Sports fans got a pleasant surprise Monday night, as Jimmy Kimmel had Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard from ESPN College GameDay as guests on Jimmy Kimmel Live. (Kimmel returned to the show himself after a one-week break during which his infant son had heart surgery.)
The segment got off to a bit of a slow start as Kimmel joked about the three analysts traveling together, to which Herbstreit explained that all three of them live in different cities (Howard in Miami, Corso in Orlando, Herbstreit in Nashville). OK, that one didn’t quite go over, though it’s fun to envision the trio always together, even off the set.
With the Heisman Trophy having just been awarded over the weekend (to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield), Kimmel then asked Howard about winning the honor and what became the signature play of his 1991 Heisman campaign, the punt-return touchdown against Ohio State which he punctuated with the Heisman pose. (Howard explained that his original idea was to do a backflip into the endzone.
Maybe you’ve heard that story before (though the mainstream audience watching Kimmel may not have), but this time, we also got a perspective from Herbstreit, who was on the Buckeyes’ sideline as a player, on that fateful touchdown. Here’s the clip:
“I’m watchin’ him, watchin’ him, watchin’ him,” Herbstreit said. “Oh no, oh no… and I was just like ‘That son of a bitch.’ He just won the Heisman Trophy.”
Kimmel also wanted to know the origins of Corso picking the winner of the game where GameDay is based each weekend by putting on the mascot’s head. That provided a little glimpse into the process, such as how the mascot head is transported to the set without any fans knowing before Corso puts it on at the end of the show. And credit for what’s now become a GameDay staple is credited to Herbstreit.
“Sitting at Ohio State and Brutus walked by, I said to Kirk, ‘You think you can get me that Brutus head?'” Corso explained. “I’d put it on, they know who I picked. I wouldn’t have to say a word.”
Prior to that, as Herbstreit explained, Corso might see a hat in the crowd and have someone from the crew go get it for him. But once Corso put on that Brutus head, and it was a huge hit with the crowd and production crew, as he said, “I knew I had a schtick here.”
Corso may have had a schtick during his college football coaching career, but didn’t quite know it. He told a story about coaching a game on Thanksgiving Day and to motivate his team, he brought a live turkey to go out on the field with his team.
“Have you ever tried to lead a turkey?” he asked Kimmel. The guess here is that the host has never been asked that question. Although there’s surely a chance Tracy Morgan may have.
Also endearing is that Corso was holding his pencil in his right hand during the appearance with Kimmel. Unfortunately, the host didn’t ask him about that and whether or not he holds that pencil with him everywhere he goes.