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Spider Johnk, Fargo, Published October 01 2013

Letter: Several lessons from ‘GameDay’

So, with all experiences it’s good to review and see what we can learn. Here’s what I learned.

Lesson 1: Despite the local fan/showbiz experts, it seems that the ESPN production team knows how to select a location and put on a show. And do it with humility, grace and professionalism where a little payback condescension would have been forgivable.

Lesson 2: The local journalists can keep step with the men and women of ESPN. Radio, TV, print covered all the action thoroughly. Even guest prognosticator Phil Hansen slipped into the role with ease and a smile. Represented.

Lesson 3: It’s obvious we under-support the Fargo Theatre effort. They work their “end zones” off year round to provide our city with arguably the most photographed backdrop in the state. Then when a national show visits our turf, as happened this week, they offer it up with no reservation. They deserve our help. A lot of help.

If we learned lesson 3, let’s realize that all citizens benefit from the theater’s efforts. You don’t have to go to movies or concerts to understand that now. It only makes sense that the city of Fargo subsidize the theater and its iconic brand extension. A branding gift.

Licensing of the landmark is next. Only fair. The Bison have it figured out. Every Bison Nation T-shirt adds cha-ching to the checkbook.

The theater was the centerpiece of a three-hour, multimillion-dollar advertisement and opportunity for the Bison and moreover the city of Fargo. Taking care of the theater’s heat bills and light bills isn’t too much to ask. Oh, and light bulbs. I can’t imagine what all those light bulbs must run them.

Great job, Fargo. And thanks, ESPN and Bison Nation, for a great pre-game show. But special thanks to the Fargo Theatre for welcoming our guests and offering the marquee for the biggest photo op ever.


Johnk owns Spider & Company on Broadway in Fargo.