GameDay a hit for fired-up Arkansas fans

Saturday, November 11th 2006, 4:06 pm
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Several thousand fans were on hand Saturday for the live broadcast of ESPN College GameDay.

Arkansas hosted the popular pregame show for the first time, and Razorbacks supporters were ready. The show is famous for the rowdy fans that gather in the background behind the commentators.

``Any time you go to a new place, you always are excited because you know there's going to be a buzz in the air,'' commentator Kirk Herbstreit said afterward. ``This was awesome. This is a great opportunity for Arkansas to show the country how good their fans are. I think they took advantage of it.''

Herbstreit was joined by Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard.

The show aired from 9-11 a.m. local time and was set up in the parking lot overlooking the northeast corner of the Razorbacks' stadium. Fans called their hogs, sang the Arkansas fight song and followed the broadcast on a big screen, cheering when commentators praised the Razorbacks and booing when rivals like Texas were discussed.

When the show addressed Auburn's place in the national championship picture, fans chanted ``We beat Auburn,'' in reference to Arkansas' 27-10 win over the Tigers earlier in the season. Fans also yelled ``D-Mac Heisman'' in an effort to hype Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden for the Heisman Trophy.

Many spectators held up signs for the television cameras with the letters E S P N highlighted. One said ``SMOKEY KNOWS PIGS DOMINATE'' in reference to Smokey, Tennessee's bluetick coonhound mascot. There were some Volunteers fans around, though, another sign said ``SMOKEY DINES ON PORK RINDS''.

One sign toward the front of the crowd said ``CHOOSE WISELY CORSO'' with a hog drawing next to a box with a check mark. At the end of the show, commentators offer predictions on the day's games. The crowd roared its approval when Herbstreit picked Arkansas.

Corso then followed suit, and put on a giant hog head for good measure.