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Miami Hurricanes Football: Alex Rodriguez announced as the celebrity guest picker on College GameDay

The former MLB legend is ESPN’s choice to represent “The U” on Saturday.

Miami v Florida State
Alex Rodriguez attends the 2013 Miami-FSU game in Tallahassee.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

All around the country, everyone has their eyes on the heavyweight battle going on in South Florida this weekend: Miami-Notre Dame. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

Famous alumni (including Ed Reed as the honorary captain) are returning to catch a glimpse of some good Canes football, and, after an electrifying turnout last week against VT, another raucous crowd is expected on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

Maybe the most notable? How about that Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, and the rest of the College GameDay gang are on campus in Coral Gables for the first time ever to capture all the energy and excitement the fanbase has to offer this weekend.

Yes, that means on Saturday from 9 am to noon, all the wacky signs, oddly intriguing stories, and Corso’s headgear pick will be broadcast live on the UM campus from the lakeside patio.

But, it’s not College GameDay without the celebrity guest picker. Earlier in the week, our Matt Washington wondered who GameDay might go with to represent “The U”, and one of his guesses was spot-on!


If you’re reading this article, you most likely need no introduction to Alex Rodriguez, but the conventions of sportswriting compel me to give you one anyways.

A-Rod grew up in Miami and attended Westminster Christian School, where he was a gifted baseball player. He actually signed a letter of intent to play ball at UM, but decided being the #1 overall pick in the 1993 MLB Draft out of high school would be way cooler. So, A-Rod never actually went to Miami (he doesn’t even go here!), but, as Matt Washington noted in his piece, that has never been a requirement to become the celebrity picker on GameDay.

Rodriguez went on to become an all-time baseball great with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and, most famously, with the New York Yankees, racking up 14 All-Star appearances, 3 MVP Awards, and one World Series (2009 with the Yankees). After retiring following the 2016 season, A-Rod turned himself into a media personality, serving as a broadcaster on Fox Sports 1 for their MLB coverage, and also appears on the ABC show “Shark Tank”, where young start-up companies appeal to a panel of investors for a cash infusion in exchange for a stake in their business.

A-Rod is a huge fan of UM athletics and has long been an attendee at Miami football games (I can attest to this myself, as I bumped into him at the Virginia Tech game in 2013). You may have seen him and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez (yes, that J. Lo) at last week’s win over Virginia Tech at Hard Rock Stadium, rocking the Turnover Chain of course.

Even though he never donned the orange and green himself, Rodriguez still remains extremely involved with the University. Back in 2003, Rodriguez gave $3.9 million to UM to renovate its baseball stadium, which is now named “Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Stadium”. Since 2004, he has been recognized as an honorary alumnus and received the University of Miami's Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction Award in 2007.

So, while I was hoping for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rodriguez was at the pinnacle of his sport, is a big part of the UM community, and has experience as a personality on-camera, making him an all-around great choice for Miami’s celebrity guest picker. Odds he picks against Miami on Saturday?