This is just one reason that Saban really doesn't care for SEC Media Days.
SEC Media Day Attendees From Alabama Crimson Tide
By: Larry Burton
SEC Media Days have become a dog and pony show that some coaches and players look forward to and others, like Alabama’s own Nick Saban dislikes and trust me, dislikes is a very mildly chosen word here. In the past he’s said such “tongue in cheek” things when addressing the press as, “I’m so glad to see you all again, I know you all know how much I’ve missed you.” to “If anybody asks a question about depth charts you obviously didn’t get the memo.”
For players, most of which are used to having a few dozen of us interview them after a game, SEC media days is like a deer in the headlights to many of the interviewees. Also, most of the people are not like the “family friendly” press members they’re used to seeing in the media room after the game, with most of them being Alabama beat writers. The majority will be press that usually covers other schools and have no problem asking probing or tough questions.
Though the school and staff do much to prepare these players for the media onslaught, some have told me privately that it was a very intimidating affair. So this year, Saban and company pick the players that were both a cross representation of the team, always at least one offensive player, one defensive player and then whoever else makes the list. But mostly, it has to be someone that Saban trusts not to blurt out a media highlight that embarrasses himself or the team.
That’s why this year the reps will be Amari Cooper, who will have the eyes of the nation focused on him for most of the year as one of the nation’s top receivers, Landon Collins, who will be the signal caller and leader for the defensive backfield and Christion Jones, who is the special teams leader and Mr. Excitement on kick and punt returns.
And what questions you can expect to be asked will be determined by the player. Cooper will get lots of questions about the so called quarterback competition and he has preplanned answers for that. He may also be asked if he considers himself a Heisman candidate.
Collins will be asked who will fill the other slots in the defensive backfield and he’ll say that will be determined in the spring. He may asked if it’s fair for the defensive backfield to be deemed to weak link for the Tide’s chances this year. He will also certainly be asked by someone who is hard to cover on the Tide offense.
Jones will be asked to compare this team to other prior Bama teams, he may be asked if he plays more offense this year, will that cut the number of punts and kicks he’ll return and he may also be asked about young players on the team we should get ready to get familiar with earlier than later.
Some player somewhere will be asked about drug use on campus, paying players, what Saban is really like, does Saban ever laugh or smile and they may be asked what the dumbest question they’ve been asked was.
I remember when SEC media days was a small event, now it’s a full three ring circus, with media from everywhere filling every nook and cranny of the Winfrey Hotel as well as fans lining the first floor with tons of crap to be autographed.
Now it’s not just the game that’s gotten bigger, it’s every aspect of the game.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter