ND's Brian Kelly gives the green light to color coordination vs. Michigan, but will it include jerseys?

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — The latest call for a “green-out” at Notre Dame Stadium, Sept. 1 against Michigan, may actually have some momentum behind it this time.

Which would be somewhat historic.

Beyond the student section, the Irish football fan base hasn’t been the most naturally color-coordinated bunch. Previous pushes for a stadium full of green garb has been largely met with indifference. Climate has played a factor at times, when the only uniformity among the fan base was a “coat-out.”

There was also a green-out of sorts in 2008 in the eco sense of the world. What was billed as the first “carbon-neutral” game in Notre Dame Stadium history was overshadowed by an ugly 24-23 upset loss to Syracuse in the final home game of that season.

“We are listening to what our students wanted,” head coach Brian Kelly said Thursday in throwing his support behind the movement for the ND season opener.

“It started back in April with our shirt (from the annual The Shirt project). As you know, the shirt is green. ... So I’ve simply been 100 percent backing (it). We, in fact, will be pushing that on our end, as well. I think some of our coaches, coaching gear, they will have some green in it.

“We’re pushing some other things within the stadium — through our marketing department — that I think is going to bring that stadium together unified.”

Where it gets ticklish is whether green jerseys for the Notre Dame players become part of the equation.

“I have not made a decision on that,” Kelly said. “My sense is there’s going to be plenty of green in that stadium. Our home jerseys are blue. I love that tradition.

“Unless something happens drastically in my thought process, you know, we’ll wear our traditional blue coming into that game.”

Based on Twitter response, wearing green jerseys would not be perceived as dressing for success, but rather desperation.

• Always Irish: “If done it would be an absolute embarrassment. Those jerseys should be reserved for true underdog games like 05 bush push. Admitting you need that edge here is asinine and absurd.”

• Dave claeys: “If we need to wear a certain color in order to win a football game we are in bad shape!’’

The late ND coach Dan Devine brought green into style in the modern era of Notre Dame football, with his Irish wearing green in a 49-19 throttling of USC on Oct. 22, 1977.

The Irish wore green for the next 41 games and fashioned a 32-9-1 mark (.774) in the alternate jerseys. Since that time, the Irish are a modest 8-5 (.615) in green, 4-5 (.444) when you take out Kelly’s 4-0 record.

Occasional changes to Notre Dame’s traditional uniforms, like this throwback look in a 2007 loss to USC, may not sit well with Irish fans. Coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday that the Irish will likely stick with traditional blue jerseys for the Sept. 1 “Green-out” at Notre Dame Stadium.