What a day. What a good day.
For the first time, ESPN’s College GameDay show came to the University of Missouri. All week the campus — and I — have been buzzing about it. I had to make a decision, though. The men’s lacrosse team had an all-day tournament in St. Louis today, and GameDay would be from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
I’ve been covering the lacrosse team since I came here in 2003. This, on the other hand, was a major television broadcast on our campus. Not just on our campus but literally outside my window. ESPN set up on our famous quad and had supplemental facilities set up in the building where I work, the new Reynolds Journalism Institute.
It was a tough decision, but I made the right one. I stayed here in Columbia and got the opportunity to see this large-scale, mobile operation and meet some good people.
(This was one of very few occasions when I chose to go to a crowded event since leaving daily journalism. There were an estimated 18,000 people on the quad today, said to be a record for GameDay.)
The folks from ESPN were great — very friendly and accommodating. They let me hand out in their control truck and watch the operation. I had a limited access pass, enough to let me get a bit closer to the action. The main restriction with this pass was that I couldn’t shoot from the photo spot, which would have yielded that iconic set-and-columns photo from the quad.
The other restriction? I couldn’t talk to the “talent.” Truth be told, I didn’t want to and didn’t even know their names before today. Sure, I’ve seen them on the show, but I’m not a follower. After all, they’re just journalists. I’m a journalist, too, did they want to meet me?
Ok, they’re just a tad more high profile than me, and not all of them are journalists. Some have some damned nice credentials. We had Chris Fowler, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews here.
And to top it off, as of this time Missouri is beating #1 Oklahoma and about to score again. What a cool, emotional, wonderful day to be at Mizzou.