Longtime SEC on CBS play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist made his College GameDay debut on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, picking a few games (UCLA over Utah!) and avoiding making too many SEC picks, since he has to call those games. Verne’s calling the day’s headlining Texas A&M-Alabama game three and a half hours after the popular pregame show ends.
The program’s weekly conclusion, in which a guest joins the main panel for game picks while Lee Corso puts on a mascot’s hat or whatever, serves as Saturday’s official kickoff. This time, it gained a big ole Verne chuckle:
Uncle Verne announced his retirement before the season, meaning we only have a few more Saturdays of the broadcasting legend’s WOWWWs and belly cackles and pleasant sports observations left to enjoy. Anyone who complains to you about Lundquist mispronouncing a couple names is not to be trusted.
Honoring a great from a different company is a cool move by ESPN, and something the network’s done before. In June, ESPN brought on TNT’s Craig Sager to work his first-ever NBA Finals game.
While we’re at it, enjoy this interview Verne gave us on his entire career, including at least one surprise:
Verne: I'm not strictly a classical person. I sang in a rock 'n' roll band when I was in high school.
Spencer Hall: Really?
VL: See, I'm peeling back the onion for you.
SH: What was the name of the band?
VL: We weren't really a band, we were a quartet, and we sang folk music and rock 'n' roll. We were called The Flat Tops.
SH: What part did you sing?
VL: I was a doo-wah guy. We had four of us, and we had a manager. We used to sing at what we called teen canteens, Friday night sock-hops and that kind of stuff. We had one guy who could really carry a tune. The rest of us were backups. We were nowhere near as good as other groups back then, but we had this one guy who could really carry a tune, and the rest of us sang, "Dooo-waaah, dooo-wahhh." I was the background guy.