The ESPN “College GameDay” show is coming to Durham Saturday for Duke’s football game against Notre Dame.
And that means a big opportunity for fans to show off their creativity with signs and posters for the TV cameras.
Most Duke sports fans have already experienced College GameDay visits, since the school has hosted the show 12 times over the years during basketball season. BUt this is Duke’s first time hosting for football.
For newbies and old pros, here are some tips (and ideas) for making signs, plus ESPN’s rules to follow.
What does ESPN allow (or not allow) on a College GameDay sign?
“No vulgar signs, .com, .net, .org, political or religious signs are allowed,” according to ESPN sign regulations. “For fans entering the pit, signs cannot be on poles or oversized. All signs brought to Saturday’s taping will be inspected before entry and must abide by College GameDay’s sign policies or will be removed.”
3 sign ideas for the Duke vs. Notre Dame game
Now that the rules have been established let’s talk strategy.
What makes the best sign or message to be publicized during the TV broadcast?
Go for funny and topical. Since Notre Dame is the opponent this week, it is fair game to go after them.
▪ Do you want to reference the Irish’s last-second loss to Ohio State? Go for it. Something like “FOOTBALL IS PLAYED WITH 11 MEN ON DEFENSE AT DUKE” would be a funny quip, considering Notre Dame only had 10 players on the field when Ohio State scored the game-winning touchdown.
▪ Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day went on a postgame rant in response to pregame comments made by former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, where he asked, “Where is Lou Holtz?” following the win. Holtz, on a milk carton, could feature a message that reads, “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” might be a sure winner, too.
▪ It is always easy to make fun of the Notre Dame mascot, which is a leprechaun. Comparing the mascot to the Lucky Charms cereal character is a staple. Or, instead of using a leprechaun face, a superimposed Michael Jordan crying face could kill two birds with one stone. You get to poke fun at Notre Dame and rival North Carolina’s basketball legend.
Don’t forget to be positive about Duke (and Durham)
This is a time to celebrate the rare national attention Duke football actually receives. Make sure some signs that display support and appreciation for the team in between insults of the opponent.
▪ There should be a few about how great head coach Mike Elko is.
▪ Promote quarterback Riley Leonard for the Heisman.
▪ Implore Leonard’s professor to give him a pass this time if Duke beats Notre Dame.
▪ Note how Duke is a great school. And Durham, too.
▪ It wouldn’t hurt to pay homage to Pat McAfee, Kirk Herbstreit, and even Lee Corso.