Even President Barack Obama felt compelled to weigh in. In going through his bracket with ESPN, he cited the uniforms as a reason Notre Dame shouldn’t go any further than the second round, saying “that neon glow wasn’t working for me.”
If the goal was buzz, though, that’s certainly been accomplished. And maybe these limited-edition uniforms weren’t created for most of the armchair — or barstool — fans. They could be a recruiting tool for next-gen talent, said Will Welch, senior editor of GQ magazine.
“There’s something gimmicky about them, but outlandish choices like this can end up defining an era,” said Welch. “They’re pretty shocking now, but I’m an adult fan, and that’s different than being a 12-year-old kid dying to grow up and play at Kansas or Louisville. ... There’s a good chance that these kids love the idea of debuting something that’s exciting.”
Sports fans are quick to get behind fashion trends that help show support of their favorite teams and players, he said. How many people wore dorky glasses with no lenses to games — and even their offices — after the NBA’s Russell Westbrook did?
Among the less popular innovations in the new uniforms were short sleeves on jerseys for UCLA, Baylor and Louisville — something Adidas also introduced this year for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
But guess who likes the sleeves? Louisville guard Peyton Siva, the Big East tournament’s MVP two years in a row.
Last week, after Louisville’s win over Notre Dame, he said, “I think everybody shot a lot better today with the sleeves.”
He also wanted to take home the shorts, and gave a compliment to Notre Dame’s uniforms, too. “I thought they were pretty awesome. Other people might not like them because they’re different, but I love them.”