125 Years of Notre Dame Football

Author: Leigh Bogensperger

The University of Notre Dame will celebrate 125 years of Fighting Irish football (1887-2012) with a series of “Strong and True” events throughout the 2012 football season.


In March, the University introduced a special 125 logo that will be utilized throughout the year on all signage identifying elements of the campaign. The logo will be seen on sideline apparel worn by Irish players and coaches this season.

The “Strong and True” catchphrase—taken from the University’s alma mater, “Notre Dame, Our Mother”—will be interwoven through various segments of the NDFB125 program.

Although the celebration will last all fall, the Sept. 22 Notre Dame-Michigan game at Notre Dame Stadium (7:30 p.m. EDT on NBC Sports) will feature special recognition events based on Irish football history dating back to the first Notre Dame game in 1887 against Michigan. The Notre Dame-Michigan relationship qualifies as the original and oldest Football Bowl Subdivision rivalry.

Legendary names from Notre Dame’s football past will be back on campus throughout the season to take part in the celebration. The previously-launched logo will be seen on signage and banners in and around Notre Dame Stadium.

A website devoted to 125 years of Irish football has been created at http://125.nd.edu. It currently has three “Strong and True” moments featured. Then, beginning Thursday, Aug. 30 (the day the Notre Dame football team arrives in Ireland for its 2012 season opener against Navy), 125 “Strong and True” moments will be released (one per day) via digital media, along with photo and video galleries.

Former Notre Dame players and fans will be encouraged to engage and participate via the 125 site (as well as social media) by sharing stories, photos and videos of their “Strong and True” experiences.

Stay tuned throughout the summer for additional details relative to the NDFB125 celebration.

Here are specifics of other elements of the 125-year celebration:
- The Official Notre Dame Football Yearbook will feature a 125-year Irish football timeline including all-new prose and images.
- Each of the Notre Dame football game programs (including the version for the Notre Dame-Miami game in Chicago) will feature a specially-designed, pullout insert devoted to 125 years of Notre Dame football.
- Covers of the football games programs will feature original art by nationally-known sports artist Tim Cortes from Duluth, Minn. Cortes’ work will highlight the NDFB125 celebration.
- Game tickets for the 2012 home season will include both the NDFB125 logo as well as throwback looks based on tickets from past seasons.
- The Leprechaun Legion, the official student group liaison to the athletics department, will coordinate a celebration of student traditions over 125 years of Notre Dame football.
- The Notre Dame Licensing Office is working with a variety of its licensees to produce commercial products that include the NDFB125 logo—including everything from pins to apparel to mini-helmets. Some products will be available beginning this weekend in conjunction with the annual Blue-Gold Game.
- The 2012 version of “The Shirt”—to be unveiled Friday—will feature the NDFB125 logo below the back collar.
- A special NDFB125 commemorative coin will be produced and utilized throughout the 2012 season for pre-game coin tosses. A version of the collectable coin will be available at retail.
- Legends of Notre Dame, located just south of Notre Dame Stadium, will display signage related to the celebration and also will feature branded, seasonal menu items.
- Centerplate, the University’s official athletics concessionaire, will include the 125 logo on commemorative drink cups utilized throughout the 2012 football season.
- The South Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau will join in the celebration with a variety of programs—including streets renamed during the football season in honor of great names from Irish football history.

Additional information on other aspects of the NDFB125 celebration will be announced as details are confirmed.

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