Lee Corso is a lot more than only a guy waving his submit funny-looking headgear each Saturday on ESPN College GameDay. Hes the center and soul of what college football should mean.
Say it with me. Youve said it about countless other celebrities from various different walks of life. Youve held famous brands Betty White, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke, Mel Brooks, Tom Hanks, and Dolly Parton dear to your heart, claiming we have to protect them no matter what!
Exactly the same ought to be said for ESPN legend, Lee Corso. So, I implore you, say it with me
Lee Corso is really a national treasure, and we have to protect him no matter what!
However in Corsos case, its not only a clear Twitter slogan. The longtime ESPN college football analyst and former coach is under attack, and hes under attack from individuals who ought to be cherishing him probably the most.
Americas ravenous college football fans.
Fans who ought to be hanging on Corsos every word, appreciating his love of life, his gregarious and infectious personality, and his decades worth of college football memories are on a weekly basis painting the crown jewel of the faculty GameDay cast as some type of doddering old fool who must be replaced with regard to the show and its own audience.
Balderdash, I say.
Shame you. Shame you all for even uttering such heresy.
You say you need Lee Corso replaced? Not fast, my friends (yes, Im shaking my pencil in your direction).
While he might nearly have the mental quickness he once did since suffering a stroke in the summertime of 2009, Lee Corso continues to be very much along with his game and, despite it taking perhaps a couple of seconds longer expressing his thoughts, is simply as fun to view now as hes ever been.
The thing I really was good at had been spontaneous. I was quick-witted, Corso said in an interview with theGainesville Sunthis past year. I lost that with my stroke.
Whether being spontaneous or reading from notes, as well as being prompted gently by co-host Kirk Herbstreit, watching Lee Corsos eyes burst with joy when he discusses a casino game he loves so much, and also hearing him hum with amusic indifference to his favorite portion of the broadcast (Silver Scrapes by Chronic Crew, played returning from commercial break around mid-show), it appears impossible never to cling to Corso and everything he methods to college football.
Regular sidekick, and Abbott to Corsos Costello, Kirk Herbstreit, has embraced the role of caretaker along with his friend in the same way Corso did with him once the former Ohio State quarterback joined the show in 1996. It had been the gentle and amenable Corso who helped Herbstreit complete the jitters plus some early-career on-air gaffes.
The roles have finally reversed, with Herbstreit waiting patiently for Corso to create his indicate a close, considering him with a warm smile and reassuring nods that say, continue, coach, dont pay attention to those producers in your headset.
Some describe the scene as sad to view or believe that Herbstreit is enabling his friend to help keep going when he should quit.
Its neither sad for Corso, nor enabling for Herbstreit. Its courageous. Its heartwarming. Its human, and we have to be consuming it up rather than pushing it aside.
The cast and crew of College GameDay will always defend Lee Corso
Corsos colleagues may also be quick to come quickly to his defense, as show host Rece Davis did recently in reaction to the outcry over Corso and his focus on the show.
I’d encourage individuals who have been, perhaps, to utilize your word, unkind or cruel, to reserve just a little judgment, Davis said on the Dan Le Batard show.
And Davis isnt the only person. Having spent time with the faculty GameDay cast and crew on several occasion, I could tell you that isn’t just a merry band of co-workers taking part in a tv program. These folks look at and treat one another like family.
From the producers to the statisticians and graphic artists, to the directors, and completely around the on-air talent theres no-one who is considered expendable or unimportant to the members of the crew.
Least of most, coach Lee Corso.
Lee Corso is our three-eyed raven. He could be the memory of college football. Approaching age 90, he could be part of the rest of the few in a generation of men who went from player to teach to commentator, and who’ve witnessed just about any major change in the overall game so many claim to be so passionate about.
Since 1987, Lee Corso is a section of coffee and breakfast for a college football-crazed nation. His voice has been there once we check the brisket in the smoker, or arrived at the realization that, dammit, we forgot to get extra ice again. Your eyes are glued to the set, irrespective of whos playing, when Corso makes the famed headgear pick and sends the show out to the noon kickoffs.
And today many of you would like to just pretend none of it matters. Nonetheless it does. It matters to Lee Corso, it matters to his College GameDay family, also it matters to those folks who truly and deeply love the overall game of college football.
The headgear pick may be the gimmick. Lee Corso may be the real deal, and he will be able to leave on either his terms or Gods. There is absolutely no middle ground. Anyone who thinks differently can pound sand and begin watching infomercials on Saturday mornings.