Of Course the Washington State Flag Will Wave at Western Michigan When ESPN’s ‘College Gameday’ Comes to Kalamazoo
One of the traditions of ESPN's College Gameday is the appearance, no matter where the show is being broadcast from, of the flag of the Washington State University Cougars. And the WSU flag will be on display when Gameday comes to Kalamazoo.
ESPN's flagship college pre-game show 'Gameday' makes its first ever appearance on the campus of Western Michigan and the broadcast will mark the 190th consecutive show that will feature Ol' Crimson, the flag of Washington State.
Meet the WSU Flag Bearers in Kalamazoo
Adam Bauer is a WSU alumni living in Michigan and will be part of the crew waving Ol' Crimson at Western Michgan on Saturday. We asked him a few questions about representing WSU.
Q: Who will be coming out to wave the WSU flag at Western Michigan and are you veteran flag bearers or new to the experience?
A: Generally alumni from WSU who live in Michigan. There are always new people generally, it is a good way to meet alumni who may have relocated I can’t tell you for sure who those people are.
Q: What is the experience like being a WSU flag bearer on 'Gameday?'
A: It is always fun, it used to be pretty rough but we are pretty ingrained in the ESPN deal and the fans are pretty familiar with the flags now so we get a lot of questions.
The experience is unique, hard to explain but we have a lot of fun with it, depending on how intoxicated someone is or how obnoxious sometimes changes the answer they receive about the flags. I have told people we work for Paul Allen and he flies us around the country on a private jet, and this is the only job we have, other times we travel on the road in a RV, or other fiction that is meant to keep mystery around what we do, but ultimately the flags get shipped every week to the new location to a new lead flag waver and they rally the troops.
Q: Why does the 'Gameday' flag tradition mean so much to the school and its alumni?
A: Because nobody would pay attention to us on ESPN if we weren’t doing it, the last couple years have been great for the team with our new coach and winning record but prior to that when we were 1-11 and rebuilding, nobody cared. ESPN has worked with us when we have run into shipping predicaments and there is a social media approach with Gameday as well. We are part of it. It is a great way to bring visibility to the school, the football program. While they have yet to go to Pullman and I personally question if they ever will this is one of the longest modern traditions in college football and that is something to be proud of. This week will be 190th waving. It will be my 9th and there are people in Michigan who have done even more.
The Tradition of the WSU Flag on 'Gameday'
The flag began to appear on 'Gameday' after a dedicated WSU alum decided if the show wouldn't come to Pullman, Washington, the university's home, they would bring WSU to 'Gameday.'
After 13 seasons and counting, Ol' Crimson and the telecast are tightly linked. The ESPN crew considers the flag's appearance as a good luck charm for a successful broadcast, in fact intervening one time on behalf of the WSU booster club once when the flag was lost in transit.
The flag's appearance is equally important to the university as it gives the school, located in Pullman, a small town in the southeastern corner of the state, a weekly nationwide showcase to raise awareness of the Cougars.