‘So as we consider the complex interlacing of football, television, and so many of our society’s primal, communal impulses, let us turn to one of today’s most prominent products of that synergistic web. In ESPN’s College GameDay, we have quite arguably our era’s single most prominent mediated showcase of the game of football. And it seems to find more ways every season to further multiply the means through which it plugs itself into the surging confluence where the boundless appeal of the game ignites its publics.
In 1987, ESPN launched a new show devoting an hour on Saturday mornings to previewing college football games around the country. Soon it left the studio for a live format with the panelists each week set up outside a different stadium for one of the day’s prominent games. Today it has mushroomed into a three-hour spectacle whose official name is “College GameDay built by The Home Depot,” in deference to its major sponsor. The on-site format has developed into something of a cult celebration of the game and its fans, who gather boisterously around the set, to be a part of the live audience. . . .
The show very much taps into the utopian youth-culture fantasy of freedom and fun without responsibility that the American college scene serves up to the world – droves of carefree young people partying in hedonistic abandon on picturesque campuses. Elaborately choreographing an aura of total communal spontaneity creates a dynamic showcase for what almost certainly is the single most prominent generator of narratives on the game of college football today.
How Postmodernism Explains Football and Football Explains Postmodernism © Robert L. Kerr 2015