and make it look tolerable, but it’s just not worth the effort. An all-gold uniform (as well as all-blue or all-green) should never occur because it would look fantastically bad on the Irish.
More on that in a second.
4. Would You Support a Black Jersey?
I was a little surprised that there wasn’t more support for black jerseys, or at least that the gold jerseys had far more support in comparison. I would credit this to my poor wording of question No. 3, but also to the fact that gold is a school color and black is not.
I don’t support a black jersey, but I do admit that Notre Dame could make a sharp jersey out of the color and that it is much more manageable than a gold one. Just look at the Irish basketball team, which has looked relatively sharp in a black uniform, but terrible in gold.
The latter looks like someone either didn’t wash the uniforms or they were urinated on.
Still, it’s just one of those things that is not worth the effort and judging by the fans responses here, they feel the same way.
5. Return to the Old-Gold Pants?
WELL, APPARENTLY NO ONE RESPECTS TRADITION AROUND HERE!!!
Sorry, I had to.
This has been my crusade for years, so in that sense, I was disappointed that a majority are against the idea, but I actually expected a higher percentage to be in favor of the metallic pants anyway.
Now, I got a lot of comments from people saying that they were against the old-gold pants because they would make Notre Dame look too much like its rivals—for example, Michigan and USC.
I think it’s important to try and define just exactly what the old-gold color was that the Irish wore in the past, and what other teams wear today.
Old-gold is not yellow (although the late 1970s uniforms were pretty much yellow, including the pants), and I’m not advocating yellow pants. For most of Notre Dame’s history prior to 1986, the old-gold was a nice mixture of a darkish gold hue with some yellow to make it brighter.
Back in the 1960s and into the 1970s, many teams wore some variation of old-gold, so much that you’ll see Notre Dame and USC had very similar pants in 1973, except the Irish were a little more gold and the Trojans' were slightly yellow.
As the 1970s progressed, the old-gold and yellow pants for all teams across the country seemed to get brighter and brighter. This was true for Notre Dame—in the 1977 “Trojan Horse” Game, the Irish are all but wearing the same color yellow pants as USC.
In fact, this was taken to the extreme for the 2007 throwbacks worn against the Trojans, wherein Notre Dame’s pants were actually a brighter yellow than Southern California’s!
Today, an astonishing 35 teams wear some sort of metallic gold or yellow pants, yet no one wears the color of old-gold that Notre Dame used to wear in the past.
People say the old-gold would make the Irish look too similar to Michigan or USC (except it wouldn’t if they wore the original shade), but Notre Dame already has the exact same pants as the 17 other college teams wearing metallic gold, including rivals Purdue, Navy and Army.
My thing is, I’ve always wanted the helmets to hog all of the attention as far as the metallic gold goes. Sure, in the 1960s, the helmets didn’t match the pants perfectly, but the pants gave off this old-school look and let the helmet shine in all its glory.
The comparison I make is: It's like walking up to the dome on campus.
The building itself is wheat-colored brick with a blue-green striped roof. When you walk up to it, the gilded dome grabs your attention and shines proudly.
Imagine if the rest of the building or a vast majority of it was gilded as well; that’s how I feel about the helmets and pants today on the uniform.
I don’t have a big problem with the metallic Vegas gold, but I do think it looks cheap and makes us look like dozens of other teams. In contrast, old-gold gives off a more old-school, traditional and classy look.
In other words, old-gold is a tougher look.
Five teams currently wear non-metallic gold pants, although no one really wears the exact shade Notre Dame used to (including Pittsburgh, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Missouri and Colorado State). Each of those teams dropped the glitz off the pants and is rolling with more muted, plain and matte colors.
If you could somehow combine Boston College and Missouri’s pant colors, you’d probably get close to what I think Notre Dame should wear.
6. White Pants at Home or Blue on the Road?
No to Both—78.0 percent
Yes to Blue, No to White—14.7 percent
Yes to Both—4.9 percent
Yes to White, No to Blue—2.4 percent
My Choice—No to Both
I was dangerously close to voting for blue pants on the road, mostly because I think it’s something the team could pull off and I like the way the Irish hockey team looks when they wear their white jerseys. If that same kind of look could be transferred to a football uniform, I think it could work.
