I’m glad I was a part of College GameDay

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.

John Walsh is the executive vice president and executive editor of ESPN. He hung out on the quad and let his people work. You can tell that he's very proud of his crew and he speaks highly of Missouri journalism grads. There are 22 at ESPN.

Erin Andrews works the crowd.

I always shoot Truman. I love our mascot and I don't know why.

Me and Russ Mitchell from CBS News. As far as we know, we're not related, but we share some good ties.

Shooting the "poor man's aerial" from a roof at Jesse Hall.

This dog is cute as hell, but why would you bring him/her to this crowd?

I saw the cameras then noticed the media pass. This was a hot photographic set up — 30 years ago! No working journalist these days is shooting film. I got a Canon AE-1 for high school graduation.


5 responses to “I’m glad I was a part of College GameDay

  1. UPDATE: #11 Missouri beat #1 Oklahoma, 36-27. It’s the third week in a row that the #1-ranked team has lost. I hope Missouri is never ranked #1!

  2. This is a great story, I love it! I wish I could have made it back for homecoming, but thanks to your great coverage over the week(end) I almost felt like I was! Go Tigers!

    PS-I’m sure Joel Kowsky would love that picture of him and the others on top of Jesse, he’s the one second from the left in the ridiculous Old Gold jacket.

  3. Glad you made the decision to stay, it was an awesome time!

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