When someone says the words "College GameDay," there are probably many moments and media personalities that pop into the heads of college football fanatics.

College GameDay in Ames

Iowa State fans stand in line next to the College GameDay bus to take pictures while they were waiting for the game Jan. 17, 2015. 

You have "Ol' Crimson," Lee Corso being – well – Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Maria Taylor, the celebrity guest picker, Corso's headgear pick and many others.

While those are all quality choices to represent the perennial TV show of college football that is College GameDay, there is only one aspect of the show that is truly unique and special to each school that College GameDay visits.

The signs.

ESPN GameDay

Fans show their excitement and support for the Cyclones on ESPN's College GameDay on Jan. 17, 2015.

From memes to photoshopped pictures of the opposing players or coaches, to more memes and jabs at the GameDay hosts themselves, the GameDay signs make up the lifeblood of what makes the show so special.

College GameDay's TV broadcast is focused on the fans in the crowd for a majority of the broadcast, showing pictures and videos of the best signs that fans create on that Saturday.

Which is why the process of creating and hauling a homemade sign to GameDay is so important. The Iowa State Daily is here to serve.

We have gathered all the official rules you need to follow when you make your signs, along with the best ways to have your 30 seconds of fame on Saturday.

Official Rules of GameDay Signs

1. Nothing political

Iowa is no stranger to politics, but College GameDay does not allow any signs that endorse or slander any political figure.

2. Nothing religious

3. No vulgar language or images

This rule is rather self explanatory. No cursing, racist or violent words/imagery. A basic rule of thumb: If you wouldn't show your sign to your grandma, ESPN probably won't allow it.

4. No .com and .org signage.

There's nothing wrong with trying to get your name out there, but GameDay is about the passion of football, not promoting website URLs. 

Tips on how to get on TV and not kicked off the set

Most people heading to GameDay early Saturday morning are going with one mission in mind — getting on TV.

That said, here are some tips on how to get the attention of the cameras and not get up early in the morning for nothing. 

1. How to make your sign

This is the most common type of sign you'll see on GameDay. The material is easy to hold and is sturdy. A poster-sized piece of foamcore will work. If foamcore isn't for you, there is the option of using wood. However, the sign can be heavy to hold up for a three hour broadcast like GameDay. 

Amazon has pretty cheap 20-foot poles to hold up your signs. I am no handyman, but I would recommend that the poles' seams are a strong pull-and-twist brand to ensure that they stick and stay put. For added security, apply a piece of duct tape to the seam.

2. Be creative with your signs

The best signs on GameDay are the ones that aren't limiting themselves to a box. Assistant coaches, past scores, players' and coaches' facial reactions make some of the best types of signs. 


Coach Matt Campbell argues with a ref after a play at the Alamo Bowl game Dec. 28. Campbell's staff secured the commitment from six mid-summer recruits, including quarterback Hunter Dekkers.

Matt Campbell has plenty of facial reactions and sayings that would make great signs. Sophomore Brock Purdy and his popularity within the Iowa State fandom will be one of many popular — if not the most popular — signs out there. 

It's safe to say, if your sign is creative and catches someone's eye in between the basic signs out there, you'll be famous for a day.

3. Have energy the whole time

Obviously be aware that there is a show going on, but ESPN loves showing the energy and hype that the crowd brings. The point of having live fans and signs is to show how intense and excited the fans are for the upcoming game. The camera will always find and show the fans that bring the energy.

Be loud and you'll get on camera. This is the first GameDay in Ames and there is no guarantee that Iowa State will get it again.

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