On Sunday, ESPN’s college football flagship program, College Gameday, announced it would host its weekly televised party in Kalamazoo, MI, before Western Michigan University’s game against the Buffalo Bulls.
The city promptly lost its mind, and we’re here to unlock the looney bin.
Written by Kyle Magin
Kirk, Coach, Desmond… and whoever replaced Folwer… Ross? Rece?…. Are headed to Kalamazoo next Saturday for Gameday under… mostly cloudy skies and a high of 48. The city’s chamber of commerce will be thrilled.
Besides deciding whether to film in front of the Bronco, that weird tree thing or the old rusty rocket at Milham Park, Gameday’s producers have one more major decision to make in the next six days: Who will be their guest games picker?
What local celeb will roll out of Home Depot’s #LETSDEFORESTINDONESIA tour bus to try to look polite while Corso stutters his way through his picks?
We’ve put together a quick list of likely suspects, split into two camps: Famous Kalamazooans and people affiliated with Western Michigan University.
We’ll start with the latter.
Terry Crews, ‘91
Crews’ Idiocracy doppelganger is now president-elect, the former Bronco D-lineman is natural on a camera and he’s a nationally-known face. This is probably a done deal.
Timothy Allen “Tim Allen” Dick, ‘76
My D.A.R.E. teacher–A Kalamazoo Sheriff’s deputy–told a story about how he worked at the county lockup when Allen was sent there for attempting to traffic cocaine through the city’s airport in 1978. Years later, he made his way backstage to meet Allen after a standup show, and proceeded to remind the comic that he worked near his ‘home by the fairgrounds.’ At this point, the deputy chuckled to himself, told us Allen turned white as a sheet and walked away. Even at 10, I thought the officer came across as a real dick.
Allen’s Home Improvement character, Tim Taylor, is also a Bronco grad.
Frankie Ballard, ‘05
In addition to being a sentient Old Spice body spray can, country music’s Frankie Ballard is also a second-generation Bronco baseball player. You could do worse than an award-winning guitar picker with a babyface in a town that hosts a nightclub with a mechanical bull.
Matt Giraud, ‘07
Because taking fifth place in Idol still gets you noticed at a small school.
Danny DeKeyser, ‘13
The Red Wings defenseman would actually be a pretty smart play for WMU to push forward. He’s a hometown favorite playing for the state’s most dependable, winning program at any level. He’s a Michigan guy by birth with an excellent head of hair.
Dave Dombrowski, ‘79
Dombo, the Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, is still sort of a persona non grata in the state after building the current underperforming, overpaid Detroit Tigers roster. Still, he’s a local boy done good.
Greg Jennings, ‘10 (‘02-’05 on the WMU football squad)
Jennings is Kalamazoo through-and-through. A football, basketball and track star at Central, Jennings went on to a few unforgettable years in brown and gold before embarking on a 10-year all-pro NFL career.
The Bell’s Brewery founder and noted Cubs fan seems like a pretty OK guy.
Jeter is the biggest ‘get’ on this list. The former Yankees shortstop played at Central and runs a charity in town in addition to hosting an annual fundraiser. The one-time University of Michigan signee doesn’t have many ties to the university, though.
She was born in Kalamazoo and, as far as the record shows, hasn’t been back since. Hey, though; it’s not like Anthony Weiner’s estranged wife and Hillary Clinton’s former advisor is doing much currently.
The Central graduate was a fighter pilot in Korea who went on to pilot Apollo 9 and command other Apollo missions from Houston. But, #lolnerds, amirite? This is Trump’s America!