SEC Media Days Serves A Purpose

I suspect if I went through the mountains of information available at the Hyatt Regency-Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover where Southeastern Conference Media Days are being held, I could find out how many of those things there have been. I know that I have been to every one of them (I may be the only one) and I'm pretty sure the "Media Days" moniker came sometime after they started.



When I was in the sports information office at Alabama in the 1970s, the SEC still had the SkyWriters – a chartered twin-engine airplane taking a couple of dozen journalists to every SEC campus, sometimes two in one day. Most of the newsmen were sportswriter, hence the name SkyWriters. A couple of broadcasters made a few trips.

The change was made in the late 1970s or early 1980s. There were so few in attendance at a downtown Birmingham hotel that coaches who weren't on the podium would sometimes sit with us and listen to another coach speak and take questions.

(One year Vince Dooley of Georgia was sitting next to me when Pat Dye of Auburn was speaking, and Vince asked Pat a question!)

Now it is non-stop for the coaches. They go from the main room where print media holds forth to radio and Internet and television sites, and that doesn't even include "Radio Row" on the first floor where non-sponsor (i.e., they haven't paid a big fee like Sirious) wait for whoever they can get for the talk shows from around the South.

For some reason, the event is reported by some as "a circus." It's not. (I'll resist the obvious easy reference to clowns.)

If anyone might think it is a circus it is the aforementioned head coaches and the three athletes from each school who attend. (Nick Saban, who addressed the group Thursday, will be accompanied by quarterback A.J. McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley, and offensive lineman Anthony Steen.)

The event is a chance to get information that is otherwise almost impossible to come by during the summer, and to get it just a few weeks before fall camps open in preparation for the upcoming season.

I think those who call it a circus are lazy. They want to use that as an excuse for not getting any work done. To be sure, there is rarely earth-shattering news coming from SEC Media Days, but that shouldn't be a surprise. We're talking college football here, and it's not even the season.

I, for one, give a hearty approval of SEC Media Days. I'm glad it's here, I look forward to taking information from it over the next few days and sharing it with you, and I can't wait for Alabama football to begin.

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