The Circus Has Come to Town!
Media reps crowd around South Carolina Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney at 2013 SEC Media Days
On Tuesday close to 1200 journalist, broadcasters, and bloggers from around the country met at the Winfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. for the start of SEC Media Days.
There’s nothing else like it. The three day event is the biggest sporting extravaganza in college sports. In fact probably outside of the Super Bowl, there is not another time when this many journalist meet at one place to ask questions and look for stories from coaches and players.
For many it’s the unofficial start of the college football season but for die hard fanatics like yours truly, it’s also the unofficial end to summer. Because from here to the first kickoff – it’s not summer anymore – it’s football season!
We look forward to this week, since the last down of the last college game was played back in January. The hysteria surrounding these three days serves to rev up the engines of SEC football fans.
Some have compared it to a circus with hundreds of fans jamming the building, with 1200 media members frantically trying to get a question asked of one of the 14 coaches and 40 players, with 30 radio stations and ESPNU broadcasting interviews live from the Winfrey.
Added to the excitement this year, for the first time ever, is ESPN’s College Football Live Show. Herbstreet and friends kick off their preview of the upcoming college football season with live coverage everyday.
Four new coaches will experience the bright lights of the the center ring for the first time today including Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Tennessee’s Butch Jones, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops, and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema. Auburn and Arkansas are set as Wednesday’s closing acts between 2:20-5 p.m.
One of the neat things about Media Days is you never know what someone may say in their remarks. And that was certainly true on Tuesday when SEC Commissioner Mike Slive seemed to challenge Mark Emmert and the NCAA when he said there needs to be a cost of attendance provision (stipends for players) and when he added that, “NCAA rules are as outdated as the Gutenberg printing press.”
The following comments are some of yesterday’s jewel’s from coaches and players :
Florida Coach Will Muschamp took a jab at Urban Meyer regarding Ohio State turning Florida in for recruiting violations: “We appreciate our friends from Ohio making sure we’re complying with NCAA rules. They certainly know a thing or two about it.”
Muschamp on Bob Stoops’ saying the SEC is overrated:” If I were Bob, I’d say the same thing”
Muschamp on South Carolina’s defensive End, Jadeveon Clowney: “I would like to see him come out early (for NFL Draft) before our game.”
Ole Miss Coach, Hugh Freeze on Muschamp’s fast speaking style: “I was listening to my friend Will Muschamp earlier. I was going to try to do it with less breaths than he took, but that’s impossible.”
Freeze on Saban’s and Bielema’s call to slow down the fast paced offenses: “I don’t think there is any proof of a safety concern caused by hurry-up offenses.”
But probably the most entertaining guy every year is the Old Ball Coach who always calls it like he sees it:
Steve Spurrier on his proposal that players receive expense money because they “bring in an enormous amount of money” to the colleges. He proposes that players should receive $300 per game for expenses, including paying for parents to attend games.
He said “I will keep calling for this (player stipend) till President Obama calls me and tells me to stop.”
Spurrier on a fairer conference schedule:“Alabama did not play the three top teams in the East. Georgia did not play the three top teams in the West.”
Spurrier on the decision making of the new college football playoff system: “Why is the Notre Dame AD given the same seat at the table of power as the BCS commissioners?
Perhaps the player quote of the day goes to this year’s probable No.1 draft pick, South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney who was asked if he could catch Johhny Manziel. He responded, “Yeah, of course I can get him. I would go right at him and hit him in the mouth.”
Well Manziel may be asked about that when Texas A&M takes the center ring at 8:30 this morning.
One things for sure though, after Manziel has been in the news so much lately, you can expect Johnny Football’s side show to be even bigger than the one Clowney met Tuesday.
Yes, the Circus has come to town and I’m loving every minute.