GameDay's return a welcome relief

When a GameDay trip to Baton Rouge is considered R&R, you know the college football season is upon us.

Updated: September 3, 2004, 9:13 AM ET
By Chris Fowler | ESPN Insider
Get me to Cajun Country! GameDay's debut Saturday in Baton Rouge will be blessed relief. I need the serenity, sanity and sobriety ... of a big football weekend on the bayou.

GameDay, built by Home Depot
Who: Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit
When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. ET
Where: ESPN

College Football Primetime
Who: Oregon State vs. LSU (3)
When: Sat., 6 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Where: Baton Rouge, La.

  • Scouts: Primetime Preview
    Say what? Well, friends, I've been at home in New York all week. When it comes to lunacy, LSU's got nothin' on the GOP at the RNC. Not to mention their equally wacky detractors in the streets of the Big Apple.

    I've seen goofiness: A protestors' dragon float set afire in the middle of an avenue ... two women (I think) dressed like Uncle Sam's naughty nieces in fishnets, minis, stilettos, and bright blue wigs working a corner ... and so much more.

    I've seen profound: More than 900 empty pairs of combat boots arranged in Union Square, each with a name tag for one of the American soldiers killed in Iraq.

    And then there are the airwaves: I heard the Governor of our most populous state taunt the opposing party's candidates and anyone else concerned about the fate of the economy with the label, "Girlie Men."

    I just saw Peter Jennings' report from the convention floor upstaged by the scene over his right shoulder: a 350-pounder in a tan suit standing on a chair and gyrating wildly to "Soul Man." Peter, sorry, I didn't hear a word you said. And I thought our audiences could be a distraction!

    Then there's the RNC version of GameDay: Chris Matthews' show is set up in Herald Square, a block from the Garden. Yesterday, a protestor jumped the barriers, climbed to the set, and got Matthews in a headlock before security quickly intervened. Now you know why we have a bunch of beefy State troopers all around our set.

    Yep, the kinder, gentler world of hung-over, body painted, screaming football fanatics will be sweet relief.

    What's not to like?

    Not much. I applaud most of the sport's new wrinkles for 2004.

    Chris Fowler

    College Football
    Since 1989, Chris Fowler has been ESPN's primary college football and men's college basketball studio host. He's anchored College GameDay, the network's award-winning Saturday morning college football preview show, since 1990.