Mike Locksley

Rece Davis says college football is going to look weird in the fall

Rece Davis says college football is going to look weird in the fall

The endless sea of school colors and the deafening roars of alumni and student body. The community-wide elation of beating your rival on a Saturday night and the collective sorrow in defeat. 

There's nothing quite like the experience of a college football game.

That is what the sports community is in jeopardy of losing this fall because of the coronavirus. Without college football or even just a shell of it, it will be a stark contrast to what has become the norm. And no one quite captures the moments and the emotions than ESPN's College Gameday. 

"For our show, it will be a tremendous difference" Gameday host Rece Davis said on 'Late Night with Locks.'

Typically the show is known for large, never-ending crowds. Hilarious signs and celebrity picks are reoccurring elements. Just like the sport, not everything will be the same. 

For years the show has been the center of college football and its culture. It never misses a beat and always travels to the heart of the weekend matchup, even if it's to a smaller FCS school in a rivalry game. Novices that sit on their couch on a Saturday can feel right there through GameDay.

Those moments, those memories are how the sport stands out from its professional counterpart on Sundays and several other sports around the country. That emotion carries over to the stadium and creates a unique, symbiotic relationship between the crowd and the players on the field.

It simply can't be replicated anywhere else. 

Right now, Davis says ESPN and the show are operating as if the college football season is held. But, they are making several contingency plans depending on how the public health situation develops.

As the name of the show indicates, they want to be on campuses if possible. Smaller venues are an option, especially if there are limitations on their crowd size. And yes, even having College GameDay without fans is an option.

"That seems almost blasphemous given the history of the show, but if that's what it takes to keep people as healthy as possible then obviously we will comply with that," Davis said. 

There's no doubt whether you're at home or a fan that gets to attend as part of a sparse crowd that it will be a strange experience. Even the players will have to adjust. Home-field advantage may not have the same weight as it typically holds. 

"Players sort of pick up on the energy in the stadium. You make a big play, a big pick, a big stop on third down or get a big conversion on third down, people start generating momentum. What's that momentum going to be like without the same level of noise and vibe in the stadium that you're used to? I think it will be a challenge for some," he said.

But nonetheless, Davis knows that having college football games, even without fans, is better than the alternative. Everybody could use a little bit of the joy that the sport brings right now. 

"I think it would be better for everybody, the country, the psyche, everything if we can do it safely and have the sport even if we have to limit the number of fans. And I'm not going to lie, it's going to be weird. The atmosphere in college football is what sets it apart," Davis said.

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Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey’s concerns about the NFL’s limited offseason are the same as everyone else’s: That the lack of an offseason program limits the growth a team can have together. 

He knows that because of the growth he saw from Lamar Jackson just a year ago.

Humphrey was a guest on an episode of ‘Late Night with Locks’ with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley on Friday night, where he talked about Jackson’s MVP season last year. 

“Lamar, man, I was just telling somebody the other day, the jump he made from OTAs to training camp last year, it was a crazy jump,” Humphrey recalled. “The stuff he does in a game, I’m just happy that’s in a game and I don’t have to guard that. He does some crazy stuff.”

He, like everyone else on the Ravens’ defense, saw firsthand Jackson’s growth from year-to-year. And he was one of the few people in the league who didn’t have to worry about Jackson in a game.

“There’s been a lot of times, in the NFL, you’re not truly thudding somebody all the time in practice,” Humphrey said. “There’s a lot of people that say they tackled Lamar and different things, but deep down, we all know that was not going to be a tackle in a game.”

But what stuck out to Humphrey most was Jackson’s off-the-field persona.

“I think the biggest thing Lamar does is just the way he goes about being in the building, being with his teammates,” Humphrey said. “Any time Lamar shows up to any event we invite him to, we all know everyone is going to go crazy for Lamar and he’s not going to be able to enjoy himself or anything. But he’s so humble enough to support his teammates when we have our different events here and there.”

He recalled a story where he, Tim Williams and Jaylen Hill were out to dinner immediately after joining the Ravens. They mentioned to the waitress that they played for the Ravens, and she didn’t believe him. 

Humphrey later said with a grin that not everyone in the city of Baltimore, even Ravens fans, can tell all the players apart sometimes.

“They don’t really know all the players, but they know they love the Ravens,” Humphrey said. “If you’re not Lamar Jackson, they don’t really know who you are ... but they really love the Ravens. When you say you play for the Ravens, they’re your best friend.”

Now, as Jackson and the Ravens have their sights set on a Super Bowl in the young quarterback’s second season as the starting quarterback, Humphrey is anxious to see, like everyone else, how Jackson grows even more.

“Last year, he tried to learn everybody’s name in the whole building,” Humphrey said. “That’s stuff that doesn’t get seen. He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around. It reminds me of a Jalen Hurts, just more energetic. I just can’t wait to see how he grows.”

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Cal Ripken on how lessons from his Iron Man streak can apply to today's crisis

Cal Ripken on how lessons from his Iron Man streak can apply to today's crisis

Twenty-five years after he broke Lou Gehrig’s record, what Cal Ripken Jr. really remembers is how relatable it was to fans.

No, not being able to play that many Major League Baseball games in a row. 

But the basic attitude that went behind it.

“It is really interesting, everybody could relate to work ethic, or showing up every day,” he said of his consecutive game record on Late Night With Locks on Friday night. “So the coolest part of that whole thing, the celebration, was not breaking Lou Gehrig’s record was everybody telling me about their streak and why it was important to them. And that sort of work ethic, people really relate to.”

Even in this time of COVID-19, Ripken said, there were lessons he thought were applicable to getting through the tough times. 

“It challenges you,” he said. “In the same sort of way that the streak would … you have to say, 'OK, let me win today, let me win the day. And if I win today, tomorrow will come.'”

The streak, he said, took the same kind of attitude. He leaned on advice he got from his father, Cal Ripken Sr.

“Dad used to say ‘you can’t play tomorrow’s game until it gets here. You can’t replay yesterday’s game, even though you can learn from it. So you might as well play today’s game,'" he said. "It was a good way of saying focus on what you can do now.”

He thinks those lessons are applicable now to everyone staying home. Even though the crisis may feel like it’s gone on forever, he recommends just keeping yourself as sharp and busy as possible.

“Be ready to come back and control each one of your days the best you can,” he said.

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