But still, plain blue pants can look really goofy on a football field, and that would mean likely introducing some sort of striping on the pants. Since that’s uncharted territory for the program, it’s probably best to just stick with the gold pants.
Plus, I voted for “No to Both” because, out of everything the team can do with uniforms, I don’t ever want to see an all-blue, all-gold or all-green look. If the Irish ever charge out onto the field with blue jerseys and blue pants, I will weep uncontrollably.
7. Favorite Logo at the Collar?
It was pretty frustrating to have the Adidas logo on the collar last season and, as you can see, it was not a very popular decision.
All of the other logos have been terrific in their own ways, although I think the shamrock should be present on the uniform at all times, whether it be on the jersey, pants or socks.
If I had to choose, I’d also rather have the dome on the collar instead of the monogram, just because I feel like the university has splattered the monogram on so much merchandise that it’s getting rather boring and stale.
Plus, if we have the monogram on the sleeves, we don’t need it at the collar too. Like the liberal use of metallic gold today, we don’t need monogram overkill either.
8. Shamrock Back on the Helmet?
Just to be straight—many of those who chose "Yes" to this topic commented that they’d be okay with a small shamrock on the back (especially maintaining the Declan Sullivan memorial decal), as stickers on the back for truly big plays in games or on the helmet proper for one game or a "throwback Saturday."
I realize most people don’t like the shamrock on the helmet and want to keep the traditional gold helmets, but I think the shamrock gets a bad rap mostly because the program struggled while donning it.
I don’t think it looks as terrible as some people make it out to be and I would welcome the team wearing it—especially with green jerseys—once every decade or something along those lines.
9. Use the Leprechaun Somewhere on the Uniform?
I am so surprised that there isn’t more love for the poor leprechaun. I think he would be a great addition to the collar, or as a logo on the pants or socks.
I guess I’ve just always thought it was a cool logo and a great representation of the “Fighting Irish” mystique. We still have a "real-life" leprechaun as a mascot, do we not?
I say put him on the uniform somewhere.
I find it bothersome that whenever you head into Hammes Bookstore, you’re just completely inundated with the ND monogram, while the leprechaun toils away in relative obscurity.
10. What Number Jersey Do You Buy if It’s Your Last?
No. 3—31.7 percent
No. 7—12.2 percent
No. 5—8.5 percent
No. 10—7.3 percent
No. 9—4.9 percent
No. 6—3.7 percent
Two votes apiece for Nos. 1, 44, 8, 17, 20 and 25.
One vote apiece for Nos. 75, 87, 12, 32, 13, 28, 74, 81, 14, 97, 29 and 79.
My Choice—No. 25
Likely no surprises here for anybody as No. 3 ran away with this survey question. I think there was a guy named Montana or something who wore that number, and maybe some other talented players, right?
I can’t believe only one other person voted for No. 25 with me. What would Rocket think?
11. How Do You Feel About Wearing the Green Jerseys?
Epic Games Only—48.0 percent
Once in a While—36.9 percent
Entire Season—9.9 percent
Never Again—5.2 percent
My Choice—Entire Season
I knew it would be a toss-up between the “epic-only” crowd and the “Once-in-a-While” crowd. I’m just glad only a handful said “Never Again.”
DO YOU NOT RESPECT NOTRE DAME’S TRADITION?!
Sorry for being so snarky, but it’s kind of funny considering Notre Dame fans are so obsessed with tradition and the green jerseys are among the oldest in program history.
Anyway, I know it’s not terribly popular, but I would love to see the team wear green at home for an entire season, if not longer. There’s a deep history for it, it would potentially be a merchandising gold mine for both the university and Adidas and it hasn’t been done in 30 years.
It’s about time to do it, and it can be Notre Dame’s own way of keeping things fresh, yet embracing the traditions of the past.
