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The Shirt 2007 to be revealed

Gene Noone | Friday, April 20, 2007

With this weekend’s Blue-Gold Game festivities in full swing, football excitement is in the air along with anticipation for next fall’s games – and for the unveiling of the unofficial attire worn to those games, in the form of The Shirt 2007.The Shirt will be revealed to Notre Dame football fans this afternoon at the Hammes Bookstore. Celebrating 18 years of the project, this year’s The Shirt will be “special,” said sophomore Brad Lenoir, president of The Shirt committee.”When designing The Shirt, we wanted to incorporate all that is the Notre Dame football experience,” he said. “We wanted to bring everything together, show how unique it is, and the power it contains.”This year’s designer, sophomore Andrew Parnell, said he wanted to create a shirt that expressed exactly what Notre Dame football fans feel every fall.Lenoir thinks Parnell succeeded.”The Shirt is a unifying factor of Notre Dame fans,” Lenoir said. “It brings everyone together: the students, alumni, fans and the football team. It is something special that has become a part of the Notre Dame football tradition.”Although the design started as a very rough draft, after multiple revisions and some insight from the committee, a great finished product resulted, Lenoir said.Parnell agreed.”When you see The Shirt, you think, ‘Now that is what Notre Dame football is all about,'” Parnell said. Although specifics regarding the look of The Shirt could not be revealed earlier this week, Parnell said students “can expect a comfortable fitting quality made shirt.”Many students are interested in seeing how this year’s shirt will stack up against its predecessor, The Shirt 2006. Last year’s record-breaking campaign sold more than 150,000 units. “Last year’s shirt was a huge success,” junior Mike Youngmark said. “It will be interesting to see if this year’s shirt can meet the high expectations we have from last year.”But Lenoir said the committee “didn’t feel any added pressure this year.””The beauty of The Shirt project is that it is a fresh start every year. We understood that last year was successful, but this is this year,” he said.Although the committee did not look to old shirts for design inspiration, it did use shirts from the past in its promotional campaign. Posters across campus feature students wearing past designs of The Shirt.”In our campaign, we wanted to show everyone how far The Shirt has come over 18 years,” Parnell said. “Our posters feature a collection of past shirts, from the navy blue 2006 ‘Tradition’ shirt way back to the original kelly green 1990 shirt.”At the unveiling, the committee hopes to have all of the past shirts on display to show how far the project has come, Lenoir said.Also at the unveiling will be a Johnsonville brat truck with the world’s largest grill, measuring 64 feet long. The grill will be supplying 2,000 free brats to those in attendance. There will also be inflatables and a bike give-a-way at the event.Scheduled to appear at the unveiling are Alumni Association President Chuck Lennon, the Glee Club, the marching band, the pom squad, cheerleaders and Matt Phipps, Notre Dame’s new leprechaun.Festivities kick off at 5 p.m., with the official unveiling starting an hour later. The committee moved this year’s release to the evening to accommodate the schedules of the students and community, Lenoir said. The Shirt will again sell for $15, but today only, students presenting their ID can purchase The Shirt at a discounted price of $11.Proceeds from The Shirt go to student organizations and are donated to charity. During its 18 years, the project has raised over $4 million.