Rhett Grametbauer | July 15, 2016
Whether you love or hate Notre Dame football, it is impossible to escape the tradition of one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. The “Play Like a Champion Today” sign, the player walk before each game which passes in front of “Touchdown Jesus,” the ultimate underdog story epitomized by Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger and Knute Rockne’s “Win One for the Gipper” speech are all indelible images of Notre Dame football.
Perhaps the most distinct and iconic image of the football program is the gold helmet which the Fightin’ Irish began wearing in the 1950s.
Through the years preparing the gold helmets has been an elaborate operation that at one time included student managers painting the helmets with real gold flakes. Not just any gold flakes but flakes from the 24K gold leaf that was scraped from the iconic Golden Dome. Gold leaf is very thin and susceptible to the elements making it necessary to periodically regild the dome.