This week ESPN’s College GameDay will be on the road for the 300th time in program history. For the second time in that stretch, GameDay will visit the city of Philadelphia to lead up to this weekend’s primetime showdown between Notre Dame and Temple. The timing of the visit could not have come at a better time for the Owls, as the Philadelphia Eagles are on their bye week. This is a pro sports town, and always will be, but this week there is a buzz that continues to grow through the region with all of the hype for the game. GameDay will start setting up its set in front of Independence Hall today, so we are getting closer and closer to learning who will be the special celebrity guest picker for this weekend’s game.
So, who should that guest picker be? There are a few easy choices for GameDay this week.
Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles head coach
This one is almost too easy and makes too much sense not to be the pick. Former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is on his bye week this weekend with the Philadelphia Eagles. College football loves Chip Kelly and is dying to have him come back to coaching on Saturdays. Getting him to check in this week on the GameDay set would be the most obvious GameDay picker possible.
My kingdom to see the Phillie Phanatic and Lee Corso side-by-side. When it comes to mascots, there may be none better than the Phillie Phanatic, at least when it comes to pro sports. The Phanatic may just be the most beloved sports figure in Philadelphia and he is a model of consistency. No matter how bad the Phillies may be, the Phanatic is always there to lighten the mood. I’m not sure how much football the Phanatic has watched back on the Galapagos Islands, but he will bring some laughs to the set, and perhaps a hot dog cannon.
Hall and Oates
Daryl Hall and John Oates have Philly roots, and given GameDay’s track record of bringing in musical artists, it seems as though Hall & Oates has become a trendy pick for some this week.
Everybody seems to love Bob Saget, and he was Temple made. He’s also a Philadelphia native.
One of the stars of the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory earned his Master of Fine Arts at Temple. that’s something, right?
Fresh off helping out with this week’s Republican Presidential Candidate debate, Jim Cramer could add some energy to the set. We know he’s a fan of the show.
I have watched @CollegeGameDay for years and I think I may have just seen the best one ever! I do not know how they do such an amazing job
— Jim Cramer (@jimcramer) October 11, 2014
One of the icons in sports radio broadcasting over the past few decades, Tony Bruno helped get ESPN Radio off the ground. He has also been a key member of the Philadelphia sports radio game, pioneering the morning show on WIP and helping bring some ratings to 97.5 The Fanatic. Bruno was also a regular guest on Keith Olberman’s show on ESPN, when Olberman had a show on ESPN.
The people of Philadelphia deserve a chance to say thanks to Chase Utley, and GameDay can provide it. The second baseman of the Los Angeles Dodgers was traded away from the Phillies without a proper sendoff. Utley is still beloved in Philadelphia and he would without question generate a spark from the crowd. Plus we could get his quick take on the WOrld Series, which I am sure Mets fans would appreciate.
An ESPN employee might be too easy, and perhaps Kevin Neghandi would feel left out, but if Utley is the most beloved Phillie over the past 15 years, Brian Dawkins is the most beloved Philadelphia Eagle. Plus, Dawkins knows his football and that’s always refreshing when it comes to the guest pickers. Brian Westbrook, former Eagles running back and a Villanova product, would be an adequate alternative.
There is no fictional character that identifies with a certain town or city the way Sly’s Rocky Balboa resonates with Philadelphia. Every day you can find people from in town and visiting the city running up the steps of the art museum to get their Rocky fix. Heck, there’s even a statue of Rocky Balboa. Philly loves Rocky, and hey, there’s a new movie coming out in the franchise!