By Esteban Ramirez
Senior Staff Writer
NBC’s Today Show turned a bit rowdy on Tuesday, March 28 as members of the CSU Bakersfield spirit and pep squads made an appearance on the program.
About 35 members from the squads and 20 other Bakersfield community members sporting blue and gold CSUB colors got an early start and made the trip to the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan to get on the show.
“It was great to have CSUB on national television,” said CSUB freshman Julianna De La Rosa, member of the cheer team. “It was kind of crazy because we were up kind of early for us, but overall, it was a great experience.”
Of the 55 spirit and band members that made the trip to the Big Apple, 10 cheerleaders, 9 dancers and 2 mascots were at the Today Show. Fourteen band members also joined them.
“The young ladies had their pom-poms, they were in uniform, we had a few CSUB flags waving in the background to get on television as well, it was just a good time,” said CSUB Spirit Coordinator Arthur Smith.
Junior liberal science major Kortney McGinnis, member of the cheer team, said she was excited for her team.
“They were all really excited, especially the freshmen because they probably didn’t think this is where they would end up in March,” McGinnis said. “It was really cool.”
Smith said the team went over to the Today Show at 5:30 a.m.
Once they let everyone into the area where the show is recorded, CSUB stood right behind the hosts and started chanting “let’s go ’Runners” and “C-S-U-B” during the show.
Then the teams had the opportunity of meeting co-anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker.
They also had the chance to meet Orange Room host Carson Daly.
“That was super cool because I never met a celebrity in person,” said De La Rosa.
CSUB Athletics Director Kenneth Siegfried said it was fun to watch how the co-anchors and directors of the show reacted to everyone from CSUB.
“We were the liveliest bunch that was out there, and quite frankly, I think we helped their show to hopefully have a little more spirit,” Siegfried said.
McGinnis said it was a cool experience to be on the show.
“It’s pretty unique,” she said. “Our parents miss us, so it’s really cool to know that they are able to see us in New York and having a good time.”
Smith said the idea for heading to the Today Show came from just being in New York and wanting to go on one of the shows that are recorded in the city.
“The Today Show just kind of seemed like a natural fit in terms of the outside space and the timing worked out, as far us waking up early and going over there,” Smith said.
McGinnis said half of the team immediately contacted their families.
“We were like, ‘please start recording it,’” she said. “All of us can’t wait to watch our whole team on there, let alone just being on TV somewhere outside of our own home.”
Smith had the opportunity to be at a Sweet 16 NCAA tournament game back in 2006 as a cheerleader for Wichita State.
He said it was fun for him to watch all the students’ faces to them being there.
“It’s very humbling for me,” said Smith. “It’s very exciting to me because I know what it is like to be on that side. I know that right now when you are in the midst of it, you don’t really think about it. You are worried about the next game, and you hope they win the game. What’s the flight going to be like going home, but I know when you get back home, these are memories you are going to cherish forever.”
CSUB Athletics Director Kenneth Siegfried said it was a great idea by the spirit and pep band teams.
“I thought it showed a lot of creativeness and initiative by our spirit squad because when people all over the nation are watching the Today Show, they see CSUB and the blue and gold stuck out a lot,” Siegfried said. “I just thought it was really cool.”