By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Ol’ Crimson, the Washington State flag that flies each and every time ESPN’s College GameDay is broadcast, is in Oxford and ready for Saturday.
The famous flag, that has appeared on the weekly morning show since 2003, is being taken care of by a foursome from the Seattle area. Cameron McCoy was the one that created the tradition.
Kyle Wall, 26, flew down with his friends, the College Football Guys, and being big fans of WSU, he went about securing the flag, which has a giant gray Cougar in the middle of it.
“There are a couple of guys that started this in 2003 and they kind of coordinate this network, whether it’s Cougar fans or alumni around the country,” Wall said. “UPS ships it free for us and it ends up somewhere. We wave it, and then we ship it to the next place.”
Wall said that he waved the flag when GameDay was in Knoxville, Tenn., a couple of seasons ago. He was given the job after tweeting at the coordinators of the tradition when he asked them if they needed help.
Jeremy Joseph, who was one of the foursome, said he had a friend in Memphis who got the flag from the person who waved it last Saturday when GameDay was at South Carolina.
“When we got to Memphis, we went to the house, picked it up and drove down here to Oxford,” Joseph said.
The group, who stopped ESPN’s Chris Fowler to pose for a picture with the flag, said they were really enjoying their time in Oxford.
“We’ve only been here like 24 hours now and it’s on track to crush everything we’ve ever been to,” Wall said Friday afternoon. “Everyone is just so nice and so hospitable.”
Joseph said that he’s been to Auburn and LSU and has been to other sites and he said Ole Miss was “killing it.”
“Oxford is awesome. All the love that we’re being shown,” Joseph said. “Our Twitter is @thecfbguys and it’s blowing up. People are helping us, telling us where to go. It’s been fun.”
“We almost have too many offers of people asking us to stop by,” Wall added. “Everyone is just gracious. We even asked if we needed to bring our own tailgating stuff and we’ve had so many people just come and say hang with us.”
When it comes to the flag, it’s very popular and very well known. There is another flag, a gray one, that is also used, but Ol’ Crimson is far and away the biggest attraction.
“This all started because, similar to Oxford, GameDay has never come to Pullman, so they said we were going to ship a flag everywhere and be on GameDay,” Wall said. “This whole thing started 10 years ago and this will the 153rd consecutive GameDay it gets waved at. The WSU fan base loves it and the WSU athletic department has launched marketing programs based off it, and two guys’ desire to send it all over the country. It’s huge.”
Several Ole Miss fans stopped, asking to get a picture with the icon.
“They come up and ask if I’m waving it or they say they were looking for us,” Wall said. “People in the West don’t understand how big it is here in the South. There are guys at Auburn that come up to us and say that’s just an amazing tradition. This is coming from the SEC, so we try to communicate that when we got back home and tell them how much people respect and love the flag tradition.”