I have always said, that this blog has needed a better, more suitable tag line. In fact, here is what it would most likely say:
Subway Domer, because sometimes jumbotrons, fieldturf, and alternate uniforms are more important than the actual game.— The Subway Domer (@TheSubwayDomer) February 29, 2012
Obviously, that is a loaded statement, but within the Notre Dame blogosphere- there is a lot of the same shit that gets tossed around. I'm not judging- in fact I too am part of the problem. I think that's why I gravitate towards these subject matters so much. It's a little more fun than trying to figure out where in the hell things got all screwy after a loss, or constantly urging fans to have patience. Besides, during Notre Dame's offseason, it's pretty much tradition to clutter the web with this kind of talk.
It is in that spirit that I have asked all of the Subway Domer writers to make their declarations as to what side that they are on. I did not expect everyone to agree, but I did expect everyone to have an answer. Despite my expectations, I was surprised that everyone sent in their responses and gave the brief explanations of why they said Yes, No, or the occasional "meh"; six writers in all. Not too bad, and unprecedented for this site.
Another surprise will await you at the end of the post. It at least surprised me. At any rate, HERE IS WHERE WE STAND ON:
Steve in Iowa: Yes. For the replay alone but all the other cool stuff that could be done as well. I am officially concerned about what Click and Clack might call "crass commercialism" but I think (hope) that the advertising can be done in a limited and tasteful way. By way of comparison to stadiums last season: I was overwhelmed by advertising at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, but thought that advertising at Stanford Stadium was relatively unobtrusive. Obviously, ND is going to resemble Stanford in this regard.
The Brawling Hibernian: No. The value of the jumbotron has been wildly exaggerated. They are big, fat glowing distractions that rarely capture either the angles or content fans want and simply serve to provide a means by which stadium sponsors can shove evermore commercials down the throats of the fans of sport. Look, if you come to experience a game live, watch the game on the field. If you want a closer view, watch it on TV and/or DVR the game.
Blog Davie: Yes. I'm all for a jumbotron if it's placed opposite of Touchdown Jesus and it doesn't display an excessive amount of advertisements. Anything to keep some energy in the stadium during the excessive NBC tv timeouts is a good thing. It would also be nice to verify the calls on the field.
Knute School Fool: Yes. Seriously; live in the now. Why would you not want to replay Aaron Lynch destroying a QB on 3rd and long, over and over and over and over until the opposing team pukes. Why would you not want the home-team advantage of showing that critical instant replay where George Atkinson’s foot was clearly in-bounds on the way to the endzone? Of course, you control it and never show the other team’s replay unless it is to overturn. This is how it works. This is home field. This is the 21st century. Get with it.
KGG: Yes. This one is a no brainer. Getting a tron in there will increase the atmosphere dramatically. Showing replays of the calls that the paid off Big-10 officials have missed might get some blue hairs out of their seats. The knock against the tron is the supposed advertising rights that would appear on the screen and fact that it will be tough to fit into the stadium, but that in no way outweighs the benefit of being able to show a Choo Choo Train animation during the playing of Ozzie's Crazy Train. AYE AYE!
The Subway Domer: Yes. I've been to many, many games at Notre Dame Stadium and not once have I thought, "Gee, I'm sure glad there wasn't a video screen to show replays." This lone item is the biggest reason that I clamor for a Jumbotron. Ultimately, if it is placed opposite TD Jesus- perhaps we can reverse the curse that has fell on us since we blocked his view. My biggest fear is mismanagement of the use of it- but I actually have faith that it would be done with some taste.
Steve in Iowa: Yes. Get decent turf in. I'm not going to live and die on how grass is traditional. Like anything else, though, do it tastefully. Don't need a great big leprechaun painted on the 50 yard line.
The Brawling Hibernian: No. I can already hear the whining: “But, Notre Dame’s grass is so long, and the players are so slow and Brian Kelly’s offense needs a speedier surface.” In order: grass can always be cut, speed is always relative to greater speed – bring in players that are faster than the competition and it doesn’t matter and, really, we’re going to remodel a stadium based on the playbook of a second-year coach? Lastly, for everyone who bemoans the surface at Notre Dame, I will add this: football is a game intended to be played by tough, physical men in unforgiving conditions, not a bunch of spandexed prima donnas worried about whether their wristbands clash with their towels.
Blog Davie: Yes. With the speed BK's adding to the roster, ND simply needs a faster track. While I don't think that necessarily requires an artificial surface, I do think the Irish should go with the mixed surface used by the Packers.
Knute School Fool: Meh. Don’t really care other than maybe the sprinklers wouldn’t come on in overtime against Pittsburgh. Otherwise, no preference. We should be able to whip an opponent’s ass on grass, fieldturf, mud, snow, a mine-field, or a twister board. Anytime. Anywhere. Any surface.
