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  • Irish To Wear New Gold Helmets

    by SEE

    From the ND Athletics Facebook page:

    We have created a new “Gold Standard” for football helmets with the Notre Dame reflective gold particle helmet

    – This new shade of gold makes these helmets closer in color to the Golden Dome than any helmets we have worn at Notre Dame
    – Tradition of having 23.9 karat gold flake in the paint on the helmet continues
    – Gives us a more consistent look from helmet to helmet and week to week
    – After exhausting many options we ultimately were forced to decide between continuing the tradition of managers painting helmets and have a subpar helmet or alter the painting process and get a superior helmet. We felt it was more important to get the color right.
    – The new paint process is not in the skill set/capabilities of student managers.

    85 Responses to “Irish To Wear New Gold Helmets”

    1. Looks just like something from The Dollar Store. My word, this is awful. Do you have some unrelenting penchant to change everything that is good about ND. Paint the helmets like we have for decades, let the students build the camaraderie spirit of the endeavor. Drop this cheap fool’s gold bling.

      • Brooks Boyer says:

        This honestly looks better than the old style we’ve BEEN using. Sometimes to get what you want you must do what you’ve never done before. Bottom line is no matter what we wear it shouldn’t effect our game. The only reason we do this is to catch the eye of viewers, get money, and get the boys pumped about NEW stuff goin into this weeks game.
        -GO IRISH-

      • President Rome says:

        Awful? They look great!

        “Letting go of the past is difficult, isn’t it, Mr. Candle?” said Mr. Lightbulb.

    2. alsatiannd says:

      The new helmets look like a paint job on a ratty bumper car at the state fair. What’s with all the sparkle?

      • Look closer. It’s not sparkle or glitter like OSU or UCLA. It’s more like gold plated brick.

    3. The helmets looks sick but the tradition of the student managers painting them needs to somehow continue!

    4. Love it! Think it looks great. The Student managers will still be in charge of the cleaning and prepping of them every week….win, win.

    5. NDNation continues its tradition of whining about everything and hating everything. These are beautiful and distinctive. It’s pretty clear in the comparison pictures one is dull and could be Navy or Pitt and one is sparkly and unique and is obviously better for a school like ND. People on the boards whine about the helmets looking drab and dull all the time. Now they fix it and 2 of the first 3 replies are whining.

      As for the managers if they couldn’t do this, then they shouldn’t be doing it. Tradition is fine where it makes sense.

    6. Neal Deesit says:

      Ooooh! Shineeeeeeey! If only Swarbrick could persuade the NCAA to allow ND to affix statues of Our Lady atop these glittering globes, they’d look even MORE like the dome!

    7. I graduated in 1999. Like Jack said, we’ve been wearing brown helmets for decades. These helmets are awesome. The color is true, and the shine is unreal. All the haters, just wait till you see the sparkle under the lights Saturday night! You couldn’t ask for a better push to change — Swarbrick and Kelly wanted something truer to the color and finish of the Dome. It’s about time we had a couple guys want to make the whole image of the team and the university better. Don’t get caught up In the extreme close up of that helmet. Guaranteed — it will be OUTSTANDING.

    8. Edward McGrath says:

      They are amazing!

    9. All you negative posters are kidding me, right? You can honestly look at the picture of the two helmets together, and say the old helmet looks better? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The helmets were always meant to represent the dome. The new helmets make that happpen. I think there has been something off with the color of the helmets for years now, and while these break away from tradition, they look better.

    10. AWESOME!

      I was hating the way the helmets started to look. A flat, dull, muted shade of gold. When I was a kid, they shined and sparkled. This attempt, while not perfect, is FAR closer to what used to be. I’m all for it.

    11. Glitter on our helmets? I don’t have a complaint, but a simple observation: Uniform and helmet color changes will not help our team improve, will not help our team beat USC, and will not help our program reach consistent BCS qualification. I don’t like it, but it doesn’t bother me enough to complain. I’m curious, however, to see how many other traditions we jettison in favor of glitz.

