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ESPN’s GameDay brings lovers, haters together

The culture of ESPN’s GameDay in Boise.



More than 13,000 fans showed up to take part in the first College GameDay broadcast in Boise State history. College GameDay is one of the premier college football broadcasts in the nation. Each week GameDay selects and travels to a new city emphasizing locality and regional fan tradition. “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Erin Andrews and former Heisman trophy legend Desmond Howard were just two of the sports world celebrities who took part in the event. Olympic gold medalist and Idaho native Picabo Street also made an appearance.

“What’s great about College Game Day is that it’s a sports show designed for the fans,” Game Day attendee Bobby Walters said. “It’s fun to have the spotlight on us for a change.”

Football coach Chris Petersen reiterated his position as Boise’s most beloved citizen receiving a standing ovation as walked on the field to take part in an interview with the famed GameDay crew. The broadcasters remarked Petersen has reached rock-star status in Boise.

“He’s a winner,” game attendee and Boise resident Paul Jacobs said. “It’s that simple. All of this is because of him.

“I think his personality fits perfectly with Idahoans,” former BSU psychology major Jarrod Leroy said. “He is very poised, very smart, but he is also different than most football coaches. He is very stoic and anti-flamboyant. I think the working people of Idaho respond to a man who spends less time talking and more time doing.”

The event was a positive family affair — bad behavior and drunkenness was at a minimum, allowing people to enjoy the occasion for their own reasons.

“I am not really a football fan,” attendee Jeannette Bradley said. “I am just here to be apart of something that means so much to Boise.”

The majority of the GameDay attendees were in full support of the local team, but a few showed up intending to express their distaste for the Broncos.

Kirk Herbstreit, a College GameDay host, remarked during the broadcast that Boise State is one of the more polarizing football teams in the nation. As many people love Boise State as hate them and this aspect of fan culture was represented Saturday morning.

“I could care less what the polls say,” Mary Lennon, a Sandpoint native and lifelong Idaho Vandal fan, said. “To me they are the most overrated program in the history of college football. I drove down here to show people that not all of Idaho loves Boise State. In fact, a lot Idaho hates them.”

Some expressed their annoyance toward these sentiments while others embraced it, explaining the polarization of fan opinion adds to the Boise State experience.

“It’s a good thing that people have such strong feelings about Boise State,” GameDay attendee Rob Koisic said. “It’s a part of being a big-time program. Do you think everybody loves USC or Texas? It doesn’t work like that. Look around. Nothing like this has happened in Vandal country.”

“I think a lot of people are just jealous,” GameDay attendee Micheal Hunter said. “Who cares what they think?”

The highlight of the event occurred when the GameDay crew proclaimed the Broncos the winning team, creating an uproar of applause and cheers among the crowd.

“The Beavers have two chances to win tonight — slim and none,” GameDay Broadcaster Lee Corso said before the game.

“It’s great the country supports and favors the team,” Hunter said. “But it’s not about them. The Broncos are about us. They were are team before College GameDay took notice and they will still be our team once they pack up and go.”

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