Notre Dame Thursday revealed special adidas uniforms for its Oct. 6 "Shamrock Series" game against the Univ. of Miami at Soldier Field, and "they will feature a two-colored helmet," according to Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com. Sparkling gold -- "similar to what Notre Dame's helmets bore last season against Maryland -- takes up a little more than half of the Irish's helmets." Dark blue "takes up the other side, which features the leprechaun logo in white." Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick also said that he "has host sites down for future Shamrock Series games through 2016, but he is still trying to nail down some opponents" (ESPN.com, 8/16). In South Bend, Eric Hansen notes the "Twitterverse had already erupted in extreme reactions" to the special edition jerseys. The feeling was "far from universal, though." Some Notre Dame fans "didn't have any more use for them than they did for a recent column by ESPN.com's Rick Reilly, questioning Irish football relevance in college football's big picture." Swarbrick said, "Because the game is now part of something that is going to last and has its own identification as the Shamrock Series, we decided in a very conscious way to take this an use this as the one time each year that we modify our uniforms." Hansen: "It's certainly the widest departure from the traditional ND uniforms and helmets in memory" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/17).
HANGUPS WITH THE HELMET: USA TODAY's Eric Smith wrote the uniforms are "quite a change from the traditional blue jerseys and gold helmets and pants normally worn by Irish teams at home." The uniforms are "sure to inspire some strong reaction from college football traditionalists." So it appears adidas "was successful if its goal was to grab attention with something outside the box" (USATODAY.com, 8/16). CBSSPORTS.com's Tom Fornelli wrote the uniforms "aren't all that bad." Fornelli: "I'm not a huge fan of the pants, but the jersey is pretty nice. Where things go terribly awry is the helmet" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/16). YAHOO SPORTS' Graham Watson wrote where the "whole uniform loses it, where it becomes The Fonz on water skis, is the helmet. What is that?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/16). NBCSPORTS.com's Keith Arnold wrote whether "or not these uniforms will be a success will be dictated by whether or not the Irish walk out of Soldier Field with a victory" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/16).
FUTURE SITES: The SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE's Hansen writes the '13 Shamrock Series game "has long been scheduled for Arlington, Texas, with Arizona State as the opponent." This year's game will "have several academic tie-ins as well as exporting some ND traditions to Chicago." There will be "a portable version of the Hammes Bookstore, a Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, a Friday football luncheon at Navy Pier and a pep rally in Millennium Park." Hansen notes moving Notre Dame's regular-season finale in '13 with Stanford from Palo Alto to China was "gaining steam" until Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby became the Big 12 Commissioner. Swarbrick said, "It's still a high priority for us. But that (Bowlsby's job change) derailed a little bit of that discussion and the momentum of it. We're anxious to restart those discussions" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/17).