The Green Machine is back.
Rekindling a long forgotten tradition of playing Army at Yankee Stadium, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will rekindle another long-standing tradition: wearing green jerseys for Saturday’s game. (Chicago Breaking Sports)
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brian Kelly reconfirmed that his Notre Dame football team will don the green jerseys when it plays Army at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
Notre Dame has worn green intermitently throughout its history, most often as a psychological or motivational ploy in order to win a big game.
The most famous use of the green jerseys was in 1977 when coach Dan Devine surprised his team with the green jerseys before they took the field to play USC. Along with the green jerseys, the Irish also trotted out a Trojan Horse onto the field before the game, symbolizing the Fall of Troy. Notre Dame steamrolled USC 49-19 that Saturday and continued to wear green the rest of the season on its way to a national championship, spawning the legend of the Green Machine.
Dan Devine, however, was not the first Notre Dame football coach to psyche up his team with the color green. Knute Rockne himself was the green pioneer, according to Sports Syndacite.
Rockne didn’t mind using the color change as a psychological ploy. When Notre Dame faced Navy in Baltimore in 1927, the Irish head coach started his second-string reserves. Navy took advantage by scoring a touchdown in the first five minutes of the game. Immediately following the Midshipmen’s score, Rockne made his move, as reported by George Trevor in the New York Sun:
“Instantaneously, the Notre Dame regulars yanked off their blue outer sweaters and – like a horde of green Gila monsters – darted onto the field. From that moment on, Notre Dame held the initiative, imposed its collective will upon the Navy.”
Like a horde of green Gila monsters. That’s intimidating stuff, my friends. More intimidating, of course when you are winning.
Notre Dame has lost five of its last six games while wearing green, dating back to the 1995 Fiesta Bowl against a Kordell Stewart and (Heisman winner) Rashaan Salaam-led Colorado team. The only win came on Senior Day in 2006, when the No. 5-ranked Irish, led by Brady Quinn, defeated Army, 41-9.
The green jerseys were last worn in a 2007 loss to USC under then coach Charlie Weiss.
So, the question for consumption: is the Army game on Saturday important enough to warrant the wearing of green?