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Students pleased with 2006 Shirt

Kaitlynn Reily | Monday, April 24, 2006

Notre Dame fans who felt they had outgrown the sea of green era and were not quite suited for yellow may now contribute to a new hue in The Shirt’s recent years – navy blue.

A cheering crowd greeted the unveiling of the 2006 version of The Shirt at the Hammes Bookstore Friday afternoon. The Shirt Project president Richard Fox said he was excited to see a positive response to the navy blue color and simple design of The Shirt.

“I thought the reaction was going to be good,” Fox said. “But I’m surprised by how well the reaction went over.”

The Shirt Project – now in its seventeenth year – raises money for different aspects of student life at Notre Dame. This year’s The Shirt is navy blue with the word “Tradition” in bold writing on the front. The back of The Shirt features former coaches Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz, as well as the Four Horseman.

Current head coach Charlie Weis also appears on The Shirt above a packed Notre Dame stadium. A Knute Rockne quote, “This is the day and you are the team” is written across the bottom to complete the design.

Bookstore greeter Cindy Ciesiolka said the crowd gathered at the unveiling – approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people – reacted with “a great big gasp and a cheer” when they saw The Shirt for the first time. Ciesiolka said crowds were streaming in all day to purchase the new edition.

“[People are] very excited to see Charlie Weis’s picture actually on the shirt,” Ciesiolka said.

Joe Petros was on campus this weekend visiting his son, a sophomore at Notre Dame. He said this year’s The Shirt is the best one yet.

“[I like] the color [and] the design,” Petros said. “I think the Four Horsemen and the coaches … stand out in people’s minds – the tradition. Everything about it is great.”

Fox said he anticipated a positive student reaction to the shirt because of the simplicity of its design and its historical significance.

“Everything on there is instantly recognizable by students,” Fox said.

The Shirt Project website said the design of this year’s The Shirt attempts to link the successes of past Notre Dame football eras to the potential of the current team. The general student consensus seems to favor this year’s shirt over last year’s for the design and the color.

Freshman Rebecca Svenson was at the bookstore on Friday to buy The Shirt. Svenson called The Shirt classy and said she was relieved it was not yellow again like last year’s The Shirt.

“It’s a lot nicer than last year,” Svenson said. “I like the color.”

Graduate student Yinlu Chen was also at the bookstore Friday to buy The Shirt, but said she liked last year’s yellow color better than the navy blue of this year’s shirt.

“I prefer a lighter color,” Chen said.

Freshman Andrew Bertoli has not yet purchased The Shirt, but he has seen it and said he likes the navy blue color.

“It’s a lot better than the yellow they had last year,” Bertoli said.

Sophomore Mary Beugelsdijk attended the unveiling ceremony Friday. She said the crowd was very excited after seeing The Shirt’s new look. Beugelsdijk said she likes The Shirt and would wear it to the games next year if she were not in the band.

“I like the color first of all and I like the simplicity of it, especially the front,” Beugelsdijk said.

Fox said the combination of the new color and the prospects of a successful season will bode well for sales of this year’s version of The Shirt.

“Given the extreme excitement over The Shirt, we look forward to setting a few new records this year,” Fox said.