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College GameDay’ returns to Notre Dame

first_imgAlmost exactly seven years ago to the day, ESPN’s popular pregame show “College GameDay” visited campus to broadcast live before Notre Dame hosted USC in the infamous “Bush Push” game. Today, after the fortunes of the Irish football program have fallen and risen again, the first of the approximately 50 cast and crew of “GameDay” begin arriving on campus from all over the country to prepare for Saturday’s national broadcast. “It’s great. It’s been way, way, way too long since we’ve been there,” ESPN analyst and announcer Kirk Herbstreit said. “It’s nice to see that they have a high-profile game at home to allow us to come in there and just add to the atmosphere hopefully there in South Bend on Saturday,” Tom Engle, producer of “GameDay,” said he and his crew were excited to return to South Bend. “The tradition that Notre Dame has, not only with football but as a University, it’s a special place. Any time we get the opportunity to come back there is great,” Engle said in a phone interview with The Observer. “It’s too bad it’s been as long as it’s been since we’ve been there, but I think it’s a good sign for Notre Dame that we’re coming back. That means obviously they’re doing something well on the field.” Engle said ESPN makes its decision about where to host “GameDay” each week based solely on its opinion of what the biggest game of the week is. While ABC and ESPN (who are both owned by Disney) broadcast many games each week and NBC has exclusive rights to all Notre Dame home games, Engle said that did not matter. “It doesn’t really bother us what network it’s on,” he said. “We’re going to go where we think in our estimation the best game is every week regardless of what network it’s on or anything like that.” John Heisler, senior associate athletic director, said the University welcomed “GameDay” to campus and was excited about the opportunity to host the show. “I think it’s a great compliment to everybody,” Heisler said. “There’s not a football program in the country that wouldn’t like to have ‘GameDay’ come on any given weekend.” Engle said while the Saturday morning broadcast is the centerpiece of the show’s visit, “GameDay” will start to have a visible campus presence as early as Thursday. “There will be a lot of action around there on Thursday setting up the set and our ‘College GameDay’ footprint … which seems like it’s getting bigger and bigger each year,” he said. “We have obviously our set, and then flanking our set is two Jumbotrons for all the crowd to be able to watch and hear the show as it goes on. So it’ll be quite a presence once we get everything set up Thursday afternoon.” Although “GameDay” visited Notre Dame’s contest at Michigan last year, Engle said those fans who last saw the show live in 2005 will notice differences. “It’s a whole new demographic of students we’re reaching out to … our footprint’s gotten much bigger since then,” he said. “We do our best to keep the fans that do show up involved by playing music, by playing the show on the two Jumbotrons … and just interaction with the fans out there.” Notre Dame hosted the first-ever campus broadcast of “College GameDay” in 1993 before the then-No. 2 Irish defeated then-No. 1 Florida State. Heisler said the show has become much bigger than what it used to be. “We look back on when it first came here back in 1993, it was nowhere near the stature of what it is now,” he said. “In fact, they were up here indoors in the concourse of the Joyce Center, there were certainly some people that came and watched it, [but] there was nowhere near the interest in having a huge audience that there is now.” Engle said there might be surprises for fans in attendance, but he was sure fans would enjoy the experience. “We have some things in the works,” he said. “Nothing that I can really tell you now, because I’m not sure yet … But I think they’ll enjoy it, I’ll say that. The people that show up will have a couple wrinkles that will make it worth their while for coming.” Engle said Notre Dame’s Thanksgiving weekend contest at USC could also see the show visit, especially if both teams continue to win. “There’s obviously a ton of games that need to be played by a lot of teams before then,” he said. “But it’s a definite possibility.” ESPN will begin broadcasting parts of various shows at 9 a.m. Friday and broadcast “College Football Live” from its on-campus set Friday afternoon. The set will be located on Library Quad. “On Friday, we start doing T.V. at 9 a.m.,” he said. “There will be guys and girls out there on and off all day … Until about 4 p.m. there will be some sort of action on the set. People are more than welcome to hang out on Friday if they want to.” The “GameDay” festivities will start early Saturday morning, as filming will begin at 8 a.m. The show will go live at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and then will be live on ESPN from 10 a.m. to noon. In a now-famous “GameDay” tradition, ESPN analyst Lee Corso will predict the winner of the Notre Dame-Stanford contest shortly before the show’s end by donning a mascot uniform of the team he picks to win. “Who knows what he’s going to do?” Engle said. “It’ll be a spectacle about 11:55 when he makes his pick. I don’t know where he’s going yet, but we’ll see.” Engle encouraged students to show up early to the set, especially if they wanted to see themselves on national television. “If you get there early, obviously you’ll get up close and get a chance to be on TV. We’ve had people camp out before,” he said. “We’ve seen all kinds of things over the years. It’s kind of first-come first serve as far as your chance to get in the front row and possibly see yourself on ‘GameDay. … the earlier that you come, the better.” Herbstreit said he was excited to broadcast from campus, especially after he learned students would be finishing midterms this week. “Oh my gosh,” he said. “They [the students] will be out of their minds. That’ll be fun.” “College GameDay” will begin broadcasting live at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and continue its broadcast from 10 a.m. to noon on ESPN. The set will be on Library Quad. Contact Allan Joseph at [email protected]last_img read more

