Have you ever had a day that you know you're going to tell your kids about someday? I think I might have had one of those yesterday. And as silly as it might sound, that day had everything to do with basketball. You see, ESPN's College GameDay rolled into Bloomington to film their show -- and for a basketball nut like me this was a huge deal. So when I found out that the taping was free and open to the public, I was all over it. So I got up at 7:00 am on a Saturday, drank my coffee as fast as I could, ate Fig Newtons for breakfast, scraped 2 inches of snow off my car as it continued to fall, and drove to Assembly Hall. And let me tell you, there's nothing quite like Assembly in the morning. I am literally in love with this place. It's like a cathedral for basketball. But anyway -- after being patted down by security guards we made our way to the seats, receiving high fives from the cutest elderly employees in red sweater vests known to man. It was at that moment that I knew this day was going to be pretty great.
It was pretty awesome to see the process of how they shoot a show like College GameDay. All of the equipment and the number of staff was insane. Probably the best part was that we were sitting behind the hosts, so we could see what they see on their monitors. I have to admit -- after sitting (well actually standing) through two live tapings, I have a ton of respect for what they do. All of the transitions and segments have to be perfectly executed. And they don't have a teleprompter like a news show -- it's all dialogue and conversation. Talk about nerve-wracking! To make things even more difficult they had thousands of screaming Hoosier fans behind them.
And yeah, it was pretty cool to see the commentators live and in person. I mean I grew up listening to them. And it was nice to see Jay Bilas sporting the candy-stripes. That earned him a point in my book.
And Rece Davis rocking the striped jacket as well. Classy.
This was the scene as taping began. I'm somewhere to the right of the frame of this shot. It was unreal.
I'm so glad that I have a friend who shares the same love for IU basketball. When we made our plans to arrive at Assembly Hall two hours before the taping began, we jokingly texted each other that we were insane. Hoosier Hysteria has definitely taken over for me. Not that this had any factor in my grad school choice at all (insert sarcasm here), but it's pretty awesome to go to school at the university with one of the most historic basketball programs in the nation...and for us to hopefully be the new #1 when the polls come out tomorrow since we knocked off Michigan last night in one of the best games of college basketball I have ever watched. Granted, I was in my apartment...but still. It's going to be an exciting journey to the NCAA tournament in March. Maybe I'll have to buy a pair of those candy-stripes after all...