Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Mitchell: Volunteering for ESPN during College GameDay

Following up from my last article on my experiences of volunteering with ESPN’s College GameDay, this past weekend overall was a dream come true for more than one reason.
At first, the prospect of getting up to go to College GameDay at 4 a.m. to help volunteer at 5:00 A.M. seemed a bit daunting. As the adrenaline ignited and the blood rushed to my outer extremities with excitement, it all became a reality.
Our first assignment was to set up a tent station for Home Depot designated for painting signs for the eager students in the front section of College GameDay, anxiously awaiting the start of the taping for the show, complete with Sarah Walsh, Samantha Ponder, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and David Pollack.
The signs ranged from “Turn up Desmond!”, “Nick Saban is too short to ride this ride”, “Rob Barber 4 Mr. Ole Miss”, to “Katy Perry, Marry me”. It was quite a sight to look out to the Grove and see nothing but football fans and signs, complete with raging enthusiasm to boot.
Gearing up for the actual show was quite intriguing. Every time they re-did the shots to show before the anchors presented their standings and views on the College GameDay week, Ole Miss fans and cheerleaders alike were more alive and spirited each and every time.
When we started to pass out the orange Home Depot hard hats, the spirit and enthusiasm of the students and fans alike was at an all-time high. Even Rebel the Black Bear sported his own orange hat while he danced around and cheered with the Ole Miss cheerleaders in front of the College GameDay set-up.
Around 10:45 A.M., the Grove itself and all of the fans exploded with excitement. When Katy Perry entered the scene, the Grove became more alive than I have ever seen it before and she welcomed the excitement with open arms and open mouth. She received the crowd as if she was being welcomed into a surprise birthday party and was super hyped to be there for the overall experience.
The excitement and enthusiasm didn’t end with the students and fans, however, and ranged from the police officers and security personnel, to the event coordinator crew, the press, and the behind-the-scenes camera crew.
The student volunteers not only captured moments on their own from the show, they were actually able to be apart of the show and had their picture taken by the College GameDay crew with the anchors of the show.
Sam Mitchell took pictures as she worked behind the scenes with her fellow volunteers to capture the excitement from behind the scenes as a student volunteer.

Student volunteers Catherine Carroon, Jimmy Anderson, Ashley Dunn, Tessa Poyner, Olivia Wells, and Chandler Marie Morgan posing with the ESPN College GameDay Anchors, including Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit
Student volunteers Catherine Carroon, Jimmy Anderson, Sam Mitchell, Ashley Dunn, Tessa Poyner, Olivia Wells, and Chandler Marie Morgan posing with the ESPN College GameDay Anchors, including Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit

Chandler Marie Morgan painting signs for College GameDay bright and early
Chandler Marie Morgan painting signs for College GameDay bright and early

The Grove bright and early teeming with excitement for College GameDay
The Grove bright and early teeming with excitement for College GameDay

The stage set-up for College GameDay bright and early
The stage set-up for College GameDay bright and early

Mississippi Highway Patrol Officers Darrin Anderson, TCF and Joey Miller, CORP behind the scenes at College GameDay were just as excited as the rest of the fans
Mississippi Highway Patrol Officers Darrin Anderson, TCF and Joey Miller, CORP behind the scenes at College GameDay were just as excited as the rest of the fans

Excited Ole Miss fans: Tre Polk, Eliza Adcock, Kassey Lundberg, Maddy Sanders, Heath Slover, and Bo Sullivan.
Excited Ole Miss fans: Tre Polk, Eliza Adcock, Kassey Lundberg, Maddy Sanders, Heath Slover, and Bo Sullivan.

