In the past, what I assume to have been a sense of duty drove me to watch SEC Media Days. I can't fathom any other reason. I am a fan. Fans support their team. I will support my team by watching people sit in a hotel conference room and guardedly release no new information. Or at least that was the logic.
No more. This year I threw caution to the wind and watched not a minute of it. Operating on the assumption that if Mark Richt came in sporting a Mohawk or Bert Bielema showed up on a motorcycle word would get to me. Instead of watching, I spent time talking to clients and doing puzzles with my two-year old. I believe I am better for it because I assume I know exactly how things unfolded.
To be certain, I'd like to ask an indulgence from the RBR community, particularly from those that watched the event in its entirety.
The following is a series of questions that I'm sure recur annually, maybe not in this order or even on the same day and certainly the phrasing that actually gets used will not be the same, but the meaning behind them is. Let me know if this year was any different.
Reporter #1: "Thanks coach. Max Powers, wildcatnationtimespicayune.com. I was wondering what impact you think the loss of Bosephus Jones at left guard will have on your running game considering his ability to regularly pop DTs off from the second he starts his drive step and the relative troubles his backup Derek Wossisname has pulling in counter play situations."
"And if I may coach, before you answer, I'd like to point a few things out as sometimes people fail to infer what I've implied. First, to the room and the home viewing public who may be wondering if I played football in high school: I played football in high school. Second, to you personally coach, I've kind of told you how I expect you to answer by the way I phrased my question so I'd appreciate it if you didn't veer too far from my script because let's face it - if you answer in a way that makes it look like my assessment is in any way incorrect, I'm going to be writing about you with a chip on my shoulder from here on out. By the end of the season I'll have my readership so riled up that anything short of a playoff birth will have both of them calling for your head. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this."
Coach: "It's never an easy thing to lose a starter for the season, especially ................... blah, blah ................. but then it's hard to stay mad with a popsicle in your hand. Next question."
Reporter #2: "Mornin' Coach. Good to see you again. My oldest son is a senior at The Immaculate Conception a few miles from your house. I'm not bringing this up because you should be recruiting him or anything. He's kind of a scrawny kid and not much good at football. But he is good at computers. He showed me this thing. Have you ever heard of a ‘macro,' Coach?"
"He wrote this report on the Blessed Virgin Mary and every time he had to write the word ‘blessed' he just hit one button and up it popped. That's the ‘macro' thing. You hit one button and fills in the whole word. It was amazing. Anyway, he showed me how to do it so if you wouldn't mind just saying some football stuff and using the word "adversity" as often as possible that would really help me out. I want to get this thing written and filed asap so I can get on down to The J. Clyde early enough for happy hour. I hear Clay Travis might be there."
"Oh, and Coach, I think I can do two of those ‘macro' things at once so if you want to slip "physicality" in there a few times that won't slow me down. ‘Preciate it."
Coach: "No problem Jim. I'm so proud of this team. I wish you all could ........ policy is that we don't comment on ongoing investigations. I think we have time for one more."
Reporter #3: "Thanks Coach. Burt "Wild Man in the Mornings!" Johnson, WGAM Atlanta. Football has strategy and recruiting is important. Often there are off the field issues. I don't really have a question and I realize what an awful thing this is to do to an adult human being, but I mentioned some things and I'm just going to say ‘Talk about that.'"
"I'm assuming that at this point in your career, you're inured to being treated like a jukebox. So, you won't be too off put by it. If you wouldn't mind, go on long enough that you might say something that could be easily misconstrued or taken out of context but not so long that you would be able to explain yourself completely."
Coach: "Sure. There's no magic wand in this........... just a big distraction that could easily be put off for a week or two. What's that? Oh. Okay, I'm being told we've gone over."
I'm hoping I got that more or less right. Doing those puzzles was a hell of a lot of fun compared to the chore of sieving hours of broadcast for one or two interesting moments. And they do admittedly happen. Pondering Tebow's chastity and anything Spurrier says is always edifying, but for the most part, meh.
It could be made more interesting. In fact, if RBR can arrange to have me properly credentialed next year I will do my best to thoroughly embarrass us as a fan base. I bet I could make Dan Mullen act like he's never heard of the Human Centipede. You know he has.