VIDEO: Gamecock nation celebrates ESPN ‘GameDay’
“College GameDay,” ESPN’s quintessential college spirit event, broadcast from the university’s historic Horseshoe Saturday, and Gamecock nation was ready.
Thousands of exuberant fans packed the Horseshoe to see the broadcast before heading to the stadium to see Carolina play Alabama at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Jerry Brewer, USC vice president for Student Affairs, said "GameDay" showcased the university’s students, loyal fans and academic programs.
“This is an opportunity to show viewers across the nation just how special the University of South Carolina is,” he said. “'GameDay' is a quintessential spirit event, and there’s no better way to warm up for an exciting game."
The crowd agreed.
As an October sun beamed down, the marching band played fight songs while the garnet-clad crowd of all ages waved signs, unfurled Gamecock flags and chanted “Gamecocks” and “USC” throughout the three-hour broadcast.
USC alumna Amanda Reeves had flown down from New York to rendezvous with college roommates and attend the game. Reeves, who graduated in 2007, was optimistic that Carolina would prevail over Alabama.
Senior finance major Stan Perry, a self-described lifelong Gamecock, said "GameDay" was a rare experience and one that he couldn’t miss.
“You hardly ever get the chance to have 'GameDay' on your campus, so you can’t not take advantage of that,” he said.
USC Athletics Director Eric Hyman said “GameDay” elevates the university’s profile.
“Let’s face it,” Hyman said. "The Horseshoe is our centerpiece, and to be able to expose our centerpiece to so many people around the world is absolutely terrific. We’ve got a lot of great things going at the University of South Carolina, and this just adds to it.”
"GameDay" host Chris Fowler said being on the university’s Horseshoe was special.
“This is a beautiful setting,” Fowler said. “This is a place we’ve tried to get to for years, and to bring this show right to the heart of the historic part of the campus is a lot of fun. To see the enthusiasm of the students, to come right to their backyard is something we’ve waited a long time for.”