Ah, the the nexus of the Hoover universe
Nestled near the 459 bypass and among a staggering number of chain stores of varying industries, lies the Wynfrey Hotel, site of every SEC Media Days as long as I can remember, which isn't very long ago. And on Wednesday, 900-ish media members will set up shop in that shiny building above and not leave FOR THREE DAYS BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO WHICH WE DON'T ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER. Mixed in with that crowd will be the normal smattering of Wal-Mart apparel-wearing Alabama fans hoping to get a glimpse of Nick Saban and unknowing visitors to Birmingham who stupidly chose Hoover as their spot for rest, meaning it's business as usual in Hoover.
To limit your confusion over which coach will answer the same question on a certain day, The Belly of the Beast has taken a chunk of my extremely valuable time (you would be amazed at just how busy and important I am) to place all of this information in compact form. So if you want to see what Joker Phillips actually looks like, you should check out Wednesday's schedule.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
Those with speaking parts: Nick Saban, LB Don't'a Hightower (Wow! Two apostrophes!), RB Mark Ingram, QB Greg McElroy
Topics to be covered: Saban will most likely continue his assault on agents after discovering that one of his players, Marcel Dareus, may have broken NCAA rules by attending a sports agent's party in Miami (It's where LeBron James chose to play basketball, maybe you've heard of it). Earlier today, Saban turned his perpetually brewing anger on the NFL and its lax control of agent behavior:
"What the NFL Players Association and the NFL need to do is if any agent breaks a rule and causes ineligibility for a player, they should suspend his [agent's] license for a year or two," Saban said. "I'm about ready for college football to say, 'Let's just throw the NFL out. Don't let them evaluate players. Don't let them talk to players. Let them do it at the combine.' If they are not going to help us, why should we help them?"Well said, sir, well said. Personally, I think all agents with the boldness to step on a college campus or approach an athlete deserve the treatment Jabaal Sheard gave a fellow art fan at a gallery on Saturday night: a swift toss through a window, followed by a merciless beating (and even more impressively, Sheard kept beating the man while the police were beating him). And, again, as a law enforcement expert due to an enormous amount of hours spent watching Cops, I say you are fully within your rights to perform such a throwing if you run across one of these things. How dare they
Saban said he also believes the NCAA should "take schools off the hook" for the actions of agents and players. In the end, however, he points at the former.
"Right now, agents are screwing it up," Saban said. "They are taking the eligibility of players. It's not right that those players do the wrong thing. We have a great education process here. We have a full-time worker who meets with players and their families and does everything else."
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: The flash of anger in Nick Saban's eyes and a question for Don't'a Hightower in which he explains the bushel of apostrophes adorning his name.
Those with speaking parts: Dan Mullen, DB Charles Mitchell, QB Chris Relf, OL Quentin Saulsberry
Topics to be covered: Twitter's FakeDanMullen, Dan Mullen's constant use of "The School Up North," Chris Relf's progress in throwing a competent forward pass and a question for Saulsberry in which he is asked if The Blind Side gives him pride in his school.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: Saulsberry explaining to the reporter that there is a difference between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, resulting in half the room furiously scribbling that reminder in a notebook.
3:20 - 6:00 PM
Those with speaking parts: Urban Meyer, S Ahmad Black, OL Mike Pouncey, DE Justin Trattou
Topics to be covered: Perhaps a couple hundred questions about Meyer's esophagus and other body parts, no? Oh, and the whole Pouncey brother (the one no longer at Florida) involved in a potential violation with an agent before last season's Sugar Bowl. I expect Meyer will offer the same sentiments on agents as Saban