Showing College GameDay our Cyclone pride

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective
Students at the filming of College GameDay Live
Students from JLMC 497K went backstage during College GameDay Live. Photo by Melanie Van Horn

by Emma Vandemore, senior in public relations

You can hear the roar of Jack Trice Stadium from a mile away. You can feel the vibration of thousands of people jumping up and down, screaming the words “Cyclone Power” as a swarm of red jerseys come running out of the tunnel. The band plays the fight song, and keys start jingling in preparation for kick off. A few seconds later, the two teams on the field battle for 3 hours in front of the most loyal fan base in the country.

It is impossible to explain the feeling of a Saturday game day in Ames, Iowa. When Iowa State students and fans heard that ESPN College GameDay would be rolling into town, I knew it was time for the fans to show the country what Cyclone Nation was all about.

When the ESPN College Gameday bus rolled into town, the atmosphere of Cyclone Nation was amplified to new level. College Game Day is known for telling stories, and I was so excited to be able to share my AmesDay experience.

People lining up to attend College GameDay Live
During the 497K students’ tour of the College GameDay set, they saw the production of College GameDay Live. Photo by Emma Vandemore.

When Beth Haag said we would be touring the ESPN College GameDay set while they were filming a live show, I was so excited. I have watched College GameDay for a long time, and it has only increased my love for college football. When I watched the show on T.V., it looked so easy. The people on camera carry on conversations flawlessly, but the cameras don’t show all the hard work that happens behind the scenes.

The College GameDay desk on the production set
JL MC 497K students toured the production set of College GameDay. Photo by Emma Vandemore

One day of filming is preceded by three days of travel, set up, and organized chaos to set up for the big Saturday show. When the 497K class talked to Rece Davis during the Q&A session, he analyzed the situation perfectly: “I love the calmness of the few hours before the show airs, but I also love the adrenaline of getting up on stage and hearing people cheer, yell and scream.”

I gained so much knowledge from touring the production site, but I also got to experience this cheering, yelling and screaming as one of those passionate fans when I attended the Saturday College GameDay broadcast. As I watched everyone show their Cyclone pride, I realized that experiencing the show from both sides was a memory that would stay with me forever.

The College GameDay set with lights, cords, and other stage elements.
JL MC 497K students got to experience the action of College GameDay during their set tour. Photo by Emma Vandemore.

My College AmesDay Experience was one I will never forget. I learned so much about what it takes to run an ESPN program from start to finish and what it is like to stand in a sea of red and gold yelling until I have no voice. Most importantly, I learned more about what I want to do in the future thanks to the experience I received through ADVRT 497K and the Greenlee School.

Emma Vandemore with friends at Saturday's CyHawk game
Emma Vandemore got to show her Cyclone spirit when College Gameday came to town. Photo by Emma Vandemore.

This blog post is part of a series written by students who interacted with ESPN’s College GameDay on Sept. 13, 2019, as part of ADVRT 497K, Sports & The Media in a Digital 24/7 World. The class is taught by assistant teaching professor Beth Haag, who works to provide students with access to real-world scenarios, guest speakers with a wide variety of experiences as well as best practices for the rapidly-evolving communications field. For more information, refer to the Iowa State course catalog.