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Posted on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Michigan football will wear throwback jerseys against Notre Dame on Sept. 10

By Michael Rothstein

Michigan and Notre Dame will wear throwback uniforms for the first-ever night football game at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 10.

The uniform switch was first announced by Irish football coach Brian Kelly and then confirmed by Michigan later Friday.

“It’s something that we have been working on with our partner, Adidas,” Michigan football spokesman Dave Ablauf said in an email Friday. “We are excited about it and will have something to unveil later this summer.”

Kelly, though, might have ruined some of the Michigan surprise.

In discussing the jerseys during a regular meeting with the media following spring practice, Kelly gave an indication of what both uniforms might look like.

He said Notre Dame’s uniforms will go back to the Joe Kuharich era. As for Michigan, he was more specific.

“I can tell you what theirs look like: They have a block ‘M’ on them, and a number, and a number on their helmet,” Kelly said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “How’s that? The Adidas people at Michigan are going to be (ticked) at me.”

Fortunately for Notre Dame, it did not play Michigan during the Kuharich years, when the former coach went 17-23 in four years from 1959-62. After being replaced for a season by Hugh Devore, the Irish then hired a young coach from Northwestern named Ara Parseghian.

For the game on Sept. 10, Michigan has already installed permanent lights on top of renovated Michigan Stadium.

The Wolverines have won the last two meetings between the schools, both with last-minute touchdowns — a Tate Forcier pass to Greg Mathews in a 38-34 win in 2009 and a Denard Robinson touchdown run to cap a 502-yard performance in a 28-24 Michigan win.

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558, by e-mail at or follow along on Twitter @mikerothstein



Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

I like the idea, why not have a little fun and mix things up a little? (Full disclosure: I attended the University of Oregon for undergrad and I am a huge fan of UO's ever changing, multiple uniform combinations).


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

I think it's great!


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

Announced on April Fool's Day?

Brian Bundesen

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 1:12 p.m.

Make no mistake. It's all about building hype and selling more and new merchandise.


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 4:38 a.m.

RE: "For the game on Sept. 10, Michigan has already installed permanent lights on top of renovated Michigan Stadium. " -- You mean to tell me that those turn-night-into day lights they've kept on all night for what seems forever are "temporary" lights?? Throwback uniforms: earlier, I made a dinner reservation at an upscale restaurant on the West Coast (three months in advance). When I asked about dinner attire, I was told: "Just wear clothes." Say, how about our team and their team "just wear uniforms" for this game? Whatever, we'll be satisfied if Michigan slaps ND for a big win.


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

Why does part of me hope this is an April Fool's joke?

1st Down

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

"To H E Double Toothpicks with Notre Dame!" ...and Happy Birthday Bo Schembechler! Go Blue. TIM.

Jim Nazium

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

Throwbacks are kinda cool, I don't mind 'em. I think the baseball throwbacks are the funniest, some of those crazy colored uniforms from the 'ol hippy days, man they crack me up.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

So,....they are going to wear Reeboks? Starter? or Champion? I suppose that would PO Addidas, but to hell with them, all they care about is soccer anyway.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

I think we are all missing the boat. They should go back to the LEATHER helmets. When men were men. When people weren't afraid of silly little things like head injuries. Forget plastic and wide M's and numbers. Leather!!!!


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

Not exactly. The games started at 1:30 with Ufer's pre-game starting at 1:15.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 10:56 p.m.

Throwback is good. Throw it back to Denard.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

It's always fun to see the older uniforms, even for a laugh. Nike's paying for it. Michael would be better served with a working knowledge of Michigan football history. The Wolverines weren't a whole lot better in the 1959-62 period (17-19). That was in the middle of the weakest 11-year stretch in school history. In fact, you could take almost any three-year period from 1957 to 1967 and the only stretch rivaling that would be 1934-36. At least until the Rodriguez error.


Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 6:07 a.m.

