Padanilam: Times Square is the wrong location for College GameDay
Benjamin Padanilam | Friday, September 15, 2017
College GameDay is a tradition that college campuses embrace and vie to bring to their homes every week.
And next week, GameDay is taking its show on the road to … Times Square.
It’s a phenomenal selection, bringing it to perhaps the most exciting college football environment of the year. Imagine the possibilities — why limit yourself to just one campus when you can bring it a city that features multiple college football powerhouses? It’s a rare opportunity to bring the diehard fanbases of New York University, Juilliard and John Jay College of Criminal Justice together to feature into one show.
Why would ESPN and College GameDay want to be anywhere else?
After all, a quick look at the alternatives reveals there couldn’t have possibly been a greater opportunity to celebrate what’s truly special about the college game (you know, the colleges themselves):
No. 20 TCU at No. 9 Oklahoma State
A top-20 matchup? At the home of the Bedlam rivalry? Sounds like a terrible option for College GameDay.
The Cowboys might be averaging 51.5 points per game through its first two contests, bowling through defenses to the tune of 572 yards per game, but who likes celebrating dominant offenses?
You know what’s even less attractive? When that offense meets an equally dominant defense. The Horned Frogs might have allowed just one touchdown and less than 350 yards in its two games combined, but that matchup of strength versus strength can’t possibly create an exciting backdrop for a show dedicated to bringing people live to the most exciting places around on Saturdays — college campuses.
No. 25 UCLA at No. 19 Stanford
Hey Josh Rosen, you don’t think school and football go together? Well, ESPN apparently doesn’t think so either, so consider your opinion vindicated.
After all, the claim that the NCAA is a corrupt organization hell bent on profiting of its student athletes without compensating them is ridiculous. College football is defined by the amateur status of its student-athletes, and that’s precisely what College GameDay celebrates every Saturday.
So it only makes sense that they would take that celebration away from silly campuses — particularly one site that offers another top-25 matchup on the often forgotten West Coast in an East Coast dominated market like sports media — and bring it to the bright lights of the Big Apple. It’s not like they’re going down the road from Wall Street, which like the NCAA also doesn’t have the reputation of profiting off of other people. The parallel there would be too obvious.
Some soccer game near Piccadilly Circus
This was arguably a close second for College GameDay in the fourth week of the football season. What could possibly be better than Times Square in New York? Maybe the equivalent across the pond.
After all, bringing GameDay to New York was all about celebrating the city’s rich history of college football and “modern-day fandom.” Piccadilly Circus is in a country that has a rich futbol history itself, and it’s got enough big screens to show those games to fans right there. Because everyone knows that “modern-day fandom” is all about being able to watch the games on bigger and better TV screens, not actually being at the site of the games. Millennials ruin everything anyway, so why let them ruin the storied tradition of College GameDay?
Your local campus’ Stepan Center
Well, every college campus has one, and the fact its on a college campus almost gave it the edge over Times Square. They don’t call it College GameDay for nothing, right? But alas, ESPN decided one venue without a nearby college football stadium just edges out another venue with one less than a mile away. Plus, everyone knows a college campus can’t host the “thousands of alumni [who] gather in the city” like Times Square can.
Some random suburban backyard
At least there would have been some football being played on site.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.