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Students create ‘Sea of Gold’

Heather VanHoegarden | Monday, September 19, 2005

After weeks of discussions about what color Notre Dame Stadium would be for the first home football game, the question was answered Saturday – gold.

Although green and other colors were scattered throughout the student section – especially the senior section – most students filled the stadium wearing gold shirts, including this year’s The Shirt. The Shirt president Katie Fox said she was pleased to see the student body unite in gold.

“I thought the stadium looked great in gold,” Fox said. “I was really happy everyone supported what The Shirt project stands for. It really is a symbol of the unity of the student body, family and community.”

The Shirt project benefits Student Activities and Organizations as well as The Shirt Charity Fund and The Rector’s Fund. This year’s The Shirt color is gold, after being green since the 2002 season.

“It’s the overall unity behind the single color that looked great,” Fox said. “Gold is such a great Notre Dame color – it’s bright and it makes an impact.”

Senior Mike O’Neill, who wore a blue “Kegs and Eggs” shirt to the game, said he became sold on at least the color of The Shirt after Saturday.

“Surprisingly, I didn’t hate the gold in the stands,” he said. “The gold looked much better on a few students than it does laying on a rack at the bookstore. Any color is going to look good on an enthusiastic Irish fan.”

Junior Jim Lynch, who bought The Shirt but gave it to his brother, said he will try to wear gold to future home games although he sported a white Notre Dame jersey Saturday.

“I think it would look better if everyone wore the same color, but I’m not a big fan of The Shirt,” he said. “[I am] probably not [going to buy The Shirt], but I am going to try to wear a gold shirt.”

Senior Sara Ryan, who wore a gold “Kegs and Eggs” shirt, said she would wear the same thing for the next home game on Oct. 15.

“The senior section definitely had less gold on then the freshmen, but I don’t think the fact that we didn’t all have the same color really changed anything,” she said. “Although I do think it looks better when we all have on the same color shirt, despite what is actually on the shirt.”

But not all students were sold on The Shirt or the idea of gold in the stands after Saturday.

“I wore a Leprechaun Legion shirt because it was green,” senior Tim Fiorta said. “Yellow shirts? We’re better than that.”

Senior Paul Pogge, who wore a green Notre Dame shirt, said he wasn’t too bothered that the student section was a mix of colors in some places.

“I thought the student section looked good with everybody either wearing gold or green,” he said. “All of the knockoff shirts that are the same color as The Shirt are pretty interesting. If I had made the shirt I would have written: ‘God made rivers, God made lakes, God made the Trojans, we all make mistakes.'”

Junior Doug Mahoney, who wore a navy Notre Dame jersey despite buying The Shirt, said he was more concerned with one of the cheers than the color of the crowd.

“I thought it was funny how the freshman section was all gold but it faded into a big mix by the senior section,” he said. “I think the bigger issue is having everyone figure out what chant we’re doing at the start of the fourth quarter.”