I'll wager my house Nike isn't paying for this since both UM and ND are Adidas schools,. Don;t let facts get int he way of a good argument though


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

Michigan and Notre Dame are both outfitted by Adidas, not Nike. Adidas clearly sees this as an opportunity to sell more uniform jerseys in Ann Arbor and South Bend and I'm sure the two schools see value in the promotion as well. Keep in mind that Michigan's hockey team wore throwback sweaters for the Big Chill game against MSU, so there is some precedent for U-M doing something like this. I'm sure David Brandon sees this as a marketing opportunity, so I trust this has his strong backing and endorsement. Based on Kelly's description of Michigan's throwback uniform, it has to be something from the 60s. The Wolverines had numbers on the helmets from 1959 to 1968 and the block &quot;M&quot; was on the away jerseys in the mid-60s (and the late 90s, FWIW). The block &quot;M&quot; was also on the 1968 home jersey--I think it only appeared for one year. There's no other time period in Michigan's history that correlates to Brian Kelly's description of the uniform. UM's had wings on the helmet since the late 1930s and the blue home jersey with maize numbers hasn't had much change for a long time (different materials, size of numbers, names added to back of jerseys in the 70s). So if you take the present uniform, add numerals to the helmet, replace the numbers on the sleeves with the block &quot;M&quot; and remove the names from the backs of the jerseys, you'll have something akin to what Michigan wore in the mid-1960s. I'll also add that they may change the shape of the wings and the thickness of the stripes on the helmet to make it look more like it did back then. To get a visual on that, go to the picture of Bob Timberlake at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The Kuharich era Notre Dame uniforms included a shamrock on the helmet. If that's the look ND is going to adopt for that game, they're going to look a bit, shall we say, dated.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:27 p.m.

Your comment, though, was about Notre Dame playing Michigan during that era. More writing would be necessary to extend that concept to a game between the teams during the period for each uniform. However, a simple trip to the Bentley library indicates that the helmet, at least, comes from the Bump Elliott years. Michigan wasn't that good then - that was the period right before the Schembechler/Moeller/Carr era of dominance. As far as the jersey goes from the description - numbers first appeared in the '30s, and I have no idea about the block M. They've never had one on the front, so it must be on the sleeve.

Michael Rothstein

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Macabre, Do realize that Michigan has not said what era they will be throwing back to, so that is why I did not include that in the story. But Notre Dame did say they'd be going back to that time period, which is why I included it.

Terry Star21

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Theo did come up with idea missionbrazil....years ago. Took em that long to realize the genus of the man. Theo and our gang, in support of M will wear our 1879 nickers and tams in a golf game @ 6:00 am on the course, then tailgate for twelve hours with ballentine beer, hand cut chips and skinless hot dogs. Then our sons will beat up Rudy's sons and were gonna celebrate another M win over the luckless irish. Alumni game; Theo's team - 98...........Rudy's team - 11 bloody noses.

Blu n Tpa

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

Spaulding &quot;That boy with eat anything&quot;, and &quot;Rat turds&quot; Bishop &quot;God wouldn't ruin the best round of golf in my life!&quot; So I can either be hit by lightning on the 18th green or throw up in Dr. Beepers T-top Carrera. Both have a drunk scenes, and I don't believe they share a scene, so I&quot;ll do both. (I sure the director will want Matt Damon anyway.) ACTION!


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

OK, Blu n Tpa, who's it gonna be? 1) The Bishop 2) Spaulding 3) Wang


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

you'll need to ask Blu n Tpa about being Spaulding ... not sure he'd go for that.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Excellent point, mission impossible. But how 'bout Blu n Tpa go as Spaulding?


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

to be fair you need to add D21 (Tony D'Annunzio) and Blu n Tpa (The Bishop) to make it an even 5 vs 5.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Starring Theo (Al Czervik), Terry Star (Ty Webb), Tater (Danny Noonan), portage (Carl Spackler), and lorain (Lacy Underalls) vs mission (Dr. Peepers), ed (Judge Smales), and 1st down (Mrs. Smales). Grand fun, we always say...