      • If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, the pay is good.

        I think these new helmets are great and it is not throwing away tradition, it is just modifying it. These helmets look much more like the dome than they ever did before. If these helmets benefit just one player psychologically then it benefits the whole team. If these helmets help just one more recruit choose ND, then it benefits the whole program. It has been shown that new uniforms and helmets do influence recruits (just look at Oregon,) ND has to stay on top of the game, and I personally think they have hit this one out of the park.

    12. Nutty4Knute says:

      To the Eqpt Mgr, the coach, and the AD: well done with the helmet. Eye-popping. Differentiated. Unique aesthetic connected to a unique university.

      As for the naysayers in this message thread, they likely also complain about all the loud noise at ND home football games:

      “I remember the good old fall days when fans cheered quietly and, on a weekly basis, we exposed our football student managers to toxic fumes so that they could generate dull, inconsistent paint finish on our boys’ helmets. My goodness, where has our integrity gone?”

      To WJ, Alsatiannd, and IrishFan: archive your silly complaints and read them again in 1 yr, 5 yrs, 10 yrs. At that time, when you humbly read your inane comments from the Fall of 2011, ask yourself: if you approached an ND helmet change with such a close mind, what unpleasant circumstances in your life came about because of your own making? Find your Zen self. Make peace with the helmet.

      Go Irish.

    13. Dave Robinson says:

      As a former student manager who painted helmets, I am deeply disappointed. What was the real ‘need’ here? What exactly has been “subpar” in the past? These are the things that make ND unique, and not another SEC football factory. What the heck; bring on the Jumbotron, crank up the loudspeakers, pass out the pom-pons, and light the fireworks! And turn the South wall of the library into the world’s largest video screen; that mural is “subpar”!

      • Dave please relax, this new helmet is awesome and the student manager is still a huge part of the process.

    14. Another tradition gone by the wayside. The slight imperfections were what gave the helmets their character. And the student managers their opportunity to make their mark on the team without actually suiting up. But I guess we’ll get used to it if the team continues to “Win, Baby!”

    15. Coley kane says:

      LOVE THE NEW HELMETS…about time we make a change and i know for a FACT that the players love the new lids as well

    16. I think they look awesome. Can’t wait to see them under the lights. Sad to see the tradition of the managers painting the helmets end, but it’s going to be nice not seeing the paint flake off during games. And for all of you whiners bickering about the changes to the helmets get a life, and just be happy. I can’t believe all of the negative comments about everything ND changes or considers changing.

    17. Sad Warrior says:

      The helmets will have nothing to do with beating the Trojans. Concentrate on the true objectives not some color scheme bias.

    18. Not sure I like it. Not that it matters. It seems the fans feeling/thoughts/views don’t matter anymore..

      • Wow Macko, your right, the AD should consult the Notre Dame fanbase for every decision that needs to be made. Styro-foam or paper plates at the training table? What do you think Macko? Oh that’s right you were probably opposed to the training table, because we did not have one before, damn Swarbrick.

    19. The new helmets are awesome! 1000% better. Those whining about tradition would probably be happiest if we went back to leather helmets. I’ve been a Notre Dame fan for more than 40 years and LOVE the traditions. But a love of tradition should never mean that nothing can ever change. I agree with the post above that said these will look fantastic during the game and will especially pop under the lights. Kudos to whoever made this decision. It was long overdue.

    20. AlsatianND says:

      @Nutty4Knute, Silly? Really? Calm down. I’m allowed to not like something. I might have to cram it in 10 years–like you speculate–but you can cram it now. Good bye.

    21. I really don’t care about the new look (even though it does look very cheap ala a Navy/Purdue/UCLA type helmet). The biggest problem is that our student managers have painted the helmets for years now. It’s a great Notre Dame tradition that isn’t replicated on any campus and we are losing it!

