The 10 funniest things I saw at SEC Media Days
HOOVER, Ala. — Media Days are an absolute grind from a working standpoint. I mean it’s no wonder they have to bribe the media with free Dr. Pepper and Belk coupons, so they’ll sit still through coach-speak for hours upon hours. However, each year there are several moments that provide some comic relief. Here were my favorite, not-so serious, moments from this week at the beautiful Galleria Mall outside of the metropolis of Birmingham.
Kash Daniel 3:16
Whether it was talking about Game of Thrones, the upcoming season, or his future wrestling career, Kentucky linebacker Kash Daniel can hold court with the media and engage an audience with the best of them. He is a walking sound byte, and possibly the most likable player in the country.
Kash Daniel signing the Kash 3:16 sign in attendance. pic.twitter.com/CqEkiuFKEF
— Charlie Walter (@CharlieWalterTV) July 18, 2019
Bob Holt’s savage questions
Death. Taxes. And, Bob Holt from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asking a 2-part question every time his hand’s raised. This year Bob decided to ask one question repeatedly to Nick Saban’s assistants. Jeremy Pruitt, Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart all were subject to the 16-0 statistic and shade. Kirby had the best response when he cut him off saying, “Yeah, I’m well aware of that.” The audience erupted in laughter.
Bama fans in the lobby
I wish I had someone look at me the same way “the 85%” looks at Nick Saban or Tua. Gathered together in a pen in the lobby, every fan stands, waits, and longs after the Bama coach and players in the same way a group of puppies longs to be adopted at a Saturday adoption drive at Pet Smart.
The SEC Network coaching bios
If these were rankings, this might have been No. 1. All week each SEC coach was brought out on stage and given a quick little bio or fun fact about them at the bottom of the screen on SEC Network courtesy of Mike Reiter. However, they were little to do with their coaching resume and more to do with things like “Nick Saban: Not a fan of ripped jeans or walkers” or “Gus Malzahn: once signed someone’s colonoscopy.” We learned a lot this week about each coach. Some good, some bad, and some that we can never unsee.
Late night karaoke
You think that hours and hours of SEC football talk is entertaining? Then you should see the people covering it sing old school Outkast at 1 a.m. at a dive bar who might have run out of Whiteclaws by the time we left. I’m not going to put anyone on blast, but the legends I heard about late night Wednesday karaoke lived up to all the hype. If you want footage check Barrett Sallee’s Twitter. You’re welcome.
The Starbucks line
Honestly this was only funny today because of my days in the service industry. Every morning each session would start at around 9 a.m. before the attached Galleria Mall was even open. However, Starbucks opened early so the hoards of journalists could caffeinate accordingly. By Thursday it looked like the walking dead trudging across the food court for their lattes and frappuccinos. I also got some PTSD thinking about how stressed those baristas must have been for that hour straight.
Kirby Smart strong-arming Tom Hart’s seat
Let me start by saying that Tom Hart is one of my favorite people in the media. But this was hilarious. While doing an interview with his co-worker Cole Cubelic on radio row, Cubelic’s next guest showed up UGA head coach Kirby Smart. He awkwardly stood behind them waiting his turn, and as soon as Cubelic noticed, he wrapped up Hart and literally helped him out of the seat to make way for Kirby. Hart was rushed off faster than a HUNH offense in the 2-minute drill.
The reaction to the SEC Officiating Twitter handle
On Monday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced that the SEC spent the offseason doing some self-evaluation about its officiating process. He announced that, in an effort to be more transparent with fans, the SEC would have its own SEC Officiating Twitter handle (@SECOfficiating) to engage with fans this season. I don’t think it’s a secret that Sankey is smarter than me. However, this decision feels like an OC getting a yearly job review by reading drunken “run the damn ball” tweets. Either way I can’t wait.
The HBC’s still has it
On Tuesday, the SEC brought out the big guns and had 3 of the biggest legends in conference history take the stage: Herschel Walker, Archie Manning and Steve Spurrier. While on stage in the main media room, someone asked Steve Spurrier about the difference between college football and other sports and why it’s so special. The last letter was barely out of the reporter’s mouth before Steve responded with a humble brag about coming off another championship season as a coach since the Orlando Apollos were undefeated in the AAF. He bragged about the accomplishment for 15-20 seconds and then finally asked, “Wait, what was the question?”
The Media overreacting to Saban
I don’t know why I’m shocked, but possibly the funniest thing this week was the incredible overreaction from the media when Saban brought up assistant coaches leaving being a “distraction.” This might shock you, but several media members twisted those words and claimed Saban was making an “excuse” or was in “denial.”
I think Saban is smart enough to know that the better team won in January, but I also think Saban was being 100% honest when he said it became difficult to manage the coaching staff the last 2 months of the season since 5 assistants had one foot out the door.
Managing a staff that has every intention of leaving for another role somewhere else isn’t an excuse. It’s a distraction. The two can be mutually exclusive. And, if you think I’m wrong, then tell me how easy it ease to manage someone at your job after they put in their 2 weeks’ notice. I’ll wait.