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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Gear up for GameDay

Jake Lacey/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Football vs Oregon. 34-24 and we rushed the field again.
Jake Lacey
Jake Lacey/Arizona Daily Wildcat Football vs Oregon. 34-24 and we rushed the field again.

It’s official: Tucson will be the center of the college football universe this week.

ESPN and all of its 120 media-credentialed members for “”College GameDay”” will invade the UA campus starting Thursday afternoon, as the network prepares for Saturday’s pregame show that will air from 8-10 a.m. local time.

But that’s not all “”GameDay”” being in Tucson entails.

So, Wildcat fans, don’t let that be the only time a national TV audience sees the community’s support. The “”GameDay”” guys — host Chris Fowler and sidekicks Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit — have segments that air on ESPN’s “”SportsCenter”” on Friday as well. It will look terrible if there isn’t a sea of cardinal-clad crazies screaming their heads off and holding up signs during any and all tapings relating to the show.

“”I’m excited (about ‘GameDay’) but I don’t know if I’m excited as my 10-year-old and my 6-year-old. They just can’t stand it, they’re so ready to get out there,”” said inside receivers coach Garret Chachere. “”That kind of light being shed on the history here and the kind of program we have and some of the players and people in the past that made this program what it is, I don’t think you can do anything but be very happy about it.””

If the UA as a whole can mirror Chachere’s kids’ enthusiasm for the next few days, the Oregon Ducks might be able to feel the energy before they board the plane in Eugene. Depending on the level of intensity, the Ducks could still be feeling it during a long flight back.

This marks the first time the show will air from Tucson, so make ESPN realize that it shouldn’t be the last. Yeah, it’s basketball season and Arizona has been — and probably always will be — a hoops-first school. However, these circumstances cry out for UA students, teachers, employees, fans and whoever else to go totally bonkers with support in the upcoming days.

The last time ESPN came to Tucson, Oregon was the visiting foe for a Thursday night showdown and the atmosphere was electric. The raucous home crowd played its part in the Wildcats’ 34-24 upset win and “”SportsCenter”” anchors couldn’t help but comment about how ridiculous the atmosphere was, especially the stampede-like field storming that ensued.

Prove that level of excitement wasn’t just because the “”worldwide leader in sports”” was in town for the nations’ then-No. 2 ranked team. Show that it was because this community really gets behind its sports teams when they’re doing well, regardless of how big a fan you might be.

“”This is why you grow up wanting to play college sports,”” wide receiver David Douglas said of the “”GameDay”” situation. “”I know we’re all going to be fired up about it and it’s going to be a lot of fun.””

So get as fired up, if not more so, than the players. Use whatever “”extra”” means you can to get pumped up, because this is the time to show all those haters out there what Arizona football has become during the past two seasons: a force to be reckoned with.

Show everybody in Big Ten country, SEC central, Big East land, ACC-Ville and Big 12-burg that the Pac-10 knows how to party big-time-football style, too. Even in the desert.

Once ESPN’s big stage is set up and the bright lights flick on, make Arizona’s presence heard loud and clear.

And make it a continuous Wildcat-worthy roar from Thursday afternoon all the way through the wee hours of Sunday morning.

— Brian Kimball is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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