From Rice to Rece, SportsCenter college football bus tour gallops along

(L-R) Jeannine Edwards, Rece Davis, Danny Kanell and Joey Galloway imitating Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen” at Culver Military Academy.

(Chris Wondoloski/ESPN)
(Chris Wondoloski/ESPN)

The former New York Herald Tribune might have had its Rice in 1924, but Tuesday morning the “SportsCenter On The Road” bus had its Rece.

While contemplating an “open” for the second stop of the week-long college football tour, producer Jonathan Whyley was gazing at the stables at Culver Military Academy, the unique site of Notre Dame’s camp, and said, “We’ve got to do something with the horses.”

College Gameday host Rece Davis jumped up and said, “I’ve got it!” and shortly thereafter Whyley was on his way from the SC bus to wake up the stable attendant – not to mention the equine inhabitants.

Four horses later, reporter Jeanine Edwards, Davis, and analysts Danny Kanell and Joey Galloway were in place to set the scene for the 9 a.m. ET SportsCenter posed just as Notre Dame’s “Four Horsemen” — Don Miller, Elmer Layden, Jim Crowley and Harry Stuhldreher – were in their iconic photo 91 years ago.

Whereas Grantland Rice wrote after Notre Dame’s 13–7 upset win over Army, “Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence and Famine. But those are aliases…” ESPN’s Rece penned, “Outlined against a clear, blue August sky, the Four Horsemen ride again. In dramatic lore their names are Davis, Edwards, Kanell and Galloway. Those aren’t aliases, those are us…” and Davis creatively customized the rest of Rice’s legendary lead.

SportsCenter On the Road” College Football Tour

Monday, Aug. 10:
Ohio State
Tuesday, Aug. 11:
Notre Dame (Culver, Ind., morning)
Wed., Aug. 12:
UCLA (San Bernardino, morning)
USC (afternoon)
Thursday, Aug. 13:
Baylor( morning)
TCU (afternoon)
LSU (evening)
Friday, Aug. 14:
Alabama (morning)
Auburn (afternoon)

“It’s such a big part of Notre Dame lore that I thought it would be cool to give a nod to tradition,” Davis said. “The Irish were at Culver to get back to basics. What’s more fundamental than the greatest lead in sports writing history? I thought people would get a kick out of spoofing it a little bit. Plus, I looked more comfortable on my horse, Chili, than Stuldreher looked on his. Well, at least I was more comfortable than Kanell.”

But writing was safest part of the segment.

“It ain’t like getting in a car boys!” was renowned equestrian Edwards’ initial thought of the pigskin pundits ponying up. “While my biggest concern was putting 4-inch platform heels in stirrups, Joey was insistent on making his horse run. Mercifully we talked him out of it – he has no idea how quickly or badly a 1200-pound animal can hurt you, or someone else. The guys did great — looked fearless and in control up there. Very impressive. Somehow we came through it unscathed and Rece nailed his line in one take, of course.”

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