The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh. My. God.

I love Notre Dame's football uniforms. They are so incredibly good looking, and the color combo just gets the blood pumping. Especially the home blues. However, there is one aspect of the uniform that I have absolutely HATED for over a decade. The helmets.

Take a look at the amazing gold tone and paint on the fabulous Holtz-era helmets.

Look at the shine. You can just see the real gold paint caked on there. Remember the huge scratches and gashes that Zorich, Alm and Bettis would get on them? They just looked awesome.

Now we are stuck with these crappy helmets.

Gone is the luster and shine that I recall and love. They have been replaced by some plastic composite material. They still get a layer of gold paint, but they just lost the magic. Is it coincidence that the luster of our football program has faded along with the luster of our helmets? I think not.

I have been clamoring for years for Notre Dame to shit-can their current helmets and bring back the shimmer that our helmets once had. I have often used Ohio State as an example. Their helmets are silver, but they absolutely glow under the lights and bright sun. Sure, they don't paint them, but somehow, they use a material that just looks awesome.

Finally, someone has heard my cries!!! When asked about green jerseys for the big game against USC this weekend, Jack Swarbrick was very coy and refused to answer. He only stated that he had some ideas for pumping up the crowd Saturday night but “I’m not going to share what they are at this time.”

Well, I am proud to announce that I have figured out at least one of Swarbrick's surprises. Notre Dame will unveil all new helmets!!!!!

Look at that shine. Can you imagine how good these are going to look under the lights? The players are going to run through the walls of the locker room when they see these for the first time! I hope to God these are permanent replacements and not just a one-time gimmick. I am so pumped for this game that I can't sit still. I'll be there in the stadium cheering for our glorious victory. For now, you'll have to excuse me. I've got to go watch Rudy, play the fight song, get into a 3-point stance and tackle Ava!


Kevin said...

I'm not sold on these. The tradition of painting the helmets before the games will likely be gone now. Also, I don't know if I like the sparkle. Can't we just go back to the Holtz-era gold helmets that flaked everywhere? Is there something about the new concussion-reducing helmets that prevents them from being painted a decent gold color?

Teddy said...

Watch the little video. They tell you more than you ever wanted to know about helmets. The Cliff notes answer: the managers WILL NOT paint the helmets anymore. Now, they will buff, shine and repair them.

The old gold paint isn't possible. First, the helmets are made out of new plastics that don't allow the old paint to adhere. Second, (I didn't know this) THERE WAS NO QUALITY CONTROL OVER THE PREVIOUS PAINT! The mixture/formula was passed down from manager to manager and changed over the years. Pesky things like temperature and humidity screw it up too. Previous paint schemes are no longer possible.

To me, it is WAY more important to have a beautiful golden helmet than it is to have a handful of student managers painting helmets every week. They still have a chance to prep the helmets, so that is enough in my book.

I'm just tired of the drab olive/brown helmets. We're not Navy or Army. We are ND!

Teddy said...

By the way, flakes from the Golden Dome are still in the paint mixture, that was important for our new helmets that finally match the color of the Dome.

Teresa said...

My former manager father is quite dismayed that the managers will no longer paint the helmets - even if they will still buff, shine, and repair them. I wonder how other former managers feel. I am going to wait and see how they look on the field before I decide whether I like them or not.

Teddy said...

I definitely understand that it's important to former managers. But it isn't what ND is all about. The dorm experience is important to former students, but mine is gone. That doesn't change how I feel about the school. When our dads were at ND it was all men. Admitting women didn't change what ND stands for.

Progress means moving forward. We have safer helmets that monitor impact for concussions and just happen to be made in such a way that our traditional paints have not been working well. We need to make them gold again. Unfortunately, that means they need to be professionally painted.

If in the future ND adds field turf (for better footing), a jumbotron (improved stadium experience), and starts pumping out music during time-outs (increase crowd noise and energy) - it still doesn't change what ND is all about. It just updates the experience a bit.

ps: I think all of these changes are coming. Kelly wants them, Swarbrick wants them, players want them, and I suspect the majority of alum and fans do too. I for one agree with Swarbrick's recent comments that ND stadium is one of the quietest, most polite stadiums in college football. Can it get loud? Yes, but you can't always count on a #1 vs. #2 matchup or a Rocket kickoff return to get our fans screaming. We need a little help. Those eternal time-outs honoring everyone from the women's club judo team to the South Dining Hall employee of the month have gotta go!!! They're killing the mojo!

ian said...

Both of my roommates were ND football managers and they hated painting helmets. It took forever and they reeked of fumes. People aren't becoming managers to paint the helmets, they'll get over it.