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ND kicks off 2014 season with changes

| Monday, September 1, 2014

Notre Dame students began this year’s football season with ponchos and umbrellas, cheering the Irish to victory in the face of stormy weather and recent game-day changes made by the University.

This weekend, Notre Dame not only debuted uniforms from Under Armour and a new turf field, but also instituted a system which allows students to forgo the traditional ticket booklet in favor of electronic tickets on their smartphones.

20140830 Football v. Rice, Brindza, Emily McConvilleEmily McConville

Freshman Enrique Pajuelo said he appreciated the convenience of the “etickets,” even though the new procedure was not completely foolproof.

“I’ve been told by sophomores that [in the past] you had to carry all the tickets with you all the time, so with the phone it was easier, but the main problem was that almost all iPhones run out of battery really fast,” he said.

Although she agreed the electronic tickets were convenient, senior Annie Plachta said she was disappointed that she would now be unable to have a booklet as a reminder of her last football season at Notre Dame.

“I have three ticket booklets from freshman, sophomore and junior year, so I kind of wanted the fourth one to complete the four years,” Plachta said. “It’s kind of sad to have the eticket instead of the booklet.”

The new Under Armour uniforms, on the other hand, were a good change, junior football captain and defensive lineman Sheldon Day said.

“[The new uniforms were] excellent, especially with the nice, tight fit around the body. You’re just feeling good,” he said.

The changes made to the uniforms were not obvious from the student section, however, junior Abbey Dankoff said.

“I don’t think there’s that much difference,” she said. “If there was, you couldn’t tell. I’m pretty pumped about the Shamrock Series uniforms though. I think Under Armour has taken the design to a new level.”

While the switch to Under Armour is not necessarily apparent from the student section, it is very clear while shopping at the bookstore, Plachta said.

“What’s in the bookstore this year is so much better than what they’ve had in the past,” she said. “I don’t remember Adidas having anything cool like [what they have now], especially for women. The women’s stuff tends to be subpar to the men’s, and I thought Under Armour did a really good job.”

As for field changes, Day said the new turf made play easier.

“Definitely, feeling faster, quicker, more explosive is a good feeling,” he said.

Freshman Ivan Carballude said it was unfortunate that Notre Dame had to give up the traditional grass.

“I liked having the grass,” he said. “We have such an old stadium, and it’s so traditional … having the grass, and being one of the last teams to have grass was really nice.”

Dankoff, though, said the switch to turf was long overdue.

“I think that it just allows for a better-played game,” she said. “The athletes don’t have to worry about slipping in mud, don’t have to worry about puddles on the field. … It’s kind of ridiculous. We were one of the only teams to still have grass, and it’s just the way the game is evolving. It’s not that it takes away from the tradition of the stadium.”

Junior Megan McCuen echoed the thoughts of many students regarding the new turf and game-day changes in general.

“I thought it would look worse with the turf instead of the grass since grass is such a tradition, and it’s so natural — a Notre Dame kind of thing,” she said. “But I guess it proved that even though there are changes, change can be good.”

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