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Follow Leprechaun Legion, unify “The Shirt” color

Jim Blase | Sunday, January 22, 2012

What a sight at the basketball game on Saturday, as a national television audience watched as our sea of green shirts helped cheer on the Irish basketball team to a an amazing victory against No. 1 ranked Syracuse, and then rushed the court at game’s end!

For years I have failed in my efforts to have the administration “listen to the lead of the Leprechaun Legion,” and make the color of “The Shirt” a permanent Kelly green.

I travel to many of the road football games (two years ago I attended all 12 regular season games), and on virtually every occasion all fans in the opposing team’s stadium wear a uniform team primary color. Never is this more obvious than at a football game in Ann Arbor.

Yet at Notre Dame home football games, primarily because we change the color of “The Shirt” every season, fans can be seen wearing navy blue, powder blue, dark green, Kelly green, gold, yellow (intended to be gold) and even a shade of tan (also no doubt intended to be gold)!

We refuse to follow the lead of the Leprechaun Legion, and stick with Kelly green T-shirts every year, so that the “non-student” fans can figure out what color to wear to home games.

As a primary result of this “annual color change” policy of The Shirt, fans have absolutely no idea what color Notre Dame jackets, sweatshirts, coats and shirts to wear from year to year. Other than by looking towards the student section, it is virtually impossible looking into the stands to tell that one is even at a Notre Dame game.

No doubt this makes Notre Dame Stadium a less intimidating place to play for the opposition, which also no doubt has at least partially contributed to the team’s mediocre home record over the past 15 seasons, since Coach Holtz resigned.

There was an outstanding blog on the herloyalsons.com website over the weekend, wherein the author articulated all of the reasons favoring a consistent and uniform shirt color at home football games. Those who are interested in learning more can check out this website.

The author of the blog succinctly points out that, although helping the less fortunate is definitely a noble goal of The Shirt Committee, the problem is that it has seemingly become The Shirt Committee’s sole goal. The apparent view is that “we need to change the color of the Shirt every year, so that more people will purchase it.”

The problem with this narrowly-focused reasoning is that it fails to recognize that a primary purpose of The Shirt should also be to support the football team, as the Leprechaun Legion does for the Notre Dame basketball team, by keeping the color of the shirt Kelly green, season after season.

The moderators of The Shirt Committee must recognize that, if the University can take the lead by having the students wear a consistent shade of green at home football games, alumni and fans will eventually follow this lead, and purchase green shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and coats to wear also, resulting in a “sea of green” in the stands, even for the colder October and November games.

If the moderators sincerely feel they need to keep their income level the same, here is an idea: place the same “Shirt” lettering and design on green sweatshirts, jackets and coats, which they can then sell to students, fans and alumni to wear at the colder weather games.

Who knows, The Shirt Committee may even end up netting more money if they proceed down this path, thus killing two birds (and maybe even a wolverine or Trojan) with one stone.

Thank you.

Jim Blase

Class of 1981

St. Louis, MO

Jan. 19