Make it another social media touchdown for Notre Dame football

SOUTH BEND — Move over Michael Mayer.
Make room for Audric Estime and his acting chops.
Another summer uniform reveal, another grand slam movie parody delivered by Notre Dame Football and Fighting Irish Media.
Last summer, Notre Dame social media was set ablaze during a uniform reveal for the annual Shamrock Series game, held in Las Vegas against Brigham Young. To announce the rollout of their unique ice white uniforms, Notre Dame social media parodied “The Hangover,” with Mayer, who now calls Las Vegas home as an NFL rookie, former Irish defensive end Isaiah Foskey and head coach Marcus Freeman in starring roles.
One of the best tight ends in the country last season, Mayer also was best in class in the clip. It worked so well that the video went viral, accumulating more than three million page views. The bar was raised. If Notre Dame went down that movie parody road again to announce a uniform choice for a big game, it better be good.
This is good. Maybe better. It’s become a rite of summer camp. Breaks up the monotony of another day of another 15-plus practice periods.
The latest uniform reveal/parody hit social media at 8 a.m. Monday morning. It features Estime, the starting running back, and starting quarterback Sam Hartman along with Freeman. Now they’re spoofing the 1996 classic Jerry Maguire (no, Hartman wasn’t yet born), which stars Tom Cruise as a down-and-almost-out sports agent who’s been fired by his mega-agency and is left with one client – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.).
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Estime plays Tidwell. Freeman plays Cruise. Hartman plays Tidwell’s brother (Tee Pee), a role that requires him to be in the background, twirl a football, nod occasionally and do a little happy dance. Big stretch, but it works. Everything works.
It’s the famous “Show Me The Money!” scene in which Tidwell is begged by Cruise to stay with him as a client when he steps out on his sports agency own. If Tidwell does, he says to Cruise with music in the background, he’s going to have to … show him the money.
It’s the scene from a classic movie.
In the Notre Dame parody, it’s not money that Freeman has to show Estime (that would be illegal, silly), but green jerseys. Make that all green uniforms — jerseys, pants, hats, shoes, gloves — that Notre Dame will wear Sept. 23 for the night home game against Ohio State.
What kind of green would you call that? It’s not deep green. Or lime green. Or the disastrous shamrock shake green that Notre Dame men’s basketball wore a decade ago. Ugh. Let’s go with soft green. Just keep the helmets gold. Please.
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Estime was excellent — “I need to feeeel you Coach Free!”
Freeman also was fine — “Show me the green jerseys!” “Notre Dame has the baddest uniforms!”
Pinned on X (formerly Twitter), the clip had more than 450,000 views by 11 a.m.
Scanning social media Sunday, you got a hint of a heads up that something Jerry Maguire-related was brewing at Notre Dame/FIM. Freeman quoted on X one of the more memorable movie lines — did you know the human head weighs (eight) pounds? Hartman offered another — did you know bees and dogs can smell fear?
The next day, the video dropped. In a house still early-morning quiet, it was laugh-out loud funny. They nailed it. All of it.
Like Mayer did in last year’s video, Estime steals the scene. Freeman’s no slouch, either. Imagine asking Nick Saban to play that part. Or Ryan Day. They’re too stiff, too stodgy, too them. Freeman being Freeman, he gets it. He goes there. None of it works without the head coach, so the head coach makes it work.
Make sure to watch until the end when they also include a Freeman outtake. It’s just as good. His reaction? Genuine. Real.
Same as the Hangover parody, you can’t view this one once. Rewind it to nail all the nuances. Each time you find something new, something that makes you go, wait, how did they know to include that?
Like the original bass beat in the background from the same song in the movie (The Wrong Come Up by L.V.). Like Hartman’s black T-shirt “You had me at hello” Really? Like Estime’s gold necklace to mirror Gooding's.
Kudos to Notre Dame for finding that clunky early-edition cell phone for Freeman. And that ring tone. Nice. Did they find that phone in the drawer of an old desk that belonged to Lou Holtz? Word is, it’s a secret how they found it.
Notre Dame running back Audric Estime models the green uniforms that will be worn this season against Ohio State.
Estime certainly didn’t have to be coaxed to go shirtless and show his chiseled 5-foot-11 ½, 233-pound frame. He’s acting. He's having fun, but he’s also sending a message to Ohio State — want some of this? Come get it.
For The Hangover spoof, the production team and players traveled to Las Vegas. They stayed a night on The Strip. They rented a Rolls Royce. This time, they just borrowed the kitchen of an FIM staffer and had Freeman at his office desk in the Guglielmino Complex. Throw in some scenes around the Gug and that’s a wrap.
They also seemingly learned that less can be more. Last year’s video ran 4:05. This year’s was a tight 2:24. It works. If Siskel and Ebert were still around, they’d give it two thumbs up. Make it four.
What will Notre Dame do next season for an encore to the encore? What movie spoof is next? The Blues Brothers? (It’s 106 miles to South Bend, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it). Airplane? (Tell your old man to drag Billy Schrauth and Gabriel Rubio up and down the field for 60 minutes!) Fast Times at Ridgemont High? (Wow. Does he really live here? I thought he just flew in for games!)
What gold will 2024 hold? Whatever it is, it will be good.

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