Maryland, Notre Dame meet in the Ugly Helmet Bowl

November 10, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Notre Dame announced this week that the Fighting Irish will wear special green jerseys and gaudy 24-carat gold leaf helmets for Saturday night’s “Shamrock Series” game against Maryland at FedEx Field in Landover.

Refusing to be outdone when it comes to ugly uniforms, Maryland coach Randy Edsall revealed on his Twitter account Wednesday that the Terps will wear their “Pride” uniforms, the ones they wore in the season opener.

On the Pride uniforms, the Maryland flag is prominently displayed on the helmets and the shoulders and sleeves of the jerseys. A blur of black and white and red and yellow, these unis are likely scorched onto your eyeballs if you watched Maryland’s 32-24 win over Miami. And if you’re colorblind, consider yourself lucky.

The uniforms, which were designed by Under Armour, are a cool concept that was executed poorly. Maryland, however, couldn’t care less about what this sports blogger thinks about them. They are a recruiting tool, and the national attention Maryland received back in September was a rare highlight of Year 1 of the Edsall era.

I think we hit our mark with it,” Edsall has said.

Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly scoffed at a suggestion that Saturday’s wardrobe was a recruiting gimmick when he was asked about his helmets, which are dominated by ginormous green shamrocks and “combine Notre Dame's rich football heritage with the program's bright future,” according to the school’s press release.

“The only people I care about relative to the uniforms are [my players],” Kelly said. “And they were excited.”

And so are fans of tacky, seizure-inducing uniforms. The sports website SB Nation has hailed Saturday night’s game, which will be national televised on NBC, as “potentially the ugliest college football game of all time.”

If you feel like declaring an early winner in the ugly showdown, shoot me at email at

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