Given the institution's tenure and tradition, common logic has it that Notre Dame’s history is the most storied in every aspect. The offered relic is perhaps the most scarce and sacred in the realm of Fighting Irish tradition. Worn on September 26, 1931 in tribute to fallen coach Knute Rockne, this blue felt armband is a telling visual reminder of the program’s rise to supremacy and one of the most tragic losses in collegiate sports. The eight-sided accessory features an elastic strap and “ND” sewn in yellow felt. The armband was worn during the second annual spring exhibition. Originated by Rockne as a contest between the current varsity and alumnae in 1929, the contest was eponymously named following Rockne’s passing. A small hole and loss of elasticity affect the piece, which still presents beautifully as a decidedly scarce survivor.
Also included is an original sepia-toned 1909 4x5 photo of Lee Matthews, who was a teammate of Rockne’s in 1910 and went on to a lengthy and successful coaching career.