By Alicia Adamczyk, Daily News Editor
Published September 7, 2013
As over 100,000 Michigan fans crowd into Ann Arbor for the second Under the Lights game against Notre Dame, about 1,000 of the most dedicated Wolverines rose before the sun Saturday to cheer for their team at ESPN’s College GameDay.
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ESPN began setting up for the program on Ingalls Mall next to the Michigan league Thursday. The show — which features University alum Desmond Howard, a former Michigan football Heisman winner, as a co-host — previews one of the most high-profile college athletic events each week.
This is the second time in three years that ESPN broadcasted its College GameDay program from Ann Arbor, and the 23rd time Michigan has been featured overall.
The show included appearances from the Michigan cheerleading team and dance team, as well as sporadic performances of “The Victors” from the Michigan Marching Band.
Signs reading “Rudy was offsides” and “My girlfriend is real” — in reference to former Notre Dame player Manti Te'o’s infamous fake-girlfriend debacle —were prominently displayed throughout the event.
One fan dressed in a chicken costume to express dissatisfaction with Notre Dame for not re-signing its contract to play Michigan after next year. Another fan waved a sign reading “When the rivalry gets tough, the Irish get going.”
A seemingly lost Ohio State fan, decked out in scarlet and grey, was booed continuously throughout the morning.
Sean Hanrahan, senior vice president of marketing solutions for ESPN, said though College GameDay offers a different experience at each campus the show travels to, the University offers a great location to host the show.
“For excitement and pageantry and good television, this seems like a really good location,” Hanrahan said.
University students began lining up for front-row seats to the show at about 9 p.m. Friday evening. By 7 a.m., the broadcasting area set–up by ESPN was filled, well before the 9 a.m. live filming of the show.
Engineering junior Corey Greenwalt, who began camping out on the lawn at 10 p.m. Friday eveing with three of his friends, was one of the first students in line. He said he was most excited to see Howard and co-host Lee Corso.
“It was a lot of fun camping out and getting pumped up … we all couldn’t wait,” said Greenwalt.
LSA freshman Sydney Foot said the spirited atmosphere and chance to appear on national television enticed her and her friends to wake up early to attend.
“I’m really excited obviously to watch Michigan football,” Foot said. “What’s better than that?”
Although the vast majority of attendees were clad in maize and blue, a few Fighting Irish lad turned out to support Notre Dame.
“I love this game, it’s my favorite game of the year,” said Notre Dame senior Anna Vanegmond. “I’m sad they’re taking it off the schedule.”
—Managing Photo Editor Adam Glanzman contributed reporting.