    22. Now can we get some pants that shine to match these?

      Our pants have turned to dull mustard this year (reminds me of Pitt from the 80s). I understand it has something to do with the new, lighter material from adidas, but forget it, they need to shine like they used to!

    23. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, nore care that much. It’s who is wearing the helmet. JUST WIN!

    24. Any change gets some folks in a hissy fit. The new helmets are fine. This is not your granpa’s Irish but a new and refreshing page in the resurgence of Irish football !

    25. I like it! We’re on our way to once again becoming the gold standard in college football, so why not wear it!

    26. The comments above to the effect that new helmets won’t help us beat USC or that the focus should just be on football and not things like helmets are missing the point. No one says the new helmets will help us win. They just look better! Period. I seriously doubt that the coaches and players lost valuable planning and practice time because they were deciding on the color of the helmets.

    27. These helmets look amazing. Can’t wait to see them glitter under the lights. Yes, the change does nothing outwardly to improve the team. Recruits are going to think they are amazing, though. If that small change pushes one recruit over the line in favor of signing with ND, then it was worthwhile. Remember, this is a game of inches. The smallest change can make a difference.

      Let’s make some noise on Saturday night! Go Irish!

    28. Hmmm…it’s interesting how several people think that the “old” dull gold helmets were sort of off-color compared to how they used to be, which I guess I haven’t noticed.

      I don’t know what to think…it’s hard to get a sense of them with these pictures. I’ll have to see how they look on the field on Saturday night. I guess you can’t argue with the fact that ND’s colors are truly blue and gold, and that the new helmets certainly match the color of the Dome much more accurately…

    29. I hear about breaking tradition,I hear about the way things used to be. New paint on a helmet are not going to win us a national championship, but, we haven’t won one since 1988!!!!! Change is good, change is needed!! For all you traditionalists I have been a Irish fan all my life and I love the new look and the new attitude! BK has brought back the swagger and the confidence we have not had in a long time, it’s time to hop on board or stay back in the 20th century!!! For all the haters, like it or not we WILL be back!!!!! Love them or hate them college football needs ND to be in the mix again!

    30. Love the new helmets!! I was sick of seeing the big chips coming off the helmets, the large patches where the paint came off, etc. These new helmets will stay intact (hopefully) throughout the game.

    31. From a distance almost looks like UCLA gold.

    32. The new helmets are a great improvement that was needed. The bowl game in Hawaii was an embarrassment with huge paint splotches flying all over the field on contact, and something needed to be done.
      Sure, the student managers’ painting of the helmets is a great tradition, but the newer, safer helmets don’t hold paint like the ones from 10 or more years ago. The managers will still be involved.
      The new helmets look good, and they are distinct in appearance. They don’t look like the helmets of our opponents like BC, Navy, Army….

      • This is the best comment yet ….people don’t realize that the new helmets have dramatically altered the painting process – it simply doesn’t work like it used to. I used to paint helmets and take pride in how they looked…I’d rather have the tradition go away than become a black eye.

    33. As a student in the late 80’s I was really impressed with the resemblance of our helmets to the dome. The gold helmets had a true luster that mimicked actual gold. Recently, they’ve reflected a dull, brown vague approximation of gold. No different than a helmet from Navy or Pitt or BC. I could careless about the whining student managers and their tradition of painting the helmets. Clearly, they are not up to the task. Therefore, as they will find in the real world, they have been replaced. Sorry, you gotta go. Someone else can do it better. What makes Notre Dame stand apart is our school and alumni base. This will never change, regardless of what changes are made to the game-day experience. And the alumni base hell-bent on preserving outdated and pointless ‘traditions’ needs to step out of the way or get run over. Newsflash: ND has been losing for two decades now and are mocked by all of college football as out-dated and pompous–mostly due to delusional, arrogant alums defending indefensible positions. They always seem to turn the argument from football to academics. Fine. But the issue here is football. And we have sucked for too long. We should and will return a winning, dominant team to the field year-in and year-out. To all the alumni that talk about tradition and Rockne and blah blah blah…Rockne would have installed 19 Jumbotron’s by now, handed out 80,000 gold pom-poms, and installed a state-of-the art sound system that includes piped in crowd noise. He would do anything, within the rules, to win. We’re the only major program in college football with a home field disadvantage. Rockne was a progressive, forward thinking genius. For those alums that want to preserve losing, stay in the parking lot with your “ND” logo pants and enjoy your wine and cheese during the game. And tell one another how great you are and how morally superior Notre Dame is to all college football programs. No one will bother you. Or listen to you for that matter. The world goes on. And this means things change. Including college football. And it will do-so without you. So please move out of the way.

