With the Anchor-Bone classic being one of the best rivalry games in Division II football, it was about time that the country got a glance.
One year ago, the Ferris State Bulldogs took on the Grand Valley State University Lakers in the Anchor-Bone Classic, winning in a 35-31 thriller. The win launched the Bulldogs into national title contention which saw the Bulldogs get to the national title game.
The rivalry game, along with the recent success of the Bulldogs, was enough to catch the eye of FOX Sports Detroit. With the kickoff of FOX Sports Detroit’s Football Week in Michigan, the Bulldogs would be broadcast on the network for the first time ever.
The first feature that was broadcast on FOX Sports Detroit was on senior quarterback Jayru Campbell, which aired in the days leading up to the game and during the halftime coverage. This included a look into the Campbell’s backstory at Detroit Cass Tech and how his career ended up at Ferris.
FOX started their Saturday gameday day in the parking lot of Top Taggart Field with a tailgate. Working with Ferris State, the tailgate started at 9 a.m. and included a table with the Anchor-Bone Trophy and the three Harlon Hill trophies won by both Campbell and former Ferris quarterback Jason Vander Laan. Merchandise was given away for free near the FOX Sports bus, including mini footballs and FOX Sports Detroit hats, which were needed in the cold weather.
FOX Sports spokesperson Courtney Welch commented of FOX Sports Detroit’s coverage of the Anchor-Bone Classic.
“Football in Michigan continues to grow. Obviously, the rivalry that Grand Valley and Ferris State have is something we wanted to be a part of. It’s a pretty big atmosphere,” Welch said.
The broadcast would bring former Detroit Lion stars Herman Moore and Joique Bell to both the tailgate and as guest field reporters. Bell, a former running back for Wayne State, was impressed by the turnout by the Bulldog fan base.
“This college gameday is incredible. I’ve never been to a Division II tailgate quite this big before and with the stakes this high with one team undefeated and another with just one loss, it’s been really impressive,” Bell said.
Herman Moore, a former Pro Bowl receiver who played from 1991 to 2001 with the Lions, was also impressed by the community coming out.
“We love getting out in the community and getting to display these fanbases. This is big,” Moore said. “What I love is the fact that this has the hometown feel to it. The fans are out here supporting their team as well. Michigan is a great football state so there no better place to be then on the FOX Sports Detroit team.”
The broadcast began at noon, with former Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner and the voice of University of Michigan baseball, Matt Shepard, as the broadcasters.
Ferris won the matchup 21-16 in front of a crowd of 7,948 fans at Top Taggart alone, along with the potential thousands at home, giving the Ferris a spotlight never seen before.