AuburnFamilyNews.com: GameDay's Lee Corso talks Nick Saban, Burt Reynolds, favorite campus, mascot head he hates most

Monday, April 16, 2018

GameDay's Lee Corso talks Nick Saban, Burt Reynolds, favorite campus, mascot head he hates most


Lee Corso loves college football.

It's what drives him.

The ESPN GameDay analyst joined me last week on "The Opening Kickoff" on WNSP-FM 105.5 in advance of his appearance on Tuesday at the Team Focus event at the Mobile Convention Center.

Team Focus, which is founded by Mike and Micky Gottfried, is dedicated to teens who are lacking a positive father figure in their lives.

"I'm looking forward to the Team Focus banquet," Corso told me last week. "I'm looking forward to joining Mike Gottfried in Mobile."

Corso explained why he thought Auburn will be a "sleeper" next season.

Corso gave his insight on several other topics, too:

Q. When was the first time you crossed paths with Nick Saban?

Corso: Nick Saban was a safety at Kent State in 1972. I was head coach at University of Louisville. We opened the season with Kent State. That's the first time I ever remembered his name, going over the personnel.

(Kent State coach) Don James was one of the best coaches of all time. He won at Kent State. He went out to Washington and built a tremendous football program. He was one of my best friends.

Q. Of all the places you have been with ESPN GameDay, which is your favorite campus?

Corso: My favorite is Oregon. The Ducks. My favorite mascot is the Duck. He's really funny. I enjoy being with the Duck when I go out there. The show is on at 6 a.m. pacific in the morning. That means they are there all night. The students are there waiting for the show. They are tremendous fans. They have a great football program. Great atmosphere.

Q. Which mascot head is the heaviest or toughest to get on?

Corso: I think it is the Florida Gator. I hate the Florida Gators anyhow, being a Florida State man. I hate to put the Florida Gator head on. The Florida Gator head is long and funny looking. It scrapes my nose. Every time I put that thing on I get scraped and blood comes down my face.

Q. What do you think of Central Florida and its claims to a national championship? 

Corso: That's their business. I'm not going to tell them how to run their business or life. They want to do that, they have the choice. They can do whatever they want to do.

Q. What keeps you motives after all these years?

Corso: I love it so much. I love the guys I'm working with. I love college football. I've been involved with college football since 1953. That's a long time as a player, coach and 30 years in television.

Remember one thing about ESPN. People can be critical of them sometimes for being a large corporation but nine years ago I had a stroke and I couldn't talk. That's the way I made my living. ESPN could've dumped me very easy, but they didn't. They helped me and presented me an opportunity to get back on the air. You can say a lot of things about ESPN, but they could've dumped Lee Corso, but they stayed with him and that means a lot to me.

Q. What was the funniest moment on the GameDay set?

Corso: I don't know if it is the funniest, but the most controversial was when I used the "F" word on TV and I got caught. In my speaking, I hesitated in putting on the head and used a bad word.

I became an instant hero on the Internet. I got back and my grandchildren said, "Grandpa, you're a hero now for saying the "F" word.

Q. Who has been your favorite guest?

Corso: I like the celebrities, especially if they are going to talk football. Aaron Rogers was on last year and did a great job. Will Ferrell was my favorite. He's a Southern California guy, and he's really funny. Bill Murray made the headlines by throwing me down and stomped me on the set with Clemson.

I like the celebrities but only if they are into the football because they give us both sides of the picture.

Q. Any chance your former roommate Burt Reynolds will be on the show?

Corso: I talked to him last Monday. He's doing terrific. He doesn't travel much because he has a bad back. I'd love to have him on. He'd be a great show by himself.

He had me come down to West Palm Beach (to be on his TV show B.L. Stryker). He said, "Lee, I want you to come down and be in it." I said, "OK." I went down there and spent the day. He said, "I'll take care of you." About a month later, I got my residual check for $1.28. That's what I got for being on his show.

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.   



from Auburn Sports Impact http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/04/gamedays_lee_corso_talks_nick.html

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