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Classy move by Brian Kelly. Not. He's straight out of the RR mold and I'm glad we didn't hire him.


Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

You may be glad Mich. didn't hire him but I'm sure Notre Dame is glad they did. Brady will have his hands full in the future with Notre Dame.


Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 2:11 a.m.

What, exactly, about Brian Kelly is ANYTHING like Rich Rod, other than they both came from the Big East?


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Who cares.

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

Kind of a fun idea. Unlikely to change the game or the results.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

My guess is that Michigan's throwback jersey for the Notre Dame game will look like something akin to what the Wolverines wore in the mid-60s. Michigan had numerals on the winged helmets from 1959 to 1968. Go to the following link to see an example: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Michigan also had the block &quot;M&quot; on the sleeves during the mid-60s. Here's a picture of the 1968 team wearing their home jerseys with the block &quot;M&quot; on the sleeve: <a href=";c=bhl&ei=1&quality=3&view=entry&subview=detail&cc=bhl&entryid=x-bl001251" rel='nofollow'>;c=bhl&amp;ei=1&amp;quality=3&amp;view=entry&amp;subview=detail&amp;cc=bhl&amp;entryid=x-bl001251</a> There's a picture in this link from the 1965 Rose Bowl game with Michigan in its road uniforms. You can't see it very well, but they also show the block &quot;M&quot; on the sleeve: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Those uniforms also didn't have the names on the backs of the jerseys, so that might be an additional feature in a Michigan throwback jersey. For a history of Notre Dame's jerseys during the Kuharich era, go to: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> If Kelly is correct on the Notre Dame throwback uniforms, then there will be shamrocks on their helmets. Now that'll be an interesting look . . . .

Jim Nazium

Sat, Apr 2, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Great links man, those were fun to see.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

Great helmet link, Cutter. I love how most have 9, 12 or more variations of their helmets historically, but Michigan has 3. Beautiful!


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

WHY???? who wants ANYBODY to screw with the Michigan Helmet? it is PERFECT! you want to put an M on the jersey? I guess its ok, the ones the players are wearing in practice are OK although I am not a fan of the white tshirts exposed on the arms. but do NOT put anything on the helmets


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

I'm really upset that this is an actual news article. Of all the things to report on, throwback jerseys? Seriously? Don't get me wrong, I thing throwback jerseys are cool and all, but I feel like it's one of those things that should be mentioned on *game day* like, &quot;Why, they're wearing throwback jerseys. That's cool.&quot; and then move on. The first paragraph is all that's needed. (It's all I read) The rest of the article is just superfluous information that nobody cares about.

Chelsea Larry

Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

A throwback game would be one played at 1:00 pm on Saturday. &quot;College Football was meant to be played at 1 O'Clock in the afternoon on Saturday&quot; : Glenn &quot;Bo&quot; Schembechler


Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 6:03 a.m.

I'll need to see proof of that Tex. It does not jibe with reality.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

He must have hated home games at Stadium and Main, almost every one of which started at 12:10 PM during his tenure.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Please tell me that this is an April Fool's Day joke. I despise any and all throw back jerseys, The ones the Hockey team wore for the outdoor game were hideous. If the football ones are anything like those it will be a huge embarrassment on national TV.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

I think this was Theo's idea. He loves to reminisce about the good ol days of UM football.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

Whoopee! Isn't that just so exciting? Must be a slow day in sports news.


Fri, Apr 1, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

When is this throwback fad going to end? Seems like wasted money to me.


Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

Not wasted money at all -- Addidas will make millions off of selling throwback uniforms to their fans, and a portion of that money, in return, goes back to UM via their licensing deal. This is brilliant marketing. It's the exact same reason that MLB does this not once but twice per season now. And I have to admit, those Tigers throwback uniforms look amazing.


Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 6:02 a.m.

Wasted money? You cant be serious. The whole purpose is to sell ANOTHER jersey. So once you have your DRb regular uni, it is time to buy the new throwback uniform. By the way, the U does not pay a dime for ANY uniform.