They are a bad reality.
I wanted the aesthetic value to sink in before I commented.
The uniforms are brutal, but this was not the work of one person. While they may not look like it, I am sure they took months (if not years) to design. We should have sensed trouble when the Shamrock Series idea was first introduced because this is ND's way of creating a bowl atmosphere without actually going to a bowl game. Rather than simplifying things for everyone and letting the team's performance be enough to drum up excitement, we now travel to different cities, countries, and massive professional stadiums to play games that are appropriately mislabeled as "barnstorming." As if that were not enough, the traditional uniforms are no longer interesting to the ever-evolving ND fan base so we introduce today's latest color-by-number design.
How cutting edge.
The truth is that after 125 years, Notre Dame is finally succumbing to the pressures of modern day college football.
We run the spread offense and have fancy formations with multiple receiver sets, lots of motion, and innovative gadget plays. This leads the casual fan to ignore the fact that we can't signal the play before the play clock expires.
We have different uniform combinations, complete with fancy gloves, shoes, jerseys and pants. Heck, we now have 4 different helmets we can wear that connect our past to our present. Nevermind the fact that our traditional uniforms once were, and still are, the best uniforms in college football today. This, of course, leads the casual fan to ignore the fact that tradition is now nothing more than a buzzword used in the Gug.
We have a coach with a career winning percentage of well over 70%. He has won everywhere he went and he has the resume to prove it. Nevermind the fact that he won the majority of those games at a level where there are less fans in the stands for a game than we have at a pep rally. This, again, leads the casual fan to believe that he will continue those winning ways at Notre Dame because, after all, he won everywhere else.
We also have an administration that cares more about the bottom line than they do about protecting the integrity of a national institution, and no - I am not talking about the academics of the school. I am sure those are protected with plenty of gusto. This, once more, leads the casual fan to discuss ND to his buddies as if the place is different and better than everyone else because our student athletes graduate and win games... well, at least they graduate.
Of course, the casual ND fan is about all that is left so all these new marketing tools make sense.
That said, how about honoring this old identifier of ND football: Winning.
Winning is a tradition like no other and it has withstood the test of time over and over again. It never gets old, goes out of style, or needs repackaged with some blingy helmet and new font on a jersey. Winning can cure a lot of ills and it will even make the administration happy because the bottom line is never better than when winning is around.
Winning does not need to have a game in a professional soccer stadium on foreign soil.
Winning does not need Field Turf.
Winning does not need a Jumbotron.
Winning does not need Crazy Train.
Winning does not need to make changes.
Winning is a good idea.
It would be a better reality.