Monday, September 28, 2009

The real story behind ESPN's GameDay selection

The Big Lead tweeted this earlier today:
ESPN Gameday taking a ton of heat already for going to FSU-BC game. enhances East Coast bias, for sure. would rather c them at LSU/Okl/Cal


I agree that BC hosting Florida State is surprising decision. There have been plenty of better BC games that were ignored by GameDay over the years and there are multiple games that deserve the spotlight more than two unranked ACC teams in early October. Yet talking to two different ESPN folks, I got the story on how GameDay at BC came to be.

1. Problems with the other candidates.
This is the main reason. There isn't a can't miss game this weekend. The closest thing to a can't miss is Oklahoma-Miami. However, Miami's loss to VT and their move to LandShark aka Dolphins Stadium hurt their chance. GameDay feared hosting the show in front of an empty parking lot. The SEC matchups were appealing but the thought in Bristol was that they've already done SEC games and will do more in the coming weeks. Washington-Notre Dame was considered until the Huskies lost to Stanford. USC-Cal was also considered but Cal's loss and USC's recent (and likely future) GameDay involvement made it a no go this week.


2. The Mark Herzlich story.
ESPN is putting together a feature on Herzy. His story is compelling and his early prognosis is very good. If he returns to play next season, ESPN is out in front of what could be a huge general news story.


3. The economy. It is easier and cheaper for ESPN to pull off the show from Boston (their backyard) than it would be from California or even somewhere in SEC country.


4. It has nothing to do with ESPNBoston.com. Some conspiracy theorists are floating the idea that GameDay is part of ESPN's corporate synergy to promote ESPNBoston.com. I am sure ESPNBoston will be mentioned once or twice during the broadcast, but one ESPNer said to me "ESPN.com boston has little or nothing to do with it [The selection]."

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34 Comments:

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

Someone needs to make a sign with a chair-throwing reference. Also, "Charlie Weis is Fat" always works.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Lally said...

TheBigLead's tweet is laughable. The SEC/Big 12/USC/ND garner 95% of the attention in the college football world. Crying 'East Coast Bias' when people dare pay attention to something else is just stupid.

Honestly, that guy's site is just a clearinghouse for conventional wisdom. It offers nothing different from what can get at ESPN or any other mainstream source. Worthless.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

Gameday doesn't just go to the location of the highest-ranked teams. They have gone to Army/Navy, Williams/Amherst, and some historically black colleges as well.

In any case, I could care less what anyone else thinks. Gameday is coming to BC. Let's just enjoy it.

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger blist said...

The East Coast bias argument is always funny - then how come BC is always ranked so low at the start of the season? How come no one paid any attention to Rutgers for the 8 decades up till Schiano made them o.k.?

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger GordonsLeftFoot said...

Great work. Stewart Mandel tweeted a link to your post.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger eagleboston said...

I don't know that the Herzlich story plays nationally even though I personally feel it is the most compelling story of the year in college football.

I live in the midwest and when I tell people about Herzy, they respond "who?"

Even when I went to an industry convention attended by people from the south and the west coast, no one had heard of him.

Is he the best player that no one knows about?

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger BlockParty said...

whats the link to steward mandel's twitter page?

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Mandel's twitter account.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger GordonsLeftFoot said...

http://twitter.com/slmandel

He also posted this link. Great post by our own Pete Thamel on the craziness that is the Coaches Poll.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Sure ESPN should have/could have been at the Heights on several occasions since they were here back in 2005, but at the end of day, it still should be a blast this weekend.

Seriously, we need to get the masses to the morning broadcast/ game to make a good impression nationally.

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger John said...

^ I think that's the most important thing to do. I remember the crowd that was there for the FSU game my freshman year in '05 was pathetic. Hopefully this will be generating some hype on campus especially and from the BC fanbase generally. I was there this past weekend but will definitely be making the trip up for GameDay.

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Bottyeagle said...

Completely disgree about the crowd in '05 for FSU. There was more excitement about that game than in any in my previous three years at BC. It was crazy. First game in the ACC. The Gameday crowd was pretty large, in fact Fowler made a point to talk about how great the crowd was before the show started. Granted we are smaller than a lot of schools, but clearly ESPN was pleased enough to bring Gameday back. They would not have had they been disappointed.

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Peter said...

From HD in response to the why is gameday going to BC question:
"They're going to honor Mark Herzlich, and he deserves it."

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Eagle1 said...

I would trade Gameday for some semblance of a pass rush, even a crappy one. I don't think our D got close enough to see Skinner without a set of binoculars.

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger DL said...

@GordonsLeftFoot

Thamel went to cuse, I believe.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger GordonsLeftFoot said...

My mistake, must have mixed his alma mater up with Kevin Armstrong. If I can recall, he was the only national sports writer to pick BC to win the NCAA Tournament in 2006 so maybe I just figured as much. A solid college sports writer.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger AC in LA said...

