Notre Dame / Michigan

Under the Lights

The first night game to be played at "The Big House" on the campus of the University of Michigan made history and the use of "throwback" uniforms by both Michigan and the visiting Notre Dame Fighting Irish leant an air of nostalgia as well as great excitement to this singular event. And your friendly little helmet site had a very small part.


After the 1962 East West Shrine game, Notre Dame's Daryle Lamonica was named the game's most valuable player.  Not only did he graciously take that award home to share with his family, he also took home his Notre Dame helmet to give to his mother.  Though things may be a bit more lax these days, it was almost unheard of in Lamonica's era, for a Notre Dame helmet to escape the confines of the team equipment room. Official varsity issued gear was almost never left in the possession of an individual player. Thus this game worn item could be the only Notre Dame clover leaf helmet in existence and that is why we were approached to assist with this "throwback" project.



Last season Helmet Hut was contacted to carefully reproduce the art work of the Notre Dame iconic logo to the exact original specifications.  The initial plan had the Fighting Irish wearing this logo during the 2010 season in their game at Yankee Stadium against Army. However the unfortunate death of Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan brought a pause to many projects and planned procedures.  Instead of wearing this full size logo, the Irish placed a small clover on the back of each player's helmet to commemorate the life of Mr. Sullivan.


For the September 10, 2011 Michigan game, the decision was made to highlight the Irish cloverleaf decal.  Despite the hours of tedious trace work on tissue paper, the utilization of magnifying glasses, calipers, and of course the careful examination of a tremendous number of past game photos depicting the exact placement and positioning of the clover leaf, football and Notre Dame history buffs would have noted the clover stems always curled forward.  Yes there is a left and right side to this memorable decal.   The excitement of the evening and the game caused a bit of a groan when viewing the helmets for the first time.  As the old expression goes, "One can lead a horse to water..."