Fans huddle together preparing for College GameDay
Fans huddle together preparing for College GameDay

Ole Miss fans: Sam Case, Stephen Chavez, Rob Brown, Everett Gooch, and Tim Reed sporting their signs at College GameDay bright and early
Ole Miss fans: Sam Case, Stephen Chavez, Rob Brown, Everett Gooch, and Tim Reed sporting their signs at College GameDay bright and early

Ole Miss fans Jordan Wilkie, Amber Williams, and Heather Hammons show their support during College GameDay
Ole Miss fans Jordan Wilkie, Amber Williams, and Heather Hammons show their support during College GameDay

ESPN College Game Day staff/volunteer coordinator Alvaro Voelker poses in front of the GameDay Bus
ESPN College Game Day staff/volunteer coordinator Alvaro Voelker poses in front of the GameDay Bus

Tessa Poyner paints a sign to hold up for College GameDay
Tessa Poyner paints a sign to hold up for College GameDay

Ole Miss fans bright and early showing their support during College GameDay
Ole Miss fans bright and early showing their support during College GameDay

Ole Miss athletics taking shots from different angles from behind the scenes
Ole Miss athletics taking shots from different angles from behind the scenes

Chris Fowler graciously meets and talks to the College GameDay crowds
Chris Fowler graciously meets and talks to the College GameDay crowds

College GameDay student volunteers working behind the scenes
College GameDay student volunteers working behind the scenes

Ole Miss fans sporting their hard hats for College GameDay
Ole Miss fans sporting their hard hats for College GameDay

Ole Miss fans sporting their signs during College GameDay
Ole Miss fans sporting their signs during College GameDay

Student volunteer Ashley Dunn folding up boxes and boxes of College GameDay hats
Student volunteer Ashley Dunn folding up boxes and boxes of College GameDay hats

Ole Miss cheerleaders cheering for the ESPN College GameDay cameras
Ole Miss cheerleaders cheering for the ESPN College GameDay cameras

ESPN camera capturing the footage of the College GameDay crowds
ESPN camera capturing the footage of the College GameDay crowds

ESPN keeping the crowds pumped while shooting for College GameDay
ESPN keeping the crowds pumped while shooting for College GameDay

Ole Miss cheerleaders keeping the College GameDay crowds excited
Ole Miss cheerleaders keeping the College GameDay crowds excited

Videos of the Grove and all of the crowds across it were broadcast all over ESPN College GameDay
Videos of the Grove and all of the crowds across it were broadcast all over ESPN College GameDay

One of the signs I painted for the happily married, yet house-divided couple of Crystal and Jay Joyner
One of the signs Sam Mitchell painted for the happily married, yet house-divided couple of Crystal and Jay Joyner

Tom Rinaldi with ESPN preparing for College GameDay to air
Tom Rinaldi with ESPN preparing for College GameDay to air

Ole Miss fans Tyler Slay and Paige Dukes show their support for College GameDay
Ole Miss fans Tyler Slay and Paige Dukes show their support for College GameDay

Ole Miss cheerleaders keep the crowds pepped up during College GameDay
Ole Miss cheerleaders keep the crowds pepped up during College GameDay

Ole Miss fans Jessie Jessinew and Reagan Pade paint their signs at the Home Depot tent station for College GameDay
Ole Miss fans Jessie Jessinew and Reagan Pade paint their signs at the Home Depot tent station for College GameDay

Eva Christopher shows her support and excitement for Katy Perry
Eva Christopher shows her support and excitement for Katy Perry at the Home Depot painting tent set-up

Lee Corso looks out to the fans in preparation for College GameDay to air
Lee Corso looks out to the fans in preparation for College GameDay to air

Kelsey Stephens, Ashley Crumby, and Joseph Dikun sport their behind-the-scenes passes for College GameDay
Kelsey Stephens, Ashley Crumby, and Joseph Dikun sport their behind-the-scenes passes for College GameDay

Staff writer Sam Mitchell shows her excitement for participating behind-the-scenes during College GameDay
Staff writer Sam Mitchell shows her excitement for participating behind-the-scenes during College GameDay

Ole Miss fans anticipating the start of College GameDay and ESPN reporter Sarah Walsh
Ole Miss fans anticipating the start of College GameDay and ESPN reporter Sarah Walsh

Behind-the-scenes cameraman at work shooting for College GameDay
Behind-the-scenes cameraman at work shooting for College GameDay

ESPN reporter Sarah Walsh prepares for College GameDay
ESPN reporter Sarah Walsh prepares for College GameDay

