NORMAN, Okla. — With ESPN’s College GameDay in town, Oklahoma Sooner fans and visiting Missouri Tiger fans wanted to let people know what was on their minds. And by clever or obnoxious means, many succeeded in that mission. With cameras panning the grounds of John Jacobs Track and Field for the best and most original signs, no player, or on-air personality, was safe.
With the Tigers in unfamiliar territory, many Oklahoma fans took some good-natured pot shots at them, most notably quarterback Chase Daniel. Most harkened back to a nationally televised game against Texas A&M in which Daniel was caught in a somewhat embarrassing moment on camera. The moment became a YouTube video. OU senior Logan Lyon, scrambling to come up with a sign a few hours before the game, came up with the simple, yet effective, “Chase Daniels Eats Boogers.”
And yes, he meant to misspell the last name.
“I think his mom came over to correct it for me,” Lyons, 21, said.
OU fans were not the only ones getting in on the fun, though. The sign mudslinging became less one-sided as you traveled closer to GameDay studio. Among the mosh pit of fans cheering outside the GameDay set were several MU fans who held up signs, chanted and decried the OU faithful.
MU junior Mark Roderique was in the middle of it all. He made the seven-hour drive with two of his friends on Friday and arrived at their hotel after midnight. The night was just beginning, as they created a sign that read, “Chase’s Offense Runs the Show Against Oklahoma” at 2:30 a.m.
Four hours later they arrived at the GameDay set with their sign.
“There’s a lot more Tiger fans than I thought would be here,” Roderique said. “It’s nice to see a decent amount of Mizzou fans for such a big game.”
Other fans picked on Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy even though his post game tirade occurred three weeks ago. Signs riffed on one of Gundy’s most ridiculed remarks. “I’m a man. I’m 40,” Gundy yelled during his outburst stemming from a column by The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson.
“I’m 40...I’m the Man,” read one sign featuring a glossy cutout of No. 40 Curtis Lofton, the Sooners’ starting middle linebacker. Another poster lauded Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, “Gundy Might be a Man, but Bob is the Man.”
ESPN analyst Lee Corso was also compared with Gundy: “Corso’s Twice the Man Gundy Is...He’s 80!” Corso’s biography on ESPN.com doesn’t mention his age.
A weekly tradition of GameDay has become spotting a maroon or white flag that represents the Washington State University Cougars. Each week, the Washington State Cougar boosters ship two to three flags to wherever College GameDay is on location.
Cameron McCoy, a technology transfer specialist at OU, was the one in charge of the task this week. A graduate of Washington State, McCoy was found through an alumni search. Boosters make a point of getting a flag to every game and the flag is such a part of the show that ESPN officials make a point of moving the flag into a good spot if it isn’t view.
Since the show began broadcasting from campuses in 1993, the show hasn’t made it to the Washington State campus in Pullman, Wash. And until they do, boosters will continue to send out flags to stake their claim.
“The idea is that if GameDay isn’t coming to Pullman, we are going to GameDay,” McCoy said.