Memorable Moments from Media Days Past

Many times reporters find SEC Media Days rehearsed, scripted and quite boring.

Many times that turns out to be the case. However, Media Days does tend to have its moments of intrigue, drama, surprise and hilarity. The following is my personal list of the top eight favorite/most memorable Media Days Moments:

8. The right choice. Wardrobe is always a hot topic at Media Days. Auburn offensive lineman Marcus McNeill wore a nice light-colored summer suit to the event in 2006, and when asked about his choice of outfit, McNeill replied that it wasn't difficult to decide what to wear because he only had two suits, "this one and my Birthday Suit." Good choice!

7. Fulmer's no-show. In 2004, afraid of being served with a subpoena by Tommy Gallion, the attorney of former Alabama coaches Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams, Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer stayed home in Knoxville rather than attend Media Days in Birmingham. Fulmer graced the media with his presence via teleconference, which led to infamous photos of a telephone with dozens of microphones laying on and around it to hear what Fulmer had to say. Fulmer was fined $10,000 by the SEC for ditching the event, but Gallion never got him under oath.

6. Fulmer's filibuster. In 2005, as Gallion was riding high from his $30 million judgment against Tom Culpepper who Gallion alleged Fulmer had been in league with (the judgment was later thrown out), Fulmer did attend Media Days, but spent nearly all of his time at the podium in the big auditorium giving "opening remarks" which took up about three fourths of his total time allotment at the podium. As reported by BamaMag.com at the time, Fulmer's comments became downright bizarre as he attempted to run out the clock on the question and answer session. You can read the full report on the Fulmer Filibuster here .

5. Who are you again? Back in 2000, just weeks before Alabama opened its season at the Rose Bowl against UCLA, Center Paul Hogan represented the University of Alabama at SEC Media Days. But it wasn't Hogan who was at the podium when a hard-hitting first question of the day came, "Are you and your teammates excited about opening the season out on the West Coast?"

"What?" the athlete at the podium replied with an inquisitive look.

The reporter persisted, "I was just asking about you opening the season at UCLA. You are the center from Alabama, right?"

"No. I'm the quarterback from Kentucky," the athlete responded to roars from those gathered in the room. The reporter had mistaken then-freshman quarterback Jared Lorenzen for Alabama's offensive lineman Hogan.

4. Less talk, more action. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only memorable moment involving Hogan at the event in 2000. There are others we'd rather forget. There have been many instances of too much trash being talked at media, sometimes by Bama players (think Ramzee Robinson and the finger comment), but more often by others. That day in 2000 was also the inception of the "Pancake Posse" nickname that was self-given to Alabama's offensive line before any pancakes had been laid that season. The name lost its luster some time in the midst of Alabama's 3-8 season run.

But the line wasn't all Hogan's doing and the "blame" for that utterance can be shared among many. Here's the rest of the story:

A person in the marketing department suggested that the veteran offensive linemen come up with a name for themselves which would be appropriate of a pre-season third-ranked team in America. The name "Pancake Posse" was actually conceived in the weightroom by the players and some of the weightlifting staff. Then, at media days, a young media relations student assistant, yours truly, prodded Hogan to use the line again and again to various media outlets. Some days are better than others.

3. Wherever he goes (even if he has to "go"). Mike Shula's debut at Media Days was much-hyped in 2003, and one videographer might have taken things just a bit too far. After Shula gave his excruciatingly boring opening statement and answered questions in the big auditorium, he began making his way through the smaller rooms where reporters were gathered. Everywhere he went he was followed by a swarm of television videographers/cameramen. At one point, Shula got the urge and made his way to the restroom, where one cameraman vigilantly followed him in, film rolling. To his credit, the cameraman stepped out once he realized where he was.

2. Smart coach, smart dog. Plenty of reporters have trouble finding their way around the rooms at Media Days, but Nick Saban's dog didn't have any problem. In 2004, the year after LSU had won the BCS National Championship, Saban's dog pulled off a feat that was nearly as impressive. The dog was staying in the room with Saban on one of the upper floors at the Wynfrey Hotel. When housekeeping opened up to clean the room the dog bolted. It made its way down the hall and onto the elevator where it got off at the mezzanine level where all the Media Days events took place. As Saban was at the podium in the big auditorium full of reporters, the dog walks in the room, cutting Saban off at mid-sentence. Smart dog.

1. Your other chest? Auburn safety Junior Rosegreen listed in his bio that he had 12 tatoos. An intrepid reporter in the radio/internet room seized upon this important bit of information to ask Rosegreen if he would be getting any more tatoos, to which Rosegreen replied that yes, he would soon be getting another tatoo "on his other chest".


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