ESPN reporter Samantha Ponder working behind-the-scenes for College GameDay
ESPN reporter Samantha Ponder working behind-the-scenes for College GameDay

ESPN Tom Rinaldi working on the set of ESPN College GameDay
ESPN Tom Rinaldi working on the set of ESPN College GameDay

The excited Ole Miss family of Margaret Anne Alias, Mary Beech Alias, William Allias, Todd Servick, and Melinda Servick behind-the-scenes during College GameDay
The excited Ole Miss family of Margaret Anne Alias, Mary Beech Alias, William Allias, Todd Servick, and Melinda Servick behind-the-scenes during College GameDay

Behind-the-scenes shot of Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit on the College GameDay side stage
Behind-the-scenes shot of Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit on the College GameDay side stage

World-reknown Chef John Currence preparing for a film segment behind the scenes during College GameDay
World-reknown Chef John Currence preparing for a film segment behind the scenes during College GameDay

ESPN College GameDay's official DJ, Babi Mac, posing for a picture with staff writer Sam Mitchell
ESPN College GameDay’s official DJ, Babi Mac, posing for a picture with staff writer Sam Mitchell

Student volunteers Sam Mitchell, Tessa Poyner, Ashley Dunn, Chandler Marie Morgan, Olivia Wells, and Catherine Carroon take a moment to pose with Rebel the Black Bear with his College GameDay hat
Student volunteers Sam Mitchell, Tessa Poyner, Ashley Dunn, Chandler Marie Morgan, Olivia Wells, and Catherine Carroon take a moment to pose with Rebel the Black Bear with his College GameDay hat

ESPN College GameDay's official DJ, Babi Mac, hard at work during College GameDay
ESPN College GameDay’s official DJ, Babi Mac, hard at work during College GameDay

Rebel the Black Bear works alongside the Ole Miss cheerleaders to keep the crowds excited through the airing of College GameDay
Rebel the Black Bear works alongside the Ole Miss cheerleaders to keep the crowds excited through the airing of College GameDay

Ole Miss fan Oscar Pope shows off his witty sign for College GameDay behind-the-scenes
Ole Miss fan Oscar Pope shows off his witty sign for College GameDay behind-the-scenes

ESPN College GameDay's social media correspondent Deanna Kay stops to interview Ole Miss cheerleaders in preparation for her College GameDay Playback
ESPN College GameDay’s social media correspondent Deanna Kay stops to interview Ole Miss cheerleaders in preparation for her College GameDay Playback

Nick Kaminer and Professor Amanda Simpson show their excitement to be behind-the-scenes during College GameDay
Nick Kaminer and Professor Amanda Simpson show their excitement to be behind-the-scenes during College GameDay

One fan shows his love and support for Katy Perry
One fan shows his love and support for Katy Perry

Two young Ole Miss fans sport their College GameDay hats behind-the-scenes
Two young Ole Miss fans, Major Quin and Walker Craddock sport their College GameDay hats behind-the-scenes

Lee Corso making his way back to the stage of the College GameDay set-up
Lee Corso making his way back to the stage of the College GameDay set-up

More behind-the-scenes shots of College GameDay reporters
More behind-the-scenes shots of College GameDay reporters

Brothers Huff and West Smith show their Ole Miss support sporting John Currence's Ole Miss helmets
Brothers Huff and West Smith show their Ole Miss support sporting John Currence’s Ole Miss helmets

ESPN behind-the-scenes cameraman, Josh Hollingshead, posing in front of the College GameDay set-up
ESPN behind-the-scenes cameraman, Josh Hollingshead, posing in front of the College GameDay set-up

Fans behind-the-scenes got a wonderful opportunity to stop and pose with the ESPN College GameDay reporters
Fans behind-the-scenes got a wonderful opportunity to stop and pose with the ESPN College GameDay reporters

The Grove exploded with excitement when Katy Perry arrived on the scene and Staff writer Sam Mitchell captured this moment of her walking towards the stage of College GameDay
The Grove exploded with excitement when Katy Perry arrived on the scene and Staff writer Sam Mitchell captured this moment of her walking towards the stage of College GameDay

 
Sam Mitchell is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at smitche3@go.olemiss.edu.