The 10 craziest things I saw at SEC Media Days
ATLANTA — The 2018 SEC Media Days came to a close today, as droves of bloggers, podcasters, and even a few actual journalists left Atlanta to head back home in whatever economy class chariot they were able to afford/ expense. It was 4 straight days of vlogs, blogs, and pods littering the social media feeds of SEC fans everywhere.
Media Days is a lot like a Thanksgiving dinner with your extended family. You get dressed up in your church clothes and have several hours of forced conversations hoping to impress people you know from the internet and rarely see in real life. You’re not there for the food. You’re there for the inevitable drama.
That being said, here are my top 10 moments of mic drops, clap backs, and WTF moments from #SECMD18.
Just missing the cut was the 2 minute conversation I had in the men’s room with Marty Smith. Don’t judge me. I’m not weird. You’re weird.
10. Greg Sankey is that dude
Usually a commissioner’s presser is uneventful and, well, boring. However, Commissioner Greg Sankey isn’t like other commissioners. He’s a cool commissioner. And, he used every opportunity to flex his SEC muscle at the podium Monday. My personal favorite was when he blasted the theory that the SEC is just a football conference with this fun fact: The SEC claimed national titles in 5 sports, including Rifle (Kentucky) and Women’s Bowling (Vandy).
UCF quickly countered by claiming a national title in a local chili cook-off.
Oh, and last but not least he closed by quoting a Tom Petty song. Not all heroes wear capes, y’all.
9. Benny Snell doing too much
Kentucky RB Benny Snell said that he was the best running back in America. And, that wasn’t even close to his coldest take.
He also announced that he is still in the rap game and going by the name “Benny Tha Bandit.” Your rap name shouldn’t sound like a character in a children’s book. Not only did he lose some street cred, but he also lost my vote for 1st team RB on the preseason ballot. Besides, Machine Gun Snelly was the obvious choice.
8. Bob Holt’s standup special
On Wednesday, Bob Holt showed why he’s a damn treasure in SEC Media. He began asking a question when Mizzou HC Barry Odom interrupted to congratulate Bob on having a longer tenure than most of the coaches here. Without missing a beat, Holt replied, “I wish I made as much money as you guys did.” It was hilarious and the entire audience laughed.
7. Damien Harris
Damien Harris was a unanimous favorite amongst the media this week. Unlike most of the bots (I mean players) who are programmed with cliches and coach speak, Harris was wildly entertaining, and not only when he was describing how “horrible” it was to be stranded on Nick Saban’s boat.
On Wednesday he also trolled Bama’s little brother by confirming something Bama fans (including me) have been saying for months: The Iron Bowl didn’t matter. When asked who Bama’s closest rival was Harris listed Tennessee and LSU before later saying, “Oh … I forgot about Auburn.”
(OK, he actually back-tracked and said Auburn was an automatic No. 1 on that rival list and actually said he’s still mad that they lost, but I digress. He forgot Auburn, and that’s my takeaway ….)
Auburn will always have the Kick 6. But you know what really hurts? Losing a year’s worth of bragging rights because despite double-digit wins over your two biggest rivals they BOTH went on to play in the national title game. Yikes.
6. Aaron Murray: Interviewee MVP
Aaron Murray went from throwing fades to throwing shade this week in Atlanta. Not only did he have a hilarious comment about Tim Tebow while on The SDS Podcast, but he also made waves when he claimed that Jeremy Pruitt didn’t have the right personality to be a head coach. Shots fired!
The comment was blown a little out of proportion by the media. Especially considering that Pruitt was basically the Vols’ 10th choice during that entire hiring fiasco back in January.
5. Florida’s New Uniforms
On Tuesday night Florida planned to unveil their new Jumpman uniforms as a part of the Jordan brand. They hyped it up for days, and new HC Dan Mullen showed up in a suit and white J’s on his feet. Then, like they’ve done for the past several years, Florida underwhelmed us.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) July 17, 2018
It was literally the same uniform, but instead of a Nike swoosh there was an awkward silhouette of Michael Jordan. It was like watching a before and after reveal on a makeover show. But instead of being newer and sleeker they had gained 2 pounds and cut their hair. “Nooooo, I really like the bangs. They look great on you ….”
Like every year, hoards of SEC fans showed up to show support their team at Media Days. And like every year ridiculousness ensued. Media Day legend Shannon Villa made the drive from Birmingham rocking his patented Bama foam ring hat and championship belt. An Auburn fan painted his dog like a tiger. Again. Another Bama fan wore a custom jersey with the No. 26 and the name “Second and” on the back. People barked. People yelled. And somehow none of it seemed surprising or out of the ordinary.
— Saturday Down South (@SDS) July 19, 2018
3. Derek Mason: Motivational speaker
I don’t know what Derek Mason was sipping, but I want some. The Vandy HC delivered a, we’ll call it, passionate press conference about how strong the program is. According to Mason, this is the deepest and most talented Vandy has ever been. He also said he was more concerned with Middle Tennessee State than he was with Notre Dame. From there he said that DB Joejuan Williams is the best defensive back he has ever coached besides Richard Sherman. He also referenced “Commodore Nation,” which I imagine is probably just a cul-de-sac in Brentwood of doctors and DUI Lawyers.
2. Mizzou and Florida are apparently rivals now
I’m not sure how this even happened, but at some point during the week Mizzou and Florida got into a war of words. Tale as old as time, right? It started when Florida DL Cece Jefferson trashed Mizzou’s gameday environment by saying Faurot Field was “boring” and “quiet.” The statement was out of nowhere and beyond confusing. It was especially confusing considering Mizzou beat Florida by almost 30 last year.
You have to be some kind of irrational to talk trash about a place that you embarrassed yourself at. That’s like leaving a 1-star Yelp review for a bar because they kicked you out for throwing up in the urinal. Or, like going 5-6 and demanding a raise. Looking at you, Jimbo.
1. Jacob Eason breaking news
Media Days can be a little intimidating. It’s literally a Who’s Who of pundits and peers along with the biggest names in the SEC for the upcoming season. The last thing you want to do is say something stupid and embarrassing — which is kinda my sweet spot. Luckily, someone beat me to the punch Tuesday when they asked Kirby Smart about his loaded QB depth with “Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm, and Justin Fields.” Huh?
The reporter who asked that is going to lose his mind when he realizes there were 6 coaching changes in the conference, or how much the forward pass has taken off.