KGG: Yes. Its official, grass in winter time in northern Indiana needs some help. I'm not advocating the plastic grass with the little rubber pellets that get stuck in your teeth, but a synthetic/natural combo similar to Lambeau. There, synthetic fibers are literally woven into the grass to help support the root system. Grass still has to be mowed and treated, so Fortune (If he is still there from the Rudy days) will still have an important job.
The Subway Domer: Yes. Emphatically, yes. The field has issues. Mostly, my mind was completely made up when i saw how shitty the field looked on an opening day. I thought, "they can't be serious." Among the many advantages of such a surface, one is that it just flat-out looks better. I don't want to hear the, "I want to smell the grass when I walk in" argument. If you can smell the grass, you aren't doing gameday right. As far as painted endzones, and midfield, and whatever... whatever. The slashes, like so many ND "traditions" are not a long tradition stretching back to the days of old. I'm cool with whatever, but I am partial to something at midfield. Something large.
Steve in Iowa: Yes. Again, as long as things are coordinated properly. I didn't think that I'd get over the shamrock thing, but I sort of liked them, though I preferred the Michigan game uni's versus the Maryland game uni's last fall.
The Brawling Hibernian: Yes, but… This is an area which, oddly enough, I supported…until this year’s Michigan game. Mixing it up with a different uniform or just jersey color one game a year seems like a fun and harmless way to spice things up a bit. Sadly, in the last five years, Notre Dame has managed to get it horribly wrong at least twice. The first time was the throwback uniforms the Irish wore in 2007 when USC was curbstomping them into submission. The game was gross, the uniforms arguably worse. Then, came this season’s bigger travesty. While the conclusion to this year’s Michigan game was indeed stomach-churning, ND’s uniform selection had me ill before the kickoff. Seriously, how much does the school pay for designers of these uniforms? Is it impossible to find someone to put together a combination of colors and patterns that don’t cause seizures or induce vomiting? I’m cool with ND bringing in the occasional alternate uniform , but for God’s sake, get it right when you do.
Blog Davie: Yes. Last season's alternates for Michigan were stellar, but the alternates for Maryland were disappointing. Alternates, like religion, are a good thing when taken in moderation. With that in mind, I would like to see the alternate uniforms limited to the annual barnstorm game or perhaps any night game in South Bend.
Knute School Fool: Yes. But for the love of God get rid of the sick ass hunter green. That has Charlie Weis losing and Bush-push written all over it. Ditch dark green for realz. Kelly Green is that new-new shit. 2011 “under the lights” style with the old Adidas logo and the bright as Kelly green. Reverse is for the home Alternate… Kelly Green with white rings on the shoulders.
KGG: Yes. The alternate uniforms are loved by one extremely important group of people. The players. Having an alternate uniform for one game last season did an incredible amount for publicity. Talk of the uniform and helmets leading up to the Maryland game was rampant. Publicity is a good thing here when it comes to recruits. I have no direct quote from a recruit saying "I chose ND because of the alternate uniforms and the chicks I'll get because I'm wearing one" but you know one exists. It has too. One alternate uniform a year means more jersey sales which is a good thing for the university. Someone has to pay for that jumbotron right?
The Subway Domer: Yes. My dream, is that one day Notre Dame will wear Blue, Gold, and Green camo for uniforms. However... Once a year, please. I love alternate uniforms, but I think they should be used just once a year and always be different. This is my hope for the Shamrock Series. That is when it should be done, and ONLY when it should be done. However, if the guys want to wear dreadlock wigs all year, then I'm all for that. NCAA violation be damned- I'm sending Rees one.
Steve in Iowa: No. While I hate the argument that Notre Dame is special or Notre Dame thinks its special, football independence does have an irrational appeal to me. Independent. Say it to yourself. It's like maverick. Unconventional. It has so many positive connotations. I like playing a national schedule. I like not being guilty by association to other conference members. That said, it might become a practical impossibility to avoid conference membership.
The Brawling Hibernian: Hell, no. I’m going to sum this up pretty simply: 1) joining a conference would be far less lucrative for Notre Dame; 2) joining a conference would interfere with Notre Dame’s ability to freely schedule games and would likely threaten traditional rivalries; and 3) there’s no surer way to hasten Notre Dame’s irrelevancy than to take away one of its most identifiable features and make them one of a pack. While I understand the contours of the college football landscape may eventually necessitate such a move, the Irish should stay independent as long as humanly possible.
Blog Davie: No. UNLESS it appears that ND will be unable to remain independent with conference realignment. If the Irish are forced into a conference, the ACC would be the best fit in my humble opinion. It offers the best recruiting and television footprints and even has some reputable academic institutions. That said, if ND joined the Big Twen, I would love to watch the Irish play at Kinnick.
