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Jeff Kolpack, Published September 19 2013

Kolpack: Guest picker is a mystery, but there are plenty of candidates

Fargo - Broadway and a few adjoining streets were blocked off Thursday as the crew from ESPN constructed a television set that will go down as an “American Bandstand” moment in North Dakota State football history. Now I know what it must have been like when the Beatles played Shea Stadium.

OK, that’s a stretch, but Lee, Kirk, Desmond and Chris are the Paul, George, Ringo and John this weekend in Fargo. The Fab Four.

What we don’t know is who is going to be the fifth Beatle in the last segment of the show when each member of the group picks the winner of selected games. That’s when the mystery celebrity guest picker is revealed – if there is one at all.

There is no formula to who gets selected, said the show’s coordinator producer, Lee Fitting. It’s not mandatory that it has one, either.

“We’ve had some unbelievably memorable guest pickers, and we’ve had some duds over the years,” Fitting said. “Some weeks there’s a tie to the school and sometimes there’s no tie at all to the school, city or state that we’re in. If someone feels right and has an interest, then we might think it’s a good fit.”

That brings us to the tantalizing question all week: Who would be a good fit for Fargo?

First, a few tips if somebody gets the distinction:

E It’s OK to have some personality, which is something Mark Harmon lacked when he was the guest picker two weeks ago at the University of Michigan. The actor looked bored with his one-word answers.

E Do not waver from your Speech 108 principles of an occasional hand gesture or a spice of voice inflection.

E Do not mimic Lee Corso’s “not so fast” line. He’s the one and only in the world qualified to say it. I did it once on our Bison Media Blog pregame show with Dom Izzo and Eric Peterson on www.inforum.com and have regretted it ever since.

The unofficial candidates tossed around this week have been numerous. My personal favorite would have been best-selling author, North Dakota native and former Forum writer Chuck Klosterman, who also happens to be affiliated with ESPN. But Chuck said in a Twitter message this week it’s not him.

Steve Buscemi or Frances McDormand from the movie “Fargo” would be classic, but yeah, sure ya betcha, it’s doubtful they would fly in from wherever they are to go on a morning show for 10 minutes. Still, since the stage is near the Fargo Theatre, it makes sense some reference to the movie is in order.

Phil Hansen? The former Buffalo Bills and NDSU star would fit the profile and seems to be the odds-on choice.

Josh Duhamel is the most famous current face of North Dakota. Maybe it’s a good weekend for him and Fergie to visit his family’s lake country place. So who’s it going to be?

I’m going to say Jeff Bridges.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia