The new Notre Dame: Is Knute Rockne 'rolling over in his grave?'

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The new Notre Dame: Is Knute Rockne 'rolling over in his grave?'

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Whenever he's asked about Notre Dame's No. 9 ranking or other various national accolades, coach Brian Kelly repeats his mantra: Tune out the noise.

Heading into their matchup against Miami this weekend, though, the noise level has been turned up -- partly because of the opponent, but also thanks to the uniforms Notre Dame will be wearing.

"Knute Rockne is rolling over in his grave and all that type of stuff," Irish defensive tackle Louis Nix said of the talk he's caught regarding the uniforms. "I like them, personally, and I don't too much care about people's opinions because I have to play in them. I enjoy them, I think it's a good change-up. It's like once a year, so it's not really a big deal to me. I think they're real nice, so I can't wait to play in them."

The biggest gripe with the uniforms generally centers around the helmet, about three-fourths of which is gold and a fourth of which is navy blue, with the school's Leprechaun logo gracing the latter side. It's a helmet that would've pushed the limits at Oregon, so having the Irish wear them for a Saturday was bound to rile up the fan base.

In a larger sense, though, that Notre Dame will don such a drastic departure from their traditional look may not necessarily fit with athletic director Jack Swarbrick's goal of making Notre Dame the "Augusta" of college football. Even with unique uniforms -- the helmet design is truly unprecedented -- Notre Dame's acting just like everyone else. And that's a notion that was off-putting to former Irish wide receiver Jeff Samardzija.

That seems to be the thing these days for recruiting, huh? See how much confetti and hoopla you can put out there to get guys to come to your school," Samardzija said when he heard about the uniforms in August. "But youd think playing on TV every Saturday would be enough."

Notre Dame's Shamrock Series games aren't just about pushing the limits of tradition with different uniforms. Playing the contests at Yankee Stadium, FedEx Field, Soldier Field and next year at Cowboys Stadium could very well be test runs for modernization at Notre Dame Stadium, specifically regarding a video board.

"That's what we're trying to do -- can Notre Dame Stadium still be the Augusta of college football," Swarbrick explained in August, "and provide an environment that allows you to communicate about the school more effectively. That's my frustration. I sort of enjoy it from a football perspective when there's a close call and I watch the opposing coach get whiplash trying to find the video board trying to decide whether or not to call for a review.

"But it frustrated the heck out of me when we honor a professor in between the first and second period by bringing him out to the 30-yard-line, making an announcement about him or her and handing them a football and nobody in the stadium knows what's going on. We ought to be calling great attention and focus to that person. And that's hard to do in our current environment."

Adding a Jumbotron wouldn't just be to highlight faculty members, of course. That's a debate that won't go away, just as the debate over whether Notre Dame Stadium should switch to an artificial surface won't die, either.

Make no mistake, Notre Dame is becoming more modern. They've become hitched with a conference -- not in a true sense, of course, but five games against ACC opponents is a big step -- and have gone in a bold direction with its Shamrock Series uniforms, even if it's only for one game each year. While these changes may rile some outside the team, most everyone who will put on the uniform on Saturday is either excited or generally apathetic toward the digs.

"The uniforms, really, I don't really care what I put on," cornerback Bennett Jackson said. "It's just something I guess that attracts whoever. It doesn't really bother me too much.

"You get to try something different, whatever they want to call it, swag or whatever, but yeah. I like mixing up stuff, throwing in some new stuff here and there."

But whether that's a good or a bad thing may be for everyone else to decide.

Preview: Chris Sale faces Jose Quintana, White Sox Tuesday on CSN

Preview: Chris Sale faces Jose Quintana, White Sox Tuesday on CSN

 

The White Sox take on the Red Sox on Tuesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (5-2, 2.34 ERA)

Click here for more stats to make sure you’re ready for the action.

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

Joe Maddon thinking shake-up for Cubs? ‘I have no idea what that would be’

Joe Maddon thinking shake-up for Cubs? ‘I have no idea what that would be’

SAN DIEGO – Joe Maddon looked down at the desk, shook his head and didn’t hesitate when asked if he was thinking about making some lineup changes to jolt the Cubs.

“I have no idea what that would be,” Maddon said after Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Padres at Petco Park. “We’ve tried everything possible. Guys have been rested. We’ve given guys days off. These are our players. I have all the faith in the world.”

The defending World Series champs are a .500 team through the Memorial Day checkpoint, but Maddon projected calm from the manager’s office to the cameras, expecting that message to filter out toward his clubhouse.

But this wasn’t the red-hot Dodgers pushing all the right bullpen buttons and executing a game plan almost flawlessly. The Cubs had Jarred Cosart on the ropes – and bases-loaded opportunities in the first, second and seventh innings – but still couldn’t deliver the knockout punch against a last-place team.

The Padres gave up 10 walks while the Cubs went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.

“We came off a 7-2 homestand,” Maddon said. “Everybody loved us a couple days ago. Now all of a sudden, we’ve had a tough time scoring runs on the road. We just got to do better. That’s all this comes down to.”

[MORE CUBS: How Kris Bryant became the face of the never-panic Cubs]

Until Jason Heyward lined a 93-mph Cosart fastball into right field for a two-out, bases-loaded single and a 2-0 lead in the first inning, the middle of that homestand (May 21) had been the last time the Cubs scored without hitting a home run.

“Everybody’s proverbially trying way too hard,” Maddon said. “(Don’t) try to hit homers. Really, again, take what they give you. Play with the middle. You got to convince them to do it. They got to do it.

“It’s not complicated. You can see the big swings coming out of our zone when just a single would do. That’s it. We did it before. We can do it again. We just got to keep talking. But then you have to use the velvet hammer as opposed to a real one. Otherwise, you have no chance whatsoever.”