12. What Is Your Favorite Green Uniform?
1977-80 Green Machine—30.6 percent
2010 Army—26.8 percent
2005 USC—20.7 percent
2002 Boston College—8.5 percent
1940s and 50s Green—6.1 percent
1999 Gator Bowl—3.7 percent
1995 Fiesta Bowl—1.2 percent
1959-62 Green—1.2 percent
1985 USC—1.2 percent (write-in vote)
My Choice—1940s and 50s Green
It’s not too shocking that the Green Machine jerseys took the cake here, given the circumstances surrounding their appearance in 1977. Still, I had quite a few people mention that they don’t like the brighter shade of green.
The 2005 and 2010 versions are practically the same designs (monogram instead of numbers on the sleeves with Adidas logo at the collar), so if you combine those two percentages, it’s pretty clear that the most recent uniforms are the fan favorites.
A lot of people said they like the dark green and gold numbers because they looked classy, but I don’t share that opinion. Notre Dame’s green jerseys should be kelly green (which is bright and vibrant) and not forest green.
In addition, I don’t like the gold numbers for reasons stated above (too much metallic gold!).
That’s why I voted for the 1940s and 50s green uniforms, because they were a nice, bright green with simple, white numbers, and that’s a look I’d like to see the team return to.
For that reason, I thought the 2002 Boston College uniforms looked great, even though many people share a common hatred for them; but again, that has more to do with the circumstances of the game, the outcome and the coach, not really the uniform.
Give me a bright, kelly green jersey (you know…the colors of Ireland) with white numbers (gold outline is fine, blue is not—this isn't not Tulane) and we are all set.
13. Do You Support a Road Green Jersey?
Admittedly, my Paint job for this picture wasn’t the best in the world, but it got the point across. Again, numerous people mentioned they would like to see a darker green used.
At this point, I don’t get it; are we decorating the interior of a library, or showing off our Fighting Irish spirit?
This topic kind of goes back to switching to green full-time for a season or two. Since we learned the team wore white jerseys with green numbers at home for a game in 1955, did so again from 1977-80 and in the 1992 Sugar Bowl as well, there is ample tradition to follow here.
No one can deny that these jerseys would sell like hot cakes and that Notre Dame would be the envy (get it—green?) of the college football world for coming out with such awesome emerald apparel.
14. Shamrock on the Helmet or Painted Field?
Paint the Field—81.7 percent
Refused To Answer—2.4 percent
I thought this choice would be more of a difficult one for some people (a few refused to answer), but it was pretty clear that more wanted to keep the helmets alone.
I’m one of those who wouldn’t have a problem with either choice, but I picked the shamrock because I simply like shamrocks.
How about a shamrock logo at midfield? Yeah, whatever—you know if it ever happens it’s going to be the ND monogram.
15. Which Company to Outfit the Irish?
Under Armour—13.4 percent
No Choice—3.7 percent
Since a survey taker pointed out that Adidas owns Reebok, that pretty much eliminates Reebok. (Good thing only one person voted for it.)
None of these results are too surprising, with most people commenting that Adidas has done a good job and understands Notre Dame’s traditions.
I was surprised at the number of people who voted for Under Armour though. Do we want Notre Dame associated with things such as Auburn and Cam Newton (who just signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour)?
16. How Often Should Names Be on the Back of the Jerseys?
Bowl Games Only—47.6 percent
All the Time- 15.8 percent
My Choice—Bowl Games Only
With this topic, I don’t really mind what happens, but I went with the safe pick anyway.
I agree that the players should “play for the team” and all that, but it would be nice sometimes to have the players' names on the back in order to identify them more easily.
Either way, it’s not a big deal to me.
While I think the jerseys typically look better without names, I’m not one of those people who thinks putting names on the back suddenly creates a bunch of selfish and egotistical players.
The spirit of hard work and the tradition of fighting for every teammate and the school is instilled by the coaches and the upperclassmen, and is developed every day regardless of whether there are names on the back of the jerseys or not.
Thanks to everyone for participating! I hope this was an enjoyable offseason discussion and that everyone learned something.
Were you surprised by any of the voting?
From the FanTake blog: One Foot Down
Follow on Twitter: @OneFootDown
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