ESPN “College GameDay” analyst Lee Corso wiped a tear from his face after watching a six-minute tribute ahead of the 88-year-old's 400th headgear pick in Boulder, Colorado.
As the longest-running personality left on ESPN’s flagship college football pregame fixture, there was plenty to say about Corso in the tribute. He is known for putting on the headgear of the school he thinks will win each week as the show closes. The tradition began before any current collegiate player was born, when Corso wore the Brutus Buckeye mascot head on Oct. 5, 1996.
Once the roaring "CORSO" chant died down from Colorado fans, he issued some heartfelt thank you's.
Corso thanked several people, including his colleagues for putting up with his shtick, and those who made the tribute video. pic.twitter.com/igT8ISH6QR
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 16, 2023
Before ESPN, Corso worked as a collegiate head coach for 15 seasons, making stops at Louisville, Indiana and Northern Illinois. Many coaches recorded segments, reminiscing about his impact on the fan experience over the years.
Georgia's Kirby Smart and Ohio State's Ryan Day both reveled in Corso's longevity. For Alabama's Nick Saban, it was about the unpredictability.
“Anytime I’m watching, and you don’t know what he’s going to pick up, that’s all pretty exciting," he said.
If you have the time and love college football, the full tribute is worth a watch:
It's not a college football Saturday until Lee Corso makes his headgear pick 🐐
Today we celebrate Coach's 400th headgear pick by heading down memory lane to revisit some of his best moments. pic.twitter.com/TIlHJmTHpQ
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 16, 2023
After the celebration, Corso was joined by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as he made his milestone pick. He selected Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes, saying "it's been 26 years since I picked Colorado."
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 16, 2023
The moment is full circle in a way, as Corso was scheduled to make a selection at Jackson State in October 2022, but he missed “College GameDay” due to a health issue. It was the first time the show ever went to the school's campus and its first FCS matchup in three years thanks to Sanders, who was head coach there at the time.
Almost a year later, Corso still had the opportunity to pick a team led by Coach Prime, for whom he had high praise.