By: Dan Hancock (@danhancock1978)
In a word...WOW! To recap Day 1 of SEC Media Days is like trying to describe quantum physics in one word. As an outsider to this process, I will not deny that this is overwhelming. If the good folks at 1010XL/92.5FM will allow me to say this, and (as Hacker would say, "take you inside the business), the crew of 1010XL are some of the nicest people I could hope to meet. I was prepared for "coach speak," but was pleasantly surprised at how much the coaches actually do have to say.
This event is an opportunity for the team's Chief of Staff to provide his State of the Program (pronounced "pro-grum"). It's interesting to see the guys that are a walking powder keg on Saturdays to come in, dressed like a million bucks, and deliver some of the most professional and entertaining presentations I've ever seen. First was Will Muschamp. He is about as cool as they get. Coach Boom left the thunder in Gainesville and was more smiles and pleasantries than crazy eyes and jugular vein distension. The question was asked, as expected, though. Are coaches responsible for the off-the-field behavior of their players?" Coach Muschamp replied, swiftly: "...you're 100% responsible." When Will Muschamp says that, I believe him. I've had the pleasure of meeting him in the past, in an unofficial capacity, and truly feel he means what he says. He does not seem to tolerate nonsense. If you don't believe me, ask Janoris Jenkins.
For me, the main event was Stephen Orr Spurrier. He was headlining the afternoon session. And boy did he deliver. The choir of keyboards clicking was in perfect tune. The Ol' Ball Coach gave more than enough to write about in his 20-30 minutes at the podium. As I scanned the room of 500-plus journalists, I noticed a look of frustration on their faces. I think their grimace was from the fact that they wanted to sit back and enjoy. Oh how we all wish that our typical convention-style seating was transformed to a front porch on Crescent Beach, where we could sit back in a rocking chair, imbibing on an Arnold Palmer ( or John Daly, if you so choose), and listened to our favorite uncle tell us stories of yesteryear. Who, but Spurrier, would we want to listen to tell us about their recent 50 year high school reunion. Not only did SOS, tell us about this event, but had the audience of journalists and photographers in stitches when he recalled the evening. "Well...it was quiet. 'Bout 9:30, most everybody had gone home to go to bed." Classic Spurrier. I don't want to think about a Birmingham July without Coach Spurrier.
Various players from the day's teams were in attendance. It seems like each day will include one marquis player. Yesterday was Jadaveon Clowney. He attracted quite a following. The most interesting thing I heard about the projected about Clowney was actually from Coach Muschamp. He jokingly said that he highly encouraged Clowney to go pro this season. The Gators play Jadaveon's Gamecocks on November 16. The DVR is already preset.
Finally, I have to say, this is hard work. Like the athletes we're interviewing, the good ones on this side of the report have to train for these events. You have to stay hydrated. Up and down, all around the circus I go. My fingers need to remain Tweet-ready and I have to be prepared to provide, what I hope is, a unique perspective on the 2013 SEC Media Days.