Knute School Fool: On the fence. The goal is not to HAVE to join a conference. The goal is to make independence work. But if bush comes to shove (see what I did there?) and Notre Dame HAD to join a conference… I will personally throat punch anyone who says Big 10. The Big 10 is a joke and is no place for Notre Dame. I would go so far as to say I would rather be in the Big East than the Big 10, and that takes balls. Friends. If Notre Dame MUST join a conference… the ACC is the only one that makes sense.
KGG: No. I just don't see the benefit here for ND football. With all of the expansion talk it was easy to get wrapped into wanting to join and win a conference, but I just can't get on board. With ND's position as an independent now, they are invited to the BCS table, easily fill their schedule with incredibly tough teams, and have a national TV audience. What would joining a conference add to that? Unless something drastically changes with the BCS or the NBC deal, staying independent should be a priority.
The Subway Domer: Yes. Of all the arguments to be made, there is one that makes the most sense to me. Schedule. With conference realignment, comes the 9 game conference schedule which makes scheduling opponents ALL YEAR long, much more difficult. Also, the certain move by the BCS to have the "AQ conference" tag wiped away, means more teams will be looking for an easier win. ND could be forced into scheduling a bunch of bullshit opponents. If conferences want to strong-arm ND in the future, we could see just that. ND to the ACC. It makes the most sense for a variety of reasons (academics, private schools, large footprint, Olympic sports, etc) and should be the ONLY conference for consideration.
More Rivalry Trophy Acknowledgement
Steve in Iowa: Yes. Only we need to trim it down to three. Five is too many. There is nothing at stake at that point.
The Brawling Hibernian: Yes. Having staked out a position as “Defender of Tradition,” I will maintain consistency on this point. Rivalry trophies are one of the coolest features of college football. They represent an additional prize over which programs compete and, even when they’re of relatively recent vintage (hello, Ireland Trophy), still manage to bring something extra to the rivalry. It would be awesome if television networks promoted the game as being a battle for whichever trophy, thus adding to their luster and the overall fun/excitement of the game.
Blog Davie: Yes. I can't even keep track of all the rivalry trophies, but I would like to see someone smack Danny Hope around with the Shillelagh.
Knute School Fool: Meh. I would just assume kick the shit out of Michigan every year over a parking spot. We don’t need a trophy unless it’s made of crystal and in the shape of a football.
KGG: Eh, Yes. Rivalry trophies are great, when they are something cool to win. Did you know the winner of the Civil war between Oregon State and Oregon get a carved maple statute of a Platypus? Who wouldn't want to win that? Winning a trophy that isn't a lame megaphone, should be a focal point of a rivalry game. There should be a prominent trophy case at the Gug (if there isn't one already) that should display the rivalry trophies at all times. If ND doesn't currently posses it, then that case shall remain empty until it returns.
The Subway Domer: Yes. I give you this piece from 2009, and also this plea to Brian Kelly and the ND administration.
For a summary:
|Alt. Uniform||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||6-0 Y|
Epilouge: Earlier this week, I was bored and took my boredom to Twitter to start some shit. While I should have known better, and given my tone on some of these very subjects- I should have REALLY known better. During the "discussion" a fellow member of the Notre Dame Twitterati [Poot] suggested:
@TheSubwayDomer you can't troll with that when half of your schtick is changing..."modernizing" everything about NDFB.— Steve G (@PootND) February 28, 2012
After a while, I really started thinking about all of this. Do I really want to change everything about Notre Dame football? At what point would I stop? This article was already in the works when the Tweetfest was going down, so these things have been on my mind quite a bit for the last week or so. I started thinking about the home opener against Purdue. Would I really want Notre Dame to run out of the tunnel onto fieldturf carrying the Shilelagh Trophy, with a gigantic leprechaun painted at midfield while the jumbotron blasts out Dropkick Murphy's and all the while, wearing blue, gold, and green camo uniforms with an interlocking ND on the helmets- just wanting to get this game out of the way for our ACC opener against Duke the following week????.... No, I wouldn't. That whole combo sounds nothing like the Notre Dame I fell in love with as a young boy, or the Notre Dame I dedicate a portion of my life to with a website.
I would not change my answers. I still say yes to ALL of the above categories, but I would hope that a little change would stop the BIG change. So, I thank Poot for putting that bug in my ear, so that I could step back and reevaluate what was important. Yes, I want change within the football program, but at what cost; I'm not sure. All in all, I think Notre Dame has done a pretty decent job on becoming a National Power over the last 100 years. I'll just roll with whatever they got, while laying a suggestion or two.
Malcom X once said, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
I'm so confused.