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Friday, July 25, 2008

Recapping the Week

Well, we're done. Empty coffee cups are scattered throughout the press room, Tim Tebow is back to circumcising babies in the Philippines, and the horde of Alabama fans in the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel has been replaced by dozens of members of the 35th Annual Petty Family Reunion (they had t-shirts made).

SEC Media Days 2008 was everything I expected and a little more. People fawned over Tebow. Urban Meyer's still mad about Georgia's touchdown celebration. Steve Spurrier had reporters eating out of the palm of his hand. Oh, and Dicky Lyons became my new favorite player in the SEC (I've circled UGA vs. UK on my schedule now).

So, before I sign off and head home, I figured I'd share some of the highlights of my trip to Hoover.

BEST DRESSED: It's a toss up between Tennesee's Arian Foster and South Carolina's Jasper Brinkley. Foster rocked a white suit with black dress shirt. Brinkley had some sort of black-and-maroon combo that was just fantastic. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, on the other hand, is definitely an "off the rack" kind of guy.

BEST QUESTION: Amid the overwhelming outpouring of love for Tebow, one reporter managed to top the rest with this little nugget: "Tim, do you ever wish you could clone yourself?"

Yes, just what Georgia fans need: TWO Tim Tebows.

Other great Tebow moments included his story about being recognized in a German airport, his revelation that he doesn't shop at Wal-Mart and a reporter who, having noticed the Heisman Trophy on display in the lobby, asked Tebow if he brought the Heisman with him wherever he went.

"Is it here?" Tebow responded. "I thought it was at my parents' house!"

Actually, it was brought here by Nissan, an event sponsor. The reporter should have known better. As anyone can tell you, getting the Heisman through airport security is a total hassle.

BEST INSULT BY A COACH: LSU head coach Les Miles, who reminded everyone that Alabama was 0-fer against schools in Louisiana last season.

BEST INSULT BY A REPORTER: A writer was interested in how tenaciously Tommy Tuberville recruits against Alabama, and phrased his question this way: "When your in-state rivals had 10 players arrested in 18 months, does that give you an advantage on the recruiting trail?"

BEST INSULT BY ME: New Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino was asked about how the gaudy salaries paid to SEC coaches these days compare to his early years in the business. Petrino then reflected on his youth, and how his father made him get a job instead of playing baseball one summer.

Petrino: "Each spring and summer, that's what I did was worked. I had some great jobs. I delivered produce. I ran the dock at a dairy. The last year, he made me take out the milk truck, so I was a milkman for a year."

Me: "Wow, even back then Petrino switched jobs every year."

MOST INEXPLICABLE OCCURRENCE: For some reason, the wireless network in the press room at the Wynfrey changed the Google default language on everyone's computers to Dutch. So when I mistakenly misspelled "Mohamed Massaquoi" while doing a search for his 2007 stats, I was asked by Google: "Ergebnisse Bildersuche nach Mohamed Massaquoi?" Yes, Google, I did Bildersuche nach Mohamed Massaquoi.

MOST EAGERLY ANTICIPATED QUESTION: Let's just say when a dozen stories pop up about Phil Fulmer being served a subpoena an hour before he takes the podium, a certain level of excitement fills the air. Sadly, Fulmer wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the situation.

"I would have some choice words if there weren't so many cameras here," he said.


And finally....


1.) So Wednesday, I was taking the elevator from my room on the 10th floor down to the lobby to grab some food. On the eighth floor, the doors open, and a tall, early 30s guy in a fluorescent blue polo shirt with the collar flipped up gets on. My first thought is, "I know this guy from somewhere." My next thought is, "Seriously, who still flips their shirt collar up?"

Three floors later, the doors open again and a man waiting for the elevator recognizes polo-shirt guy.

"Jesse Palmer!" he yells excitedly. "How the heck are you?"

So, yeah, the former "Bachelor" star and current ESPN college football analyst is still rocking the polo shirt look from 2004. I'm not sure if that makes me happy or sad.

2.) I'm heading up to my room in the elevator with one of my friends when a woman in the elevator reads his credential.

"Oh," she says. "You work for a newspaper. I thought you were football players."

What a nice lady. Bad eyesight, but a nice lady.

3.) Wednesday night, a friend and I were heading out on the town. OK, we were going to karaoke -- but I can only assume that qualifies as "a night on the town" in Hoover.

So we're on the elevator, engrossed in conversation about something trivial. When we get to the lobby, the doors open and we walk off. Waiting to get on the elevator, however, is Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.

As we pass by, Tuberville says, "Hey guys, how are you?"

Still engrossed in our conversation, I mindlessly blurt out a half-hearted "Yeah, hey" without even considering the fact that it was Tommy Tuberville.

He gets on the elevator, we walk a few more feet, and my friend says, "Um, did we just snub Tommy Tuberville?"

"It's OK," I said. "He'll just assume we were Alabama fans."

Now, I'm not saying that snub was quite as traumatic for him as going undefeated and failing to make the BCS title game, but I'm sure it stung.


brad said...

Great blog, but Nutt ain't at Arky anymore. Crazy done gone!

NCT said...

So far, so good. For what it's worth, I for one like the tone and the story selection.

CataulaDawg said...

Great post. Getting things started with a bang on your new blog! Looking forward to future posts.

ChicagoDawg said...

Excellent....well done!! This is a great start in picking up where DC left off.....keep up the good work!