For the third consecutive year, ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to Penn State, this year for the White Out game against Michigan.
Avid football fans are seeking to make the most of their GameDay experience this year.
Some students are helping ESPN set up three days ahead of the event, and others camping at Nittanyville are planning to head to the HUB lawn in the early morning hours.
Preston Shoemaker, a sports director at Penn State’s Commradio, was granted an opportunity to help with GameDay preparations. He hopes to see this as a networking experience along with being able to show his love for sports and Penn State football.
“I was hired as a utility person for the set. Basically that means I help with whatever the team needs and I assist with set up and tear down,” Shoemaker (sophomore-broadcast journalism) said.
Shoemaker knew he wanted to get involved with the production after watching the program for years and getting to experience the event firsthand last year.
“I love watching it and it was awesome in person,” Shoemaker said. “Last year, I was there before 5 a.m., got my sign on TV and met with multiple people from GameDay, including Reese Davis who signed my poster.”
Ashwin Ventak plans to head over to the GameDay stage Saturday morning on top of tailgating and participating in Nittanyville.
“I think GameDay is so hyped this year because we did not expect to [be] a team of this caliber this season.” Ventak (senior-computer engineering) said. “For such a young team, they have done an amazing job and grown quickly and I think it’s exciting for the fans to see what not only this season, but the coming season hold for the team.”
Although GameDay is considered a must-see spectacle by passionate Penn State fans, some might think that Barstool’s College Football Show might take away some hype from the event.
“I don’t think either event will take away from the other, but at the end of the day, ESPN College GameDay and the Lee Corso pick is such a big tradition so I think all the college football fans won’t think twice about which event to attend,” Ventak said.
Although weather can be seen as a negative as Central Pennsylvania enters the cooler months, Jack Collins said that any pros of attending College GameDay far outweigh the cons.
“You get to experience the greatest show in college football and arguably all of collegiate athletics. It’s a rowdy experience hosted by the best ESPN analysts,” Collins (junior-economics) said. “The whole nation gets to see your school and what your school is about. The White Out is the greatest scene in college football, and this in part is thanks to what seems to be becoming GameDays annual appearance here.”
Collins said he plans to wake up early for a prime viewing spot on the HUB lawn, especially considering how well Penn State football has played so far this year.
“GameDay is never overhyped, and the least overhyped this year. Penn State football was one of the nation’s biggest question marks after losing Trace Mcsorley, Miles Sanders and key players on defense, but here we are, Week 8 and Penn State stands 6-0 and No. 7 in the nation heading into the biggest game of the year at home,” Collins said. “GameDay at your school is a spectacle no one should ever miss.”