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Sea of green’ will return for 2007

Becky Hogan | Monday, April 23, 2007

The Shirt 2007 was unveiled Friday outside of Hammes Bookstore to a cheering crowd of approximately 5,000 people happy to see the “sea of green” set to return to the student section for next football season – though in a darker hue.

“I thought it would be received well, but I didn’t know it would be received that well,” said sophomore Brad LeNoir, president of The Shirt project. “I had heard that a lot of people wanted to go back to green, but we weren’t sure they would like this color green. … The color has gone over exceptionally well.”

Garnering a positive response from students and fans who lined up to purchase it, the 18th edition of The Shirt features a kelly green base color, a gold leprechaun silhouette and the slogan “Together as one.”

The back of The Shirt features the Notre Dame monogram, which is colored with a collage of various Notre Dame football images, including the Irish Guard, Touchdown Jesus and cheering fans in the stadium. The back also includes the words, “Shoulder to shoulder chanting her golden name” which are lyrics from the song “Hike, Notre Dame.”

“I think this year’s design was significantly better than those of the past years because it incorporated more than just the football aspect – [it included] the Irish Guard and the band,” Cassandra Wilarski, Hammes Bookstore events manager, said.

According to Wilarski, the bookstore and the two varsity shops on campus made an initial order of 20,000 shirts, and by Saturday night they had sold approximately 17,000. The Shirt 2007 may become the most successful shirt in the 18-year tradition, she said, since The Shirt 2006 took three weeks to sell through its first order last year.

Wilarski credited the students of The Shirt committee for The Shirt’s success in its first weekend. “[The Shirt committee] did a lot more to get more people out there,” she said.

Wilarski said bringing in a 64-foot grill for Johnsonville brats and B100, a local live broadcast radio station, helped to get the entire community involved.

“Being able to reach outside of the Notre Dame community was very instrumental in getting a lot of people there,” LeNoir said.

Sophomore Andrew Parnell, designer of The Shirt 2007, said he was glad to see such a positive response to the shirt after working on the project for one year.

“It was kind of weird walking around seeing everyone wearing the shirt that had been in my mind for the last year,” Parnell said. “I smile every time I see people with it on.”

Parnell said he and LeNoir developed the basic design for The Shirt 2007 in one night, and The Shirt committee later made revisions concerning The Shirt’s slogans.

Parnell also said the committee’s main goal was to create a shirt that focused on the fans’ unity – an essential aspect of Notre Dame football.

“We talked about what was the best way to think of unity,” Parnell said. “The longest process was deciding exactly what we wanted the front [to say].”

Many students and fans were excited about The Shirt’s green color.

“I think [The Shirts] are awesome. I like how they went with a darker green and the slogan is great,” freshman Joe Helfrick said.

Freshman Kate Zinsmeister, who was standing in line to purchase The Shirt at the unveiling ceremony, said she wasn’t sure about the slogan, but she was happy The Shirt committee brought back the sea of green.

Joan Lennon, wife of Alumni Association President Chuck Lennon, was also present at The Shirt unveiling.

“I love [The Shirt]. … The design and the color are outstanding, especially when you will see the whole stadium in green,” she said. “I think the color will be picked up by others as well.”

Junior Alex Wulz, a member of the Notre Dame band who performed at the unveiling ceremony, also thought The Shirt’s design was a success. “I think it’s awesome – the best shirt we’ve had in the last four years.”