Cavalcade of Whimsy: Best GameDay Ever, We Got Through Week 1

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Best GameDay Ever, We Got Through Week 1

Cavalcade of Whimsy

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Best GameDay Ever, We Got Through Week 1

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What I think, know and believe about the college football world, the best GameDay ever, and the most miserable fan base, in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.


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Check out all the past Cavalcades

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

The story that back in 2014 I wanted the Big Ten to change its division names from Leaders and Legends to Losers and Suckers is a total lie. It was reported by the Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s a failing league. Everyone knows that. I don’t even watch it.

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Footlong roast beef, double-meat, light mayo, lettuce, tomato, salt/pepper mix and oil, BTW …

Creating this whole CFN thing was partially calculated because college football was massively underrepresented on this new internet thing the kids were all talking about back in the 1990s, and part of the inspiration came from ESPN GameDay.

I was taking a walk to get Subway on a college football Saturday afternoon and thought, “that would be cool to do a web site that covered football with as much fun as it looks like they’re having.”

Having seen at least a bit of every GameDay show ever done – now for content to riff off of more than for entertainment or insight – it might not be as fresh, and bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better with the expanded show, but that thing it just pulled off last weekend was remarkable.

Don’t blow off just how technically difficult it is to turn one big conference call into a seamless live show, but more than that, Saturday’s GameDay didn’t dodge the issues hanging over everything right now.

Agree with their points and views or not, they did what they’re supposed to do. They took a tough all-around show full of loaded and difficult topics and they dealt with them head-on.

The normally iron-off-the-tee-on-a-par-5 style was ditched when discussing whether or not college football should be played in the time of a global pandemic, and the entire segment tackling racial injustice concerns is a stone-cold lock for some sort of an Emmy.

The raw emotion of Kirk Herbstreit’s thoughts will be what’s remembered, but the Maria Taylor-led player Zoom call was just as important, showing what the players are capable of and how they can communicate across team and conference lines.

To go with one of Herbstreit’s thoughts, no, not everything said was pitch-perfect, and that’s okay. Sentiment is what matters – remember that, you ultra-woke culture who gets mad as your hobby.

This is really hard,  and everyone’s trying. Everyone – at least everyone who isn’t being willfully ignorant – wants to say and do the right thing. Not everyone can pull it off, and here’s where the Stick To Sports crowd loses.

All of GameDay on Saturday was about college football, even when it crossed over into the real world issues. That’s where you need professionals who know how to communicate at the highest of levels.

These are some of the most talented TV and media personalities in the business, getting to where they are – and staying – by having a presence. Like GameDay or not, agree with Herbstreit or not, they’re the voices of record because of their place in the college football world over decades.

THAT was how the platform can be used. THAT was how a program like that can wield its influence.

All the way around, THAT, was the best ESPN GameDay ever done.

Forgive the cornball, but in so many ways, that show was every bit as inspirational – again, technically as well as the content – as the ones that got this site rolling 23 years ago.

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NEXT: The most miserable fan base in sports

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