      • DC Irish '69 says:

        Right on Doc!!!!!!!!!!!! You nailed this one 🙂

      • Right on Doc Jennings! I’ve followed ND for 60 years. When we played next to the church in Elkhart, we were ND and God help anybody that cried when they got hit! The biggest thing that matters is that ND does what it can to start the winning tradition again.

    34. The new helmets are awesome. they will look great under the lights.
      all the haters need to realize that CHANGE IS GOOD.
      the only problem with notre dame is that they are so intent on living in the past that the future is passing them by. its 2011 people, not 1949…..

    35. I didn’t initially like what appeared to be a glittery finish, but then I saw the close-up detail. Wow! The effect is that of a gold plated cinder block. Too cool! I think this helmet will be the envy of CFB.

    36. Why all the complaints…Hells bells.. rules change… ND went from leather helmets to the modern day type… Been a Irish fan for 76 years and have seen a lot of changes at ND..and to the game also… go with the flow folks.. Rockne once said be a lineman you have to be big and dumb…to be a running back…you just have to be dumb…so pick your poison…like or dislike .change in color has no outcome on the game.

    37. DotreName says:

      People on here are making me sick. It is people afraid of change pure and simple. The look of the old helmet was basically turning into a muddy gold that in no way resembled the Golden Dome at Notre Dame. Managers will still be preparing the helmets and equipment as before without painting. Look at the video of Christ and Golic seeing the helmets for the first time and then watch their reactions. So cry me a river to all the people wanting to keep traditions. This helmet actually represents what the old helmet was supposed to, creating a better tradition in the color.

    38. The new helmets look fantastic, and it’s about time we got rid of those dull, flaking beige things. I bet the players like them better too. I don’t see how anybody could prefer the crappy old ones.

      • Actually the managers won’t being painting the helmets every week.. It is to complicated a process for them. Doesn’t matter as they look really good and that’s what counts.

    39. marleyman says:

      They look great! Now let’s fix the “ND” on the home jerseys so it doesn’t look like a big gold blob. Where is the quality control? Cut out the ND to allow the blue to come through the interlocking letters.

    40. Think they look great! Anyone else noticed the dull-looking pants this year?

    41. Rob Suess says:

      LOVE EM….this is coming from a traditional guy. Change is good sometimes. Still want to see grass on the field though! I can’t wait to see the Irish in action against SC wearing the new helmets!!

    42. Ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do need to change? I’ll be glad to paint them the original color.

    43. As one of the old guys who loves the traditions, since starting to root for ND in 1944 long before I earned a grad degree there, please allow me to register my complete approval of the new helmets. I think they’re beautiful, and they absolutely do look more like the dome. I don’t care who else wears gold helmets, this is ND! Of course it has little or nothing to do with winning, and of course it’s winning that pays off in many ways, but isn’t it okay to make the connection between the team and the dome? Sure, if I insisted on traditions, I’d be insisting on the black cross atop the brown helmets, the ones they wore in the 1940s when I started following the team. Loved the connection to Christianity. So let’s go back to those if you want to make tradition the most important thing. But if not, can we please just enjoy the sight of those gleamers crossing the goal lines? What kind of negative drops are they putting in the whippersnappers’ beer nowadays?

