ESPN's GameDay Is Almost Good to Go at UH
The truck has arrived, there will be a 6 p.m. pep rally at Cougar Village with University of Houston football players tonight, and, beginning tomorrow morning, GameDay will officially be in the house at UH's Third Ward campus for the game between the Cougars and the SMU Mustangs.
Cullen Circle: The site of GameDay
According to the UH athletic department, the pre-GameDay festivities will take place during an initial taping scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Friday at Cullen Circle, located next to the Cullen Performance and University centers.
Cullen Circle will also be the site for the college football preview show, which will air live from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday. UH and SMU are slated to kick off at 2:30 p.m. in a sold-out match-up that means everything to the Coogs.
A lot goes into setting up the traveling show that's essentially just a few hours long, according to Judi Weiss, ESPN GameDay operations producer and 14-year college football production veteran.
Weiss explains that she and the crew start figuring out the logistics the Sunday before. She also says that there's a reason that Cullen Circle was chosen over, say, Robertson Stadium.
"This season, we've been going towards campus sites rather than inside or outside of the stadium in order to portray academics and athletics," says Weiss.
On Saturday, there will be two areas for fans to post up.
One, a controlled spot called the "Pit," can accommodate up to 300 folks. It will open at 6 a.m. Saturday. Food, drinks, backpacks and signs on poles will be prohibited.
The other, located just behind the "Pit," is the larger area associated with the GameDay frenzy that can be seen on TV. That spot will be accessible beginning at 4 a.m. Saturday. (Don't try camping out because you'll get busted.)
After a brief hubbub over the selection of wrestler John Cena as the celebrity picker, former UH star and multi-gold medalist Carl Lewis will be the one sitting next to Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso and giving his two cents on Saturday's slate of games.
For GameDay newbies and veterans, make sure to school yourself on proper etiquette while trying to get your mug on camera.