Posted by Adam Jacobi
Notre Dame faces Maryland this weekend in what they're calling the "Shamrock Series Game," and it appears the Irish don't want the Terps to be the only team on the field with a, shall we say, "creative" helmet. Behold, via the Notre Dame Equipment twitter feed, the Irish helmets for this weekend:
That? That doesn't look like a football helmet. It looks like a St. Patrick's Day crafts project -- and not a particularly good or tasteful one.
What I don't understand about the Notre Dame alternate helmets so frequently using the shamrock is this: Notre Dame has its own set of iconography for its football team, and it's just about the most recognizable in the nation. There's the interlocking "ND" logo, the "boxing leprechaun" logo, and to a lesser extent Touchdown Jesus*. But anyway, missing from all of those highly recognizable images is the shamrock. It's just not part of the look, and hasn't been since the Irish scrapped a three-year project with the helmet shamrock back in 1962.
So when the Irish players slap a shamrock on their hats for the "sort of throwback but not really" game against Michigan this year, then do it again for the upcoming Maryland contest, it feels like an aggressive rebranding initiative by a program and school that have, in all other aspects, staked their reputation on sticking to tradition at all costs. It just doesn't make sense.
*Also, one might wryly add, the NBC peacock. But we're not here to judge Notre Dame for having their own network; all college football programs should aspire to be so high-profile one day.