DimeMag

Bill Walton Was Off The Rails In The Best Way As College Gameday’s Guest Picker

ESPN’s College Gameday rolled through Los Angeles on Saturday ahead of UCLA playing host to Oregon in the biggest game of the Pac-12 season so far. There was, really, only one choice for a Gameday trip to UCLA for guest picker, as ESPN brought Bill Walton out to his old stomping grounds to bring a little extra life to the Gameday set.

What transpired was almost 25 minutes of chaos, as the show steamrolled into the 12:00 hour thanks to Walton’s ramblings about famed basketball alums from every school, booming business in the state of Utah, and all manner of other Walton-isms. Watching the Gameday crew trying desperately to move things along while Walton commandeered the ship was truly incredible to watch, and it took approximately five seconds from his arrival on the set for things to go off the rails as he asked, “have you ever seen a bear fight a duck?”

Poor Rece Davis got to know what Dave Pasch’s life is like during college hoops season as he tried in vain to keep the train rolling along, telling Bill at one point he needed to introduce a sponsor, which Bill was delighted by.

Almost every school that came up, Walton had some strong takes on, whether that was picking Wake Forest because of Tim Duncan and Chris Paul or expounding on Utah’s burgeoning business scene for, no joke, 60 seconds before taking the Utes. The man was prepared, but the best parts were where he was reacting to something, like learning that a “poke” is a cowboy, noting that he is a space cowboy.

When it came time for Washington State’s game to get picked, Rece tiptoed around their “strange” week where Nick Rolovich was dismissed for refusing to get the vaccine, but Walton was more than happen to go into that territory, saying “get a vaccination, please.”

There were also lots of animal noises, from cougars to tigers to bears. At the end, Corso finally got to throw on his headgear, picking UCLA in spite of Puddles’ presence on set and earned a smooch from Walton — who even got a jab in at Kirk that he can’t read.

Gameday needs this kind of chaotic energy more, and I think once a season they should invite Walton on as the guest picker. They might just want to start picks at 11:30 instead of 11:45 next time.

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