Flashy Helmet? What Would Rock Think?

A lot of Irish fans are apoplexic over the uniforms – and especially the helmets – adidas has rolled out for the Oct. 6 Miami game at Chicago’s Soldier Field. And, yes, the “bold” designs do seem to spit in the face of tradition.

“Rockne would be rolling over in his grave if he saw these,” many have said.

Not so fast.  For if Rock was anything, it was an innovator.  He re-imagined an entirely new game on the playing field, turning away from “three yards and a cloud of dust” to an exciting, open game in which any given play could result in a touchdown. Now, fans in the stands were glued to each movement, the swaying cadence of the Notre Dame shift, the dizzying possibilities once the ball was hiked….the motion, the action.

And he cared how players looked.  He worked with the manufacturers to help design sleek, well-fitting uniforms. He championed numerals and contrasting colors for jerseys. He was the ultimate showman, and helped lead a movement toward what we might call today “flash and dash.”

So, in some ways, he might be chuckling to himself over the full fruition of his ideas.

Now, if only Golson, Wood, Riddick and Eifert could confuse defenses like Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden….