Irish release Shamrock Series uniforms (Bedlam ensues)

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Today Brian Kelly, the assistant coaches and key veterans met with the press for Notre Dame’s official media day. But the real story wasn’t the quarterbacking debate, the coaching changes, or the ways the Irish are going to navigate the daunting 2012 schedule.

It was the Notre Dame uniform for the Shamrock Series.

For almost a week, Notre Dame and adidas teased the new uniforms, releasing a swatch of the outfit, all while debilitating a large faction of the Irish fanbase with worries that the tradition and sancity of one of college football’s most hallowed uniforms was being flushed down the toilet.

This afternoon, All-Americans Manti Te’o and Tyler Eifert unveiled the uniform that the Irish will wear in Soldier Field when they take on the Miami Hurricanes.

Here it is:

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enMhCfQfeTw&w=640&h=360%5D

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(At least I liked the music.)

In the school’s official release, head coach Brian Kelly had this to say about the new TECHFIT uniforms.

“The Shamrock Series is a great opportunity for our football program to play in an exciting venue located in an area with so many Notre Dame fans,” Kelly said in a statement. “This year’s game at Soldier Field will be part of an incredible weekend for the University in Chicago and will be a great experience for our team. The players absolutely love the uniforms designed by adidas for this game and they will help make it a memorable night.”

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As you’d expect, the uniforms made their way around the web rather quickly today, with the verdict being mostly unanimous. And as you’d expect, the players loved the new look and are excited to wear them come October. (Everybody else? Well…)

At this point, I’d like to give a quick public service announcement:

After yesterday’s firestorm courtesy of Rick Reilly, Irish fans really need to worry about what’s important: Winning football games. If wearing flashy new uniforms once a year helps, then I think most people should hop on board and be okay with it.

Make no mistake, it’s tough to be a fan of these uniforms. They are bad looking. Period. (And that helmet… Goodness, me. That helmet is horrible looking. Come on guys.) But any fire and brimstone talk about the death of Notre Dame after looking at the Shamrock Series uniform is silly.

Notre Dame announced a once-a-year change of pace uniform, not a contract with the devil. If you feel like this kills the soul of a program or means Kelly, Jack Swarbrick and equipment manager Ryan Grooms should be looking for new jobs that puts you dangerously close to the “angry man on the front porch” phase of your fandom, and you should quickly come back to the reality of college football in 2012 before you can never make it back. Notre Dame has switched uniforms before, and done so much more often than people probably realize.

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 or not.

Until then, let’s just be happy that the players like them and that the gloves are kind of cool.