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Fans flock to snatch new football Shirt

McAnany, Katie | Wednesday, August 31, 2005

With the approach of Notre Dame’s first football game Saturday against Pittsburgh comes the excitement – and dread – about the advent of The Shirt, the official T-shirt worn to Notre Dame football games throughout the season.

Though the student section has been identified as “the sea of green” in the past three seasons, thanks to the kelly green color of The Shirt, this year’s The Shirt has received mixed reactions because of its gold color.

In The Shirt’s 16-year history, it has been green, navy and gray – The Shirt of 2005 is the first ever to sport Notre Dame’s historic gold hue.

Despite anxiety regarding the color change, Shirt sales are still high, according Sally Wiatrowski, a representative from the Notre Dame Bookstore.

“Those who have bought The Shirt are very positive about it,” Wiatrowski said. “I haven’t heard any negative feedback.”

Student responses to The Shirt have ranged from enthusiasm to disgust, with most negative responses from students aimed at the new golden color.

Cavanaugh freshman Teresa Nesbitt said she is not planning on buying The Shirt this year.

“The color is garish and the quote on the back is too cheesy for words,” she said.

Some students, however, think The Shirt appropriately represents the Notre Dame school spirit.

“I really like the design on the back. The quote isn’t great, but changing things up can never be bad,” said Keenan freshman Joe Gorman.

Although he has not bought a shirt yet, junior Jourdan Sorrell approved of The Shirt’s new color.

“Gold is a good color,” he said. “It signifies victory, and it’s better than red or pink.”

The President of The Shirt Project, Kathleen Fox, stands by the color change. Fox was responsible for coordinating design and production of The Shirt.

“Those who say The Shirt is yellow are wrong,” Fox said. “It’s gold.”

Fox said that the change in color was to commemorate the new coach, Charlie Weis, and to celebrate a new era in football.

“For the past three years, The Shirt has been green because of Tyrone Willingham. With our new coach, Charlie Weis, the new Shirt color should lead us into a great season,” said Fox. “I hope the new Shirt inspires a great season.”

The Shirt Project was started in 1990 to aid a graduate student who had been injured in a car accident. Since then, it has grown to become the largest student fundraiser on campus, raising over $2.5 millions for student organizations and financial aid.