This past weekend on a snowy Saturday morning, the ESPN College GameDay buses arrived in town for the Memphis vs. Gonzaga basketball. Many people were looking forward to the early morning event because you were able to receive an early admittance wristband for the game that night. In order to have the best seating for the live taping event, some groups started lining up at 3 a.m. outside of FedEx Forum. Once doors were opened, people rushed with signs in hand to make an appearance on ESPN. I attended the event with two of my friends and it was a struggle to remain awake that early in the morning. Prior to the event, there was an ESPN photobooth that was complete with all sorts of tiger apparel and spirit items.
Announcer Digger Phelps drew many laughs with his song and dance performance with the students from Stax Music Academy. After an hour, the four infamous ESPN announcers made their way to the news desk to begin the broadcast. ESPN announcers this year included Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Jalen Rose and Digger Phelps. The crowd began waiving homemade posters and pom poms were up in the air. Memphis fans of all ages were dressed in tiger blue, neon clothing and even a few tiger suits.
Jay Bilas was a sight to see with his blue suede Nike tennis shoes. Two women that we sitting behind created their own sign that said, “Bilas Show Us Your Blue Suede Shoes”. The two women had so many signs that my friends and I were fortunate enough to hold a few. The signs were a huge hit with the ESPN cameras. I received multiple texts from friends and family that noticed my five seconds of fame. I thought this event was definitely a success because it made me so proud to represent The University of Memphis and I felt that my tiger pride was stronger than it has ever been.