« NDSU Bison

Shaking My Head

by Dan Gunderson

When ESPN’s College GameDay decided last Saturday that they were bringing their show to Fargo, N.D., I was flabbergasted. This show, which has been around since 1987, is going to bring their show to Fargo!

The reason being is the North Dakota State University football team has been so strong the past two years that they felt it was deserving of the program to bring this college football show to the town the campus resides in.

I kept thinking there is NO WAY anybody can find a negative in the announcement. The questions began to pile up in my head.

“Who will come?”
“Who will be the celebrity picker?”
“Where will they locate the stage at?”

That last question, when answered, quickly became an issue for fans of NDSU. Or maybe just people who are lazy. Perhaps, they were people are too short sighted to think big picture. I’m still trying to figure this out because the location of the set/stage just set people off.

The location, which was revealed at the weekly Monday press conference holds so NDSU’s football coach Craig Bohl can address the media, was set for Broadway and 3rd Avenue North in downtown Fargo.


This is the location of  where ESPN's College GameDay main set will be on Saturday in downtown Fargo.

You might as well of told people that they were putting GameDay in Grand Forks. The fact that this massive production was coming to North Dakota wasn’t enough for people. They want it on the NDSU campus!

I understand where these people are coming from. I do. It is a little disheartening that they decided to not do it on the campus and I will admit I did question it at first. However, when I went downtown to the location they had picked, I shook my head in agreement. I liked it.

Evidently, the walking of 2.1 miles from the tailgating area at Fargodome to downtown is too much to handle. There is even a Facebook group that has been started encouraging people to call ESPN to make their disappointment be heard.

The acronym of SMH (Shake My Head) does not give these people’s issues the adequate response. There acronym should be JWA (Just Walk Away) because this is what these people’s issue should be met with.

At what point did fans of NDSU become so indignant that just having ESPN bring an 80 to 100 member production crew to your town for your football team not be enough? Would you like them to bring you crab cakes as well?

I hear concerns about the students not wanting to walk ALL the way downtown to see the show and then ALL the way back because they will lose prime seating. Prime seating for what exactly? A game that will be over by halftime?

Chances are great that this game will follow a similar script of the Ferris State game. Delaware State University is not good. They just lost to the number four team in the nation, Towson, 49-7. Your concern about not getting a prime seat is irrelevant.

By the way, GameDay starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. Game does not start until 2:30 p.m. and they don’t let fans into the stadium until 90 minutes before kickoff. That means 1 p.m. Your time concern is also irrelevant.

I also hear concerns about drinking while at this event. My guess is that the downtown establishments, and there are plenty of them, will be open with great deals for those in attendance.

Of course if your biggest issue is that you can’t drink at this event, than maybe your issues are deeper than just the location of a pre-game sports show. Finally, the showing off of the great tailgating trucks NDSU has, and they are amazing, will be taken care of by the ESPN camera crews patrolling the tailgating area before and during the show.

This is the biggest sports media company in the WORLD. They are dedicating three hours of programming to be in YOUR town because of YOUR team. Instead of complaining about the half an hour to forty minute walk, why don’t you do what NDSU fans are great at and take over downtown Fargo?

How crazy would it be if all the ESPN camera crew could shoot on Saturday was streets full of Bison fans in Green and Yellow? Wouldn’t that make a statement not only to ESPN but to the college football world that your so called “Bison Nation” knows no limits?

Bison fans are so proud of themselves for being able to travel to Frisco, Texas and take over the town. That is over a thousand miles away and it turns into mini-Fargo whenever NDSU plays in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship game.

You don’t have to prove to me how amazing Bison fans are because I’ve seen what they can do in the past several years. You should prove to the nation how unbelievable you are as a fan base. Put down the phone and dis-like the stupid Facebook pages.

Go to this once-in-a-lifetime event and make the people at ESPN say, “Texas A&M was cool and Alabama was all right. But do you remember NDSU? Man. NDSU was insane.”

I have faith in the fans of not only NDSU but Fargo in general that they can pull this off. Please. NDSU fans. Prove me right.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.