After last week’s destruction of Nebraska to open the season, I’m in heavy anticipation of Ohio State’s game against Penn State in Happy Valley tomorrow night. For the past couple of years, this game has been one that has ratcheted up my emotions…especially when the Buckeyes invade Beaver Stadium under “White Out” conditions. There won’t be 110,889 in attendance on account of the COVID-19 pandemic but it should still be a marquee Saturday night game. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC.
How I first came across this moment? I was introduced to the ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC presentations on September 2, 2006, when Notre Dame visited Georgia Tech to open the season.
What it meant to me then? Initially, I hated the ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC presentations. I was a big fan of the College Football on ABC Sports presentations, including the trademark theme music. I felt like the product was diluted by ESPN’s branding. Fortunately, my attitude towards the new ESPN presentations changed over the course of that 2006 season…Ohio State’s demolition of the defending champion Texas Longhorns in Week 2 and that incredible DeSean Jackson punt return touchdown against Oregon. Having Kirk Herbstreit as a game analyst didn’t hurt either.
What it means to me now? With the exception of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, due to the time difference in Japan with church happening during the games, I’ve watched just about every game in the series. Besides an Ohio State game televised in another time slot, the ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC games are what I look forward to most on Saturdays in the autumn season. In fact, you can just about pencil me in as busy from 8pm ET until midnight because I’m into the biggest presentation on the board.