McNeal, Eagles’ guards too much for Badgers

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoAt the Bradley Center in Milwaukee Saturday, the Badgers virtually stopped two veteran Marquette guards.Too bad there were three.With Wisconsin leading the No. 25 Golden Eagles by seven points with 17:08 left in the game, one Marquette guard was simply too hot to handle.His name isn’t Wesley Matthews, who led the team averaging 22 points going into the game.It wasn’t Dominic James, who scored 20 points in last year’s contest at the Kohl Center.Instead, it was the Golden Eagles’ third senior guard — Jerel McNeal — who took over the game.That seven-point lead soon vanished as Marquette coach Buzz Williams set up a double screen for McNeal on seemingly every possession. It sure worked.McNeal scored 14 straight points for the Golden Eagles, putting a halt to the Badgers’ attempt at a comeback, and effectively giving Marquette its second consecutive win over Wisconsin.“Offensively, coach put the ball in my hands and I was trying to read their defense and make plays when I could,” McNeal said. “I was trying to do whatever I could to help the team.”Help the team he did, as McNeal finished the game with 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds.In the first half, the Badgers’ defense forced the sharpshooting Marquette offensive to only 39.1 percent from the field. They even held McNeal to a mere seven points.But in the second half, Marquette’s athleticism, particularly McNeal’s, was simply too much for Wisconsin’s guards to handle.“He’s good enough to do that,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “He’s a guy on that team that can create things and make a lot of things happen with the ball. At least we were trying to get him to do it in different ways.”“He was making tough shots,” senior forward Joe Krabbenhoft added. “We were switching off, getting a hand in his face, but he really made some great plays.”Despite being noticeably undersized, the Golden Eagles outplayed the Badgers defensively in the second half. McNeal credited that, along with a 21-14 rebounding advantage in the second period to his big game.“Everything that we did tonight, especially for [the second half] of the game, was predicated off us playing unbelievable defense,” McNeal said. “We were getting stops and rebounding and forcing turnovers, giving us a chance to run. That is what our team is all about.”With four starters averaging double-digit scoring, Marquette had many options on offense. Though McNeal took over the game on Saturday, nearly every starter on the Golden Eagles is capable of having a big game offensively. Following the game, McNeal commented on the team effort that led to the victory.“It wasn’t just me, it was all five guys on the floor,” McNeal said. “I was just trying to read their defense and make plays. I’m just in a situation where I’m trying to do whatever I can to help the team win.”The loss dropped the Badgers to 6-2, with both losses coming against ranked teams, including No. 2 Connecticut, which also boasts three guards who score in double digits.Ryan noticed the discrepancy in athleticism between his team and Marquette, citing the Golden Eagles’ guards’ ability to make plays off the dribble. Furthermore, with the Texas game around the corner, the Badgers will have yet another big task ahead of them, as they will have to defend more elite guards in A.J. Abrams and Damian James.“James and McNeal are quicker than anybody we have,” he said. “Trevon (Hughes) isn’t far behind … but our sophomores and freshmen just have to keep getting better if we want to compete in the Big Ten.”last_img read more

CRAIC IS ’90’ AS TRACTORS LINE OUT FOR ANNUAL SANTA RUN

first_imgThis year’s participants ready to depart Maggies.All Images by Máirtín Mac Crábhagáin.More than 90 tractors braved the wind and rain of storm Desmond as they departed Maggies Tavern Carrickmore St Johnson to take part in the annual Santa Tractor run organised by Tony Rodgers.Robbie, Mathew and Jordon Porter all dressed and ready for the off.This event proves popular each year on the vintage tractor scene and a bit of rain wasn’t going to dampen spirits.Tony would like to thank everyone who took part in this years run and was delighted to present a cheque for €1610 to Principal of The Little Angles Mrs Angela Keane. Tony Rodgers and Patricia Allen presenting Mrs Angela Keane Principle of The Little Angels Special needs School Letterkenny with a cheque for €1,610 from the recent tractor run, also pictured is Mrs Kennedy Vice Principle and Staff and students of Mr Diver’s class.CRAIC IS ’90’ AS TRACTORS LINE OUT FOR ANNUAL SANTA RUN was last modified: December 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more