I’m proud to announce that the weekly College Gameday review is returning again this year (only a week late). Week 1 did not have a review due to the holiday weekend, but I’ll get around to writing one up for posterity soon. Anyways, let’s get this thing going.
Today’s edition of Gameday came to us live from Eugene, Oregon for the big matchup between the Oregon Ducks and the Michigan State Spartans. It started early out there in Oregon, where they are broadcasting at 6AM local time to a rowdy crowd of true fans and/or drunkards (please note the bars close down at 4AM, just enough time for a burrito run after the bar closes on your way to Gameday). This marks the 6th year in a row of Gameday broadcasting from Eugene, and the 9th time overall. Apparently classes don’t start at Oregon until September 29th. I don’t get it.
I’d like to stop down at this point and discuss something from week 1. I’m sure you noticed there is a newly revamped Gameday intro song and video featuring Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy singing “Comin’ to Your Citaaayyy”. This new edition features poor audio levels on the vocals, mediocre new lyrics, some random woman fronting the band, and a hipster rapping after Cowboy Troy. I don’t know who this random woman is or the rapping hipster (I gave up after Googling for no less than 15 seconds), but they are unnecessary. Please write your congressman to let them know we need the previous Gameday intro back. End rant.
After Chris Fowler opened up the show by introducing everyone, it was noted that Desmond and Chris were matching-suit-buddies. They stopped down for a cute suit-buddies photo.
As for today’s game, the forecast calls for a 40-degree swing in temperature from morning to night, with gametime temperature in the mid-to-upper 90s. Who does this favor? Who knows. Other early statistical note: As ESPN continues to pimp their new Football Power Index (FPI) system HARD, they project LSU has a 99.8% chance of beating Sam Houston State today.
Anyways…. Today’s crowd was a wild and rowdy crowd as always in Eugene, but signage was somewhat lacking in genius. Highlights include “At least Oregon doesn’t have Detroit”, “At least the Pac12 can count”, “Uh oh, Michigan State needs another bailout”, Reddit user garguinchona sporting the upside-down “Go Cougs!” sign all morning, but we will give this week’s best sign to this fellow.
Onward we go to the SAM PONDER OUTFIT OF THE WEEK featuring REVIEW BY @GAMEDAYJEN. Jennifer called is “Simple, elegant, slimming, and pretty. Not weird like some things she wears”.
There was a great segment highlight the walk-on player at various colleges. It was a really cool segment as they showed video of various walk-ons being surprised after earning a scholarship for their hard work. Really touching stuff. Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said that if you own a business, you should go hire some walk-on football players, because they are the ones who have the work ethic and dedication to earn their spot wherever they end up.
Apparently this year they are bringing on a local celebrity chef to do some grilling on-set at each stop, and this week’s Gameday chef of the week was Michael Swartz, who is the head chef at some place I don’t know and is no doubt very talented at making things. There were some GREAT Desmond Howard over-laughs during this segment as they exchanged banter about food.
Week 2 also saw the return of BEATNIK POETRY WITH TOM RINALDI!!! This week’s piece was entitled “Green”. It included such deep, thought provoking statements such as “Nature. Youth. Currency. Envy. Let the royals have their purple; the sky its blue. This field has one color: Green. And we all know what green stands for… go”. Just pure gold from Tom Rinaldi.
This week’s Chris Fowler hundred dollar trivia challenge was asking what the first college football game on ESPN was back in the day: Oregon vs. ????? The answer was Colorado. I thought ESPN got their start broadcasting football from D2 playoffs back in the day, but maybe I’m wrong.
We also got a nice Gene W. piece on JT Barrett; QB from Ohio State. Basically he has moved from backup to true leader in a matter of weeks. Then we got a piece from Tom Rinaldi about Marcus Mariota, who is one of many in a long line of famous Hawaiian quarterbacks such as the great Timmy Chang. As much as I thoroughly enjoy bagging on Tom Rinaldi, he really does some fine work.
Following Tom Rinaldi’s piece, we got another exclusive segment with QB guru Georgie Whitfield. Amongst all of his quarterback clients is none other than Marcus Mariota. Now I’m sure you’ll be shocked, but George is pleased with the improvement he has provided to his paying client. Lots of good generic quarterback mechanics being discussed here. I’m truly thrilled.
As we returned to our Gameday crew breaking down games, there was a random Jesse Palmer chant which broke out from the crowd. I don’t get it but I was totally stoked because Jesse Palmer is awesome. How can you not love this man?
During this segment, you might have noticed that Desmond was no longer matching Chris Fowler’s outfit. He went and changed into a darker blue jacket for this segment, before mysteriously going back to his original in the next segment. Quite whimsical if you ask me. During this discussion, Desmond managed to predict a Michigan win over Notre Dame in order to fulfill his contractual obligation with Michigan that he remain their #1 cheerleader in the world.
This week’s inspiring “Tim Tebow Memorial Segment” was about Michigan fan Stephen Loszewski. After one year of freshman highschool football, Stephen became weak and started losing weight, before being diagnosed with ALL (a type of leukemia). Due to his treatment he could never play again, but he continues to coach youth football and root for Michigan. During the segment at his home, he was delivered a letter from Brady Hoke inviting him for a campus visit as a real blue-chip recruit. Then GIGANTIC HUMAN BEING Jake Long showed up to give him a stack of hand-written letters from the Michigan staff. He was taken to the Michigan campus where he met with Coach Hoke before being led into team meetings and practice by Devin Gardner. He got to fulfill his dream of running out of the tunnel with the team during a practice, leading a warm-up chant, and catching a pass in the endzone. To top it all off, Desmond Howard showed up to meet him. Really cool segment.
At this point, it was time to get down to the business at hand: picking games. David Pollack was the first up to make his prediction for the big game, and although he said “Mariota is gonna ball”, he went with Michigan State to pull the upset. Our special guest celebrity for the day was the Oregon Duck “Puddles”. This segment quickly fell into chaos, with Puddles using props for all of his picks. There was a toy elephant (Bama), a toy rocket being launched (Toledo), a blender being run through half of the segment (?), and fruit loops being spilled all over the table. This pick segment was tiring to say the least. However, the grand finale was top notch. After Desmond picked Oregon and Kirk picked Michigan State, Puddles put on a poorly-assembled fake Puddles headgear made out of a cardboard box to signify picking his own team. He then presented a wrapped up present to Coach Corso, and to our surprise it contained his own Puddles headgear to keep! Charley the Cat also chose Oregon after going 1-0 last week, so Charley and Corso will remain tied for another week. Enjoy your Saturday, and have a happy football!