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The Shirt’ 2005 unveiled

Katie Perry | Monday, April 25, 2005

After three consecutive years as a sea of green, the Notre Dame student section is set to receive the Midas touch for the upcoming season, thanks to the official golden-hued shirt unveiled Friday.A large crowd of more than 300 community members gathered at a Bookstore ceremony to usher in a new look to match a new season, and – more notably – a new coach. Charlie Weis said the shirt embodied themes central to what he wants to relay as head coach: competition, preparation, unity and teamwork.”That’s the attitude that I’m trying to permeate to our guys,” Weis said.The Shirt, which is golden-yellow in color, features a front with the scripted tagline, “The Spirit Lives.” The back depicts Irish football players praying together and reads, “If you could find a way to bottle the Notre Dame spirit, you could light up the universe.”But despite Weis’ praise, the general reception of the Shirt among students has been unmistakably negative. Perhaps the most common complaint about the new look has been the color.”I think the change was a good idea, with the change of coach, but I don’t like the color,” freshman Chris Doughty said. “How would you even describe this color? This doesn’t convey Notre Dame to me.”Many students expressed distaste for the “golden” hue, arguing that not only does the color fail to represent Notre Dame, but rather it reflects the look of rival universities.”It’s not gold, it’s yellow,” freshman Cormac Harkin said. “It looks like the [Boston College] “superfan” shirt – and we don’t want to copy B.C. in any way, shape or form.”Freshman Kara Brennan agreed the new color is reminiscent of Boston College, one of Notre Dame’s most recognized foes.”I think they should have kept it green to stay with the sea of green,” Brennan said.Furthermore, yellow is a color also associated with Notre Dame’s infamous Ann Arbor adversary. Sophomore Adam Pabarcus said although the shirt is “nice,” he sides with many students in his unambiguous distaste for the hue.”I guess it goes against the tradition of green … [which is] a more of a distinct color that is better identified with Notre Dame,” Pabarcus said. “One friend noted how we play Michigan at Michigan, and the yellow shirts aren’t going to be good.”Other students poked fun at The Shirt’s message, calling it corny and confusing.”I don’t know what bottle is big enough to light up the universe,” Doughty said. Although a large number of students are displeased with The Shirt, it remains unclear as to whether their distaste will translate into fewer sales. Last year more than 86,000 shirts were sold, Alumni Association Executive Director Chuck Lennon said.”The support of this product is so significant because it helps so many factors in this society,” Weis said at the ceremony Friday.Students have been wearing The Shirt to football games for 15 years, and the project -sponsored by Student Activities and the Notre Dame Alumni Association – has raised more than $2.5 million to support student organizations and charities.

Maddie Hanna contributed to this report.