Friday, June 8, 2007

Ugly Uniform, Ugly Results

Sports Illustrated has posted its Top 10 Ugliest College Football Uniforms, and checking in at number nine is Notre Dame's green and gold. I hope it's not blasphemy among the Irish faithful to greet this apparent dishonor with a hearty and sincere, "Well done, SI, and thank you."

The green and gold used to be something magical. In 1977, when I was eight, I was fortunate enough to attend the now-famous ND-USC game in South Bend (a shock, because my dad usually reserved family comps for Army or Navy... perhaps it was our elderly neighbor, Clara, who took me). This game remains my fondest sports memory. After USC took the field, home fans were greeted with a strange site--a Trojan horse being pulled through the tunnel. A door at the front of the horse opened, the Notre Dame players flooded out in green-and-gold jerseys and the crowd went wild. I didn't get the Trojan Horse reference back then, but it didn't matter. Joe Montana and Ken McAfee whipped Southern Cal 49-19 in what is now commonly referred to as "The Green Jersey Game."

Since then, the green and gold has fallen on hard times. There was the loss to Colorado in the '95 Fiesta Bowl, the loss to Georgia Tech in the '99 Gator Bowl, the loss to Boston College in Ty Willingham's first season (the last game I've seen in person), and to make the circle complete, the heartbreaking loss to USC, at home, in Charlie Weis' first season... when Reggie Bush illegally (but smartly) pushed Carson Palmer... or was it Matt Leinert... over the goal line. The green and gold has thus lost 99 percent of its lustre, and I'm sorry, but the green-clad victory at home over Army last season does not a redemption make.

A plea to Weis for the 2007 season: Relegate the green-and-gold jerseys to the ash heap of history. It is no longer an innovative motivation; it is a sign of desperation--a gimmick that exposes a shocking internal lack of confidence. And as an Irish fan, especially one who attended the mystical Green Jersey Game in that national championship year, I would not like to see that wonderfully concentrated childhood memory any further diluted.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shut up, I paid a lot of money for that green Darius (Demetrius?) jersey!

http://jmmn.org/jerseys.jpg

Greg Fetzer said...

Hey! Enjoyed reading here and there in your blog. Thought you might like to know that Mike Scott was inspired by CS Lewis with the 'bye-bye Shadowlands' line. It comes from the last book (The Last Battle) in the Chronicles of Narnia. The final chapter is called "Farewell to Shadow-Lands": "There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

Anonymous said...

Old school jerseys rock. Where you been?

Bellamy Grant said...

CS Lewis? No kidding? Wow, I've never actually read nor seen The Chronic(les). I know that Mike Scott went way "Christian" in his solo career, and maybe this was a foreshadowing. By the way, who are you?

greg fetzer said...

I am a pastor and was putting the finishing touches on a sermon when I googled "bye bye shadowlands" because I thought it and "church not made with hands" might serve as a cool illustration. It was then I discovered your blog. I figured that since I saw the Waterboys open up for U2 in 1984, I might just be hip enough to leave a comment.

Bellamy Grant said...

If you saw The Waterboys open for U2, then you are my new hero. Thanks for visiting--and for the insight.

cookielady said...

I'll never forget the Trojan horse moment, either...and I too have no idea why my dad let my brother and I use the tickets for that game!

Every time ND takes the field in green jerseys, it calls to mind an aging beauty who's caked on the makeup and stuffed herself into a hootchie mama outfit.

The Trojan horse is dead, time to get off.