@ John

Dude, I was there too, and I'm not sure what you're talking about. It was my senior year, and the place was crazy all week! Everyone I know got up early and went to that Gameday, tailgated like crazy, and the place was packed that night. Really one of my most memorable gamedays ever. Were you on Newton or something?

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger CT said...

Eagle1, what's worse than a crappy pass rush?

I'm with you. We're on the verge of duplicating our Sid Vicious Experiment for pass rushers.

Flyers around campus: "Ever wanted to rush the QB and let out some of that anger at your Calculus professor? Here's your chance."

Seriously though, hosting Gameday is great exposure. Cool stuff.

Let's get our Music History jokes together.

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger BrynMawrEagle said...

Great work and post, ATL.

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger Groundhog said...

I'm glad the game is at 3:30. When Gameday came my sophomore year, the party started so early in the am many were worn out or hungover by the 7:45 pm kickoff. But the crowd was still pretty great at the game if I remember correctly.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Joe Bags said...

BC had a great turnout for Gameday in '05. Were you expecting 10K like some SEC Game?

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger CT said...

BTW, the LSU game is in Athens. The Oklahoma game is in Miami.

How would those not contribute to an 'east coast bias?' as well.

EagleBoston, I think it goes without saying that most southerners, SEC fans at least, don't know much, if anything at all, about Herzy.

Yes, he's the best player few know about.

I've got a good friend who happens to be the biggest LSU fan on the planet. He knows Herzy as "isn't he the guy who flies around all over the field with face paint on?" And he, like all of us here, pays attention. I think that pretty much sums it up.

I'm loving the Gameday/BC/Herzy exposure.

If it's not SEC, down here at least, it doesn't matter.

It's really up to everyone else--like BC--to change that.

You know, Matty has an off week this weekend. Just sayin'...

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger BC Lova said...

are they really calling the dustbowl the campus green now? really?

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Turning to the actual FSU v BC game, it should be very interesting.

FSU is reeling and in a self-hating mood. The fans are going after Bobby B and Jimbo F. FSU has a lot to prove this week and they could come out on fire. But then again, they could self-destruct and BC could be feeling it. We'll just have to wait and see which teams actually show up.

But consider this interesting dynamic. Shinskie can throw the long ball, as we saw, the BC O-line seems to be able to give Shinskie time, yet according to no less a source than Bobby Bowden, FSU has trouble with the 'bombs' .. If this dynamic plays out, this could be one FUN game. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Here are some Bowden blurbs

"The thing that gets me is the uncontested bombs," Bowden said. "… I don't understand that. Our kids for some reason can't see that guy coming right by him."

The defense gave up three big plays of 44 or more yards, two of which were passes. The Seminoles (2-2) have allowed 14 plays of 30 or more yards in four games. Yet, Bowden was mostly OK with a defense that finished strong in the second half by allowing fewer than 100 yards and giving up just a field goal -- and only after USF recovered Ponder's fumble on the FSU 13-yard line.

"The defense played darn good except for the (big plays)," Bowden said

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger The Midnight Lumberjack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger The Midnight Lumberjack said...

'05 was overcast, crazy humid, and awesome, despite the loss. Huge crowd on the dusty "campus green" for the show, and it lingered before and after the taping. Signs were funny, crowd was loud, energy was high, and I was sufficiently drunk. This may have been my favorite though:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/39125/Pics/espn.jpg

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger BCDoubleEagle said...

Officially, it's always been called the Campus Green as long as I can remember (although no student actually calls it that); the "Dustbowl" is just a nickname.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Dumb question, is the audio for Gameday streamed online, or is it broadcast on ESPN Radio or anything?

I remember having a tough time hearing last time around, and I don't know if that is typical for the setup, or if we turned down the volume to be kind to our Chestnut Hill neighbors.

I wouldn't mind bringing up some Audio on a radio or iPhone.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Groundhog said...

http://www.newsday.com/blogs/sports/campus-confidential-1.812060/college-gameday-headed-to-florida-state-boston-college-1.1481827

More hate about the BC Gameday selection. Apparently he thinks there are only 317 superfans.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger andy d said...

parking/tailgate situation:

After discussing the parking situation at great length, the group decided the best course of action would be to open all lots for pass holders from 8:30 to 10 a.m. to allow for GameDay parking (with no tailgating allowed), then close the lots to re-open for the regularly scheduled time at 12:30 p.m. Three hours of pregame and one hour of postgame tailgating will be allowed.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger CT said...

There's always gonna be haters. It gives them something to do.

ESPN is going to hype a CBS national telecast (LSU-UGA)?? Why, when they spend more time talking about all the other games than the featured one, anyway?

Easiest job in the world is to be a critic.

The haters love cancer.

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

CT: "the haters love cancer" ??

ugly comment.

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger CT said...

relax.

facetious.

 

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