Luke Combs: the undisputed man of the damn people.
In case you missed it, he was the celebrity guest picker on ESPN’s flagship college football program, College GameDay, on Saturday at his alma mater Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina.
He did a great job on camera, though I’m not sure all of his picks were exactly right, and of course, the hometown crowd was beyond thrilled to have him back in the high country. He also threw some shade at Jimbo Fisher after the Mountaineers upset at Texas A&M, which certainly made for great TV.
College GameDay host Rece Davis talked with GameDay reporter Pete Thamel on their weekend recap podcast to discuss all the events of the day this past Monday.
And to quote Pat McAfee, it was an electric weekend, so I think it’s safe to say the College GameDay boys enjoyed their first visit to Boone.
Plus, the game ended in heart-pounding fashion with an improbable Hail Mary as time expired, which GameDay host Rece Davis summed up best on the podcast:
“It was a great scene, and they almost messed up by blowing the game. And then they win the thing on a Hail Mary. So if you’re keeping score at home, they’ve got a 40-point fourth quarter, and a near miss on a two point conversion, that would’ve won the game against Carolina.
They have a win on the road in one of the most hostile environments in the sport against the #6 team in the country, and just for good measure, let’s win the first conference game after College GameDay on an improbable Hail Mary, as if any Hail Mary is probable.
That one was particularly improbable, given what they had done lading up to it. So it was a remarkable weekend and a remarkable Saturday at App State.”
Pretty spot on…
But ESPN reporter Pete Thamel also came through with some inside scoop on the podcast, saying that he ran into Luke in the bathroom in between hits as Luke was changing to go guest pick on the show.
Luke flew to North Carolina that morning, in between two back-to-back shows in Wisconsin, saying that he would’ve been there to pick on GameDay even if he “was in London.”
Like I said, a man of the people, and Pete confirmed as much with this great little story:
“So I didn’t bother Luke Combs, and I didn’t introduce myself. And again, he couldn’t have been nicer. He took pictures with everybody in our crew who was back up in our office at App.
The PR folks, social media folks, hair and makeup folks. He was, if you’re a Luke Combs fan listening to this, he was as affable and kind as you would hope he is. And he was genuinely giddy to be there.”
Rece added that he was good as a picker as he’d ever seen, because he knew the sport and brought some great takes.
Anywho, here’s the best part about what Pete had to say about Luke:
“I have a hit somewhere around 10:30, and I go back to the office to try to make a few more phone calls and whatever, and I go to the restroom. And in the restroom, Luke Combs is changing and he’s talking to a security guard, like an App State cop.
And I’m in the bathroom minding my own business, I like, don’t know it’s Luke Combs, right? When you’re doing a show, and you’re as bad on TV as I am, and as nervous as I am generally, like you’re not cognizant of the environment, you’re just minding your own business.
And he starts talking, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I had a show in Wisconsin last night.’ And I was like wait a minute… and he very genuinely, like it wasn’t an act, he’s changing at the mirror and the cop is in one of the stalls, and he’s like, ‘Man, if I didn’t have a show tonight, I would be out there drinkin’ with all them.’
And he came off as like, very genuine and very proud of having gone to App and a very proud App guy. And I will just remember that as, this guy’s sitting here having to go fly back private and do a show, and all he wants to do is go in that sea of humanity.”
How can you not love Luke Combs?
And after the show went off air, the crowd tried to get Luke to do an impromptu performance, and he looked at Rece and told him:
“If I had a way to do it, I would.”
To which Rece replied:
“If you come back, will you do it?”
And he says:
Alright, it’s settled… College GameDay back in Boone in the fall of 2023.
Put it on the calendar, Luke and ESPN.
Here’s the footage of Luke’s picks from Saturday:
And I’ll never get tired of watching this video for as long as I live…