Shirt design invokes storied tradition of Notre Dame football
Anna Boarini | Monday, April 23, 2012
This year, the unveiling of The Shirt “shook down the thunder.”
Despite rainy weather and cold temperatures Friday afternoon, students and fans still showed up en masse in front of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore to see this year’s design unveiled.
Junior Lauren Couey, The Shirt’s unveiling coordinator, said considering the poor weather conditions, the turnout was “awesome.”
“It really seems like people had fun,” she said. “All the players who were expected to come made it.”
Junior Andrew Alea, president of The Shirt Committee, said by 3:30 p.m., people were already lined up to get their shirt.
“By the time The Shirt was unveiled, there was a line of about 150 to 200 people waiting to get theirs,” he said.
This year’s design is much different than those of previous years, Alea said.
“[The Shirt committee] wanted to make a shirt that is intense,” he said. “We wanted an ‘in your face’ shirt, we wanted to make [the design] pop.”
Alea said the committee chose navy blue as their color to complement the powerful imagery they chose for the design.
“We wanted navy blue, because it’s a Notre Dame color, and especially with the powerful imagery, we thought the navy blue would help the white text pop better,” he said.
Alea said there is no pattern to choosing the color for The Shirt each year – rather, each committee chooses a color to best match their theme.
The images for this year were chosen to help represent the past, present and future of Notre Dame football, Alea said.
“The players on The Shirt each represent something,” he said. “We chose [former running back] Alan Pinkett and [former wide receiver] Tim Brown [for] the back, because they are celebrating the past of Notre Dame football.”
Pinkett and Brown’s pictures are shown in black and white to reflect their influence on the football program’s past.
Former tailback Robert Hughes is also on the back of the shirt, but in color.
“The original image [of Hughes] is of him leading the team out of the tunnel,” Alea said. “His look, his pose is exactly what we are looking for in terms of a fierce Notre Dame player.”
The back of the shirt also features both the official 125th anniversary-year logo of the football program, and text about pride and tradition of the team.
“We liked the look of a player running out of The Shirt, but moreover, we liked the look of a player running out of the traditions behind The Shirt and the football program,” Alea said.
Former wide receiver Golden Tate’s image is on the front of the shirt along with the words, “Shake down the thunder.”
“The front is kind of cool, because [Tate] was No. 23, and this is the 23rd year for The Shirt,” Couey said.
Alea said “Shake down the thunder” was chosen as the text for the front because it is an iconic Notre Dame phrase, conveying the powerful sense of tradition The Shirt Committee strove for.
“It represents the traditions … We’re been fierce and always will be fierce,” he said. “We wanted to modernize the design of The Shirt and make it in-your-face, and I think we did a really great job of doing that.”