Ever since the 1988 game in South Bend that was dubbed "Catholics vs. Convicts" when Notre Dame played Miami (FL), that iconic name and the t-shirts that came with it are remembered by Irish fans and the Hurricane fans who hated the gesture.
Over the last 26 years, some clever Notre Dame fans, as well as the Subway Alumni who would not mind making a couple extra bucks off the teams popularity (don't tell Under Armour), have made their own "Catholics vs. __________" t-shirts for big games.
The Golden Domers have one for the teams October 18th game against Florida State this season. Proclaiming it "Catholics vs. Criminoles." Notice the crab on the shirt?
Here's a brief history of some other nicknames fans came up with.
1988: (4)Notre Dame vs. (1)Miami (FL)- Catholics vs. Convicts
This is where it all began. The bad boys of "The U" coming into South Bend to face the Irish. Both teams were in the AP Top 5 and the two already hated each other.
The Irish won the game 31-30 and it had its share of controversey. That being the ruled Cleveland Gary fumble at the 1-yard line. Turns out Gary was down before he fumbled (but don't say that to an Irish fan).
Notre Dame went onto win the National Championship that season. They haven't won one ever since.
2012: (5)Notre Dame vs. BYU
Catholics vs. Mormons
2012 proved to be the rebirth of the "Catholics vs. _________" shirts. It was the first serious run Notre Dame had at the National Championship since their last one in 1988.
The Irish had to sweat this one out and make a comeback in the 4th quarter. They won 17-14. This t-shirt is a wild card compared to some of the other ones that came along in December of that year.
2012: (1) Notre Dame vs. (2) Alabama
Catholics vs. Cousins/Golden Domers vs. Mobile Homers
Notre Dame's matchup against Alabama brought us a 2-for-1 special in the clever nickname department.
Alabama is walking stereotype for the American South. The idea that everyone lives in a trailer park and they go to family reunions to pick up women, it gave us these two t-shirts.
The Crimson Tide got the last laugh. They crushed Notre Dame 42-14 and won their third BCS National Championship in four years.
Since Alabama easily beat the Irish, here's one t-shirt Crimson Tide fans made.
What will "Catholics vs. Criminoles" bring us in October?
Early projections might say that Florida State is a two touchdown favorite. Jameis Winston did steal crabs, but Everett Golson also got kicked out of school for a year for academic dishonesty. So they're even in the "Quarterbacks Behaving Badly" department.