When ESPN’s College GameDay broadcasts live from downtown Fargo on Saturday, signs of all sorts will be held up by several of the thousands of people expected to surround the set of the popular show.
But last year, this sign didn’t make the cut when GameDay first came to town.
Kirk Carow of Fargo made this sign of singer Taylor Swift wearing a jersey of then North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen.
Swift was in town just the week before performing in front of more than 20,000 at the Fargodome. The next day, when the Bison were about ready to occupy the same space Swift played the night before in a game against Ferris State, the quarterback’s No. 16 jersey was missing.
So the jokes and rumors began flying, from the media and the players.
“[The Forum's Jeff] Kolpack put out an article that Taylor Swift was playing in St. Paul and no word yet if she was wearing the gold NDSU jersey with No. 16. So, we thought it would be funny to photoshop Taylor wearing Brock jersey for the GameDay,” Carow said.
“Somebody said Taylor Swift probably stole it,” said linebacker Grant Olson after that game. “Some people were freaking out in the locker room … I thought it was pretty funny.”
But ESPN wasn’t laughing about the homemade sign, which had already found screen time when a boom camera panned the crowd. A bit later, Carow said a security officer came up to him and asked him for it.
“He tried to rip out out of my hands,” Carow said.
“I asked why, and he said it came from ESPN. So, I took my sign back into our office.”
The jersey was found. As for the sign, does it still exist?
“No, my kids broke it,” Carow said.