Check Your Ego at the Door

Every Saturday during the college football season, millions of fans tune in to ESPN’s College Football GameDay. On the set are four of the most well-known faces in all of college football. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, former Heisman Trophy Winner Desmond Howard and Lee Corso entertain fans from their traveling desk—usually at the best game of the week.

I know some of these guys personally, but when I watch the show it feels like I’ve known these guys forever. They seem to be having the time of their lives all the time. I’ve always wondered how it is that four guys, all very accomplished, can work together as a unit without any one of them demanding the spotlight. Last week, I had the chance to talk with Coach Corso and asked how that culture came about… and to see if the perception of what goes on the air equates to the reality behind the scenes.

“We have a lot of fun,” Corso told me of working with the crew at GameDay. “We are of different generations. Desmond Howard, Kirk and Chris are younger than I am but we have a great relationship because we leave the ego at the door. You can’t bring any ego to this job; that’s what makes it real.”

Corso has been with the show since its inception in 1987. Many contributors have come and gone, but the message to the fans has always been clear: These guys love college football and if they do their jobs well, you will too.

“It’s like stealing,” Corso told me of his dream job. “You go to the best game first-class, work with nice people and they pay you!”

And it continues because of the no-ego culture that is an absolute, he said.

There are situations when you feel like thumping your chest and letting the world know what you’ve done. But what I’ve learned from my conversation with Coach Corso is that, in a team situation, the only way to succeed and accomplish your goals is to check your ego at the door.

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