    44. Love the new helmet. Some people don’t like change.

    45. I heard that the sun will reflect off the helmets of the Irish and leave our opponents with sun spots in their eyes. You can’t stop what you can’t see.

    46. Love the new color. Looks like the color they used to be back when I attended in the early 90s. Not sure where that brown/ green gold color we have been wearing even came from. Those were not our colors. Now if we can just fix the color of the pants!

    47. Charlie S says:

      Another tradition done away with? These helmets are awesome; screw “tradition”. While we’re at it, let’s jettison our 22 year tradition of losing. Go IRSIH!

    48. I wonder if ND copyrighted this color/process. I love the helmet but would hate to see other teams….Navy, Army,Pitt…etc. copy it.

    49. These Helmets are awsome and up to todays standards. The tradition of the students painting them will not be lost.. just some changes. I have been an auto-industry painter for 30 yrs. The students will have pleanty to do rubbing.. polishing these after each game and will look just like new !!! Lots of U$C Red to clean off to start with !!!


    50. Love it, no more chipping paint after warm ups and the 1st play. Shiny too. Way to go ND.

    51. LOVE IT!

    52. Partyboy69 says:

      As an interhall player in the late 60’s, as a freshman, I got a yellow gold leater helmet, that Paul Horning, might have worn. By senior year, my buddies were in charge of the interhall equipment, and I got a helmet that still had “Nick Eddy” taped on it.
      Regarding the standing vs. sitting issue, change the student section. Trade a part of the current student section, and give them the last few rows of the lower bowl all across the home field side. The band and Freshmen, will need to stay in place. Next, designate some sections as for real, loud fans! I won’t be there Saturday night, but I’ll probably be on my feet, talking to the TV at some point. No one is going to tell me to sit down.

    53. this is a joke, right?

      PLEASE tell me that this is a joke.

    54. A few questions;

      Whose idea is this?

      Who gave the go-ahead?


    55. Outstanding … Can’t wait to see them under the lights. Tired of NAVY helmets looking like ours. Very unique , just like ND . Way to go Kelly ..

    56. Love to have one of those jerseys they wore against Michigan , does anyone no where I can find one??

    57. Zahm_Section 1A says:

      Badassss…. these look like gold bricks. Btw… why do we want our student managers breathing paint fumes every week anyways?

      Go Zahm … Go IRISH!

    58. FriendlyFoe says:

      Outsider opinion: Those look AWESOME.

      Y’all have to work through the tradition thing, which I understand….but the detail is super-cool.

      Did I say they looked AWESOME?

    59. I think they look good and close to the dome. This kind of change is OK. Just hope the Irish go out and whup the Trojans. And I hope it’s a start of a long domination.

    60. They can wear miners’ helmets as long as they beat effing USC.

      Go Irish!!

    61. Stand up and shout and sing and yell and if anyone says ‘sit down’, tell them to go to the lounge.

    62. Saw the new Helmet in person last night at the Kelly radio show. I understand that from moving to a concussion resistant helmet a few years ago that they have had issues getting the paint to hold and look right however, this option is a very poor best effort. When viewing it up close and in person it looks like a cheap disco ball…hideous!

    63. New helmets look great! Now if we could only get the cheerleaders to drop that pathetic, boring, Weeeeeeeeee ARRRRRRRR Ennnnnnnnn Deeeeeeee cheer at the start of the 4th quarter and go back to the way it used to be done: We Are (clap clap) N.D.(clap clap).

      • When exactly was that? That is the way it has been done since I started going to games in ’81.

      • The “WE ARE ND” cheer is something that I have witnessed since attending games in ’81. It is a part of the ND tradition and game experience just as is the 1812 Overture to the Coach, Sheriff McCarthy’s timeless jokes at the beginning of the 4th quarter, and players joining the students to raise their helmets and join in singing the singing of “Notre Dame Our Mother”, win or lose, at the end of each game. The cheer you refer to is just one of many cheers used throughout, before, and after the game. I have been living overseas and have not been to a game recently. Please don’t tell me things are changing with all this talk of telling people to sit down and be quiet, new uniforms, etc.

        -Concerned fan and alum

    64. Looks ok in photo’s.

      As for your chant “We are (clap – clap) ND, I would agree. Thatis what I recall when I was young!

      As for people standing up in the stands cheering and blocking others view, well the older population are dying off all over the country, soon all you young studs can donate to the University and do drivebys across the field from each other, “oh wait”, you have to make money to be a donor. Oh well, maybe your parents will leave you enough money so you can continue the tradition of donorship as well. LOL

    65. What is “visitor says:
      October 21, 2011 at 11:31 am
      Looks ok in photo’s.”
      talking about?

      The students always stand during the game. If you don’t want to have your vision blocked, go to Purdue Games, usually their stadium is empty or everyone is sitting down when there is a big game. I suggest you understand that if you get a seat near the student section you will be standing. This has gone on for years and years and is part of the ND tradition. If you think ND students commit drive-by-shootings you sir are an idiot. The youth are still the same youth as when you were a kid. They act no different at all. Obviously you are just an old grumpy man who wants to blame young kids for all your problems. Try to lighten up and enjoy the last years of your life. You only get one life to live. I guess you feel that being a donor is more important the student body? There wouldn’t be a university without the students. And if you are an alumnus, I suppose you realize the student donate more in tuition fees in one year than you probably did you whole student life at ND and all the money you have given ND. Donate elsewhere, because you have no clue at all what it is to be the Fighting Irish. If you think you can convince ND to make the students sit down, you are delusional. Go listen to your gangster rock and tell the greaser’s and soc’s, I am looking for them both [sic]. Man, you are an idiot. You might want to consider that maybe it is you that is creating your impression of the youth. If you treat them like a jerk, they have every right to reciprocate. Stop being such an ingrate. They are the reason there is ND football. Not anything you have done or will do. But you are probably living off of my tax dollars and complaining about those younger than you. So, I suggest you go back to your cave and stay there until you no longer exist. I am not even close to being young, I am bald, wrinkled, and ugly, but I am not bitter and I am especially not jealous of the student body. Again, please never comment on ndnation again. And learn to spell, it is photos not photo’s, the pictures do not possess anything in your statement. Kind of like how your brain doesn’t possess any intelligence.

    66. IndyDomer says:

      We went to Nebraska the last time the Irish played there. Every Nebraska fan in the stadium wore red and stood. Apparently their fans stay home out of respect for their team when they are no longer physically able to cheer with sufficient vigor. The only one to tell me to sit down was an older ND fan who complained that he could not see over me. It won’t shock you when I say our team got crushed in that environment. The number of ND “fans” who attend our games and sit on their hands the entire time and wait to be amused is depressing. If this is what adding seats got us, we were robbed.

    67. brian custer says:

      i hope this is NOT a joke. i think this is great.. so many copycat gold helmets out there… copy this one, losers…

    68. Are we starting to get “pretty” like BC and other wanna-be’s? No. Times change. Uniforms change. If the technology’s there, (making gold helmets golden) we should use it. Heck, brain injured myself, can we agree that the safer (more protective) helmets being used are a good idea? They are a new idea. Why hold-on to a regressive “tradition” (game-day painting of helmets) when progress (quality coloring) offers a better result?


    69. Like the “new (old) gold helmets”. The gleam reminds me of the gold worn during the Holtz era. I wonder why they went away from that color scheme?

    70. The new helmet paint is hideous. It looks like eyeshadow that a junior-high girl would wear.

    71. Maybe ND should have worried more about coaching and playing football than pretty gold helmets. Kelly spent too much time in the paint booth. I love it when ND pulls some new stunt and it blows up. Whats next glitter green?

    72. nice choice on the helmets kelly…now do your real job: COACHING!!! USC?!?! REALLY!? maybe you should do take some tips from minnesota, a awful football team, who kept with USC better than we did. c’mon kelley you’re a coach, not a designer