‘Lone Survivor’ Who Inspired Movie Named Guest Picker For ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’
ESPN "College GameDay" host Chris Fowler announced Friday morning that former Navy SEAL and "Lone Survivor" author Marcus Luttrell will be the show's celebrity guest picker Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
"We’re going to go in a very different direction this time, and we’re very proud to have Marcus Luttrell here. ... On Veteran’s Day week, we think it’s appropriate," Fowler said during a media availability session with reporters.
Luttrell will also speak to the Alabama football team before Saturday’s game against No. 1 Mississippi State, coach Nick Saban announced during his weekly radio show Thursday. He was already scheduled to speak at Tuscaloosa’s Bama Theatre as part of his "Patriot Tour" on Friday.
Luttrell took part in a Navy SEAL operation that was unexpectedly compromised by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in June 2005. He was the only survivor of the four-member team.
In 2007, Luttrell wrote a book recounting the fateful mission known as Operation Red Wings. The book was later adapted into the 2013 movie of the same name, with Mark Wahlberg starring as Luttrell.
After seeing the movie in theaters, "GameDay" analyst Kirk Herbstreit recalled how it moved him to "tears."
"I was heartbroken when I walked out of that theater and to have a chance to meet him is honestly the thrill of my Saturday, really," Herbstreit said. "Despite all the talk about football, I can’t wait to shake his hand and thank him.
"I don't know how we're going to have fun in that segment. I hear he's a big college football fan. Hopefully we'll be able to keep it lighthearted and make some picks and have some fun, but it’s a real honor for us to have him on our show."
"College GameDay," a weekly ESPN show that broadcasts live on college football campuses during the season, will be outside Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Walk of Champions ahead of No. 5 Alabama's showdown with No. 1 Mississippi State on Saturday. The show will air from 8-11 a.m. CT, with kickoff between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.