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Seeing red: Alabama, Wisconsin fans check out Fort Worth, ESPN

ESPN's George Whitfield talks with his stage crew before going on-air in Sundance Square Plaza Friday morning.
ESPN's George Whitfield talks with his stage crew before going on-air in Sundance Square Plaza Friday morning. Star-Telegram

Red was the color of choice Friday in Sundance Square Plaza, where fans of Alabama and Wisconsin checked out ESPN’s setup as the college football season kicks into high gear.

Broadcast from downtown Fort Worth, SportsCenter segments aired throughout the day Friday and College GameDay will make its season debut Saturday afternoon before No. 3 Alabama takes on No. 20 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“We are here to support our team,” said Buster Cole of Tuscaloosa, Ala. “We hope for another national championship this year.”

Cole, 65, and his friends Leo Engle and Chris Callahan checked out the ESPN stages and hoped to see sports celebrities. As they milled about Sundance Square, they waved and exchanged grins with Badgers fans.

“We expect it to be a hard-fought game,” Cole said.

Wisconsin fans were also looking for some pregame fun.

“Cheering Wisconsin,” said Jacki Bussian, 31, who traveled more than 1,000 miles for the big sports weekend. “Big game tomorrow. It’s fun to have the atmosphere and that college football is back.”

Red wasn’t the only fan color downtown. As the morning progressed, TCU fans — proudly wearing their purple after the No. 2 Frogs beat Minnesota 23-17 on Thursday night — began showing up.

Cory Henson, 27, said he is a TCU fan “all the way” but was happy to see fans from other schools in his city.

“I like to see people support their teams,” Henson said. “That’s commitment. I like it.”

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

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