A couple of years ago, GameDay came to Vanderbilt and I was lucky enough to attend. I made a huge Boise State logo and proceeded to get into as many shots as possible. You can read all about that here.
Armed with the experience of one GameDay under my belt, I will try to prepare you as best I can for how this all goes down. Join me after the jump for a GameDay overview and insider's look from someone who's been there before.
Most of you are familiar with how GameDay works. It consists of a set with the talking heads and fans behind them. The show runs from 8:00 am to 10:00 am MST on ESPN, with an hour before that on ESPNU. Gates will open at 5:30 am.
For Boise State, the stage will be setup on the field with a portion of the stands behind the set. From what I have been able to glean, there will be 2 main areas for fans, a small "mosh pit" of fans directly behind the stage and then everyone else in the stands behind the stage.
The "mosh pit" is the area to get the most camera coverage. The GameDay I was at, they secluded us in there and made room for a walkway around us for camera guys to get through. If you want your sign to be seen, you want to be in here. Tip: go to the bathroom before you enter and bring some water if you're likely to get thirsty. If they do let you out of there, they probably won't let you back in.
If you don't make this area, don't fret. There are some additional areas they set up like the ridiculous mini football field for Desmond Howard to demonstrate how to return a kick. These will also get camera time so you can grab a spot there. There will also be at least one camera jib panning the crowd in various areas. So, if you don't make the "mosh pit", all hope is not lost.
They set up a huge TV screen facing the fans, which makes the whole experience ten times more enjoyable. Use this to your advantage. It's a live feed so you can see what people at home are seeing and adjust your sign position accordingly.
Before you enter, you will be screened. There will be various people there to proofread your signs. As Drew pointed out yesterday, don't be the "offensive sign" guy. Chances are, you won't even get it through the screeners.
One thing that they did at the Vanderbilt GameDay that I did not anticipate, they would not let us bring in any types of sticks to the "mosh pit" area. I lost a good broom handle that day when I was forced to rip it off my sign right before entering. From what I've seen on other GameDays, I don't think this is a common practice, but just be aware of it. Try not to be overly dependent on something to hold your sign up in case this happens again. Or, try to anticipate it and hide the stick somewhere on you. How you accomplish that is up to you.
Drew had some great sign ideas yesterday, but I wanted to add a few tips for making your sign stand out.
Use something sturdy. I had my sign printed on foam board, and I would highly recommend you making a sign out of that. It is light yet rigid. I was able to hold it up with one hand easily without worrying about the wind getting a hold of it and bending it. Try to avoid the typical poster board you used in your science fair. It will be difficult to keep the sign from bending while you're trying to get it higher than the guy in front of you.
Bronco logo, 1:00. (via lh5.ggpht.com)
Use thick, bold letters. Check out the image above and try analyze what stands out to you the most. Keep your sign simple. Don't overcomplicate it. If you write a paragraph, no one will be able to make it out.
Have you been to GameDay before and have any additional tips to share? Are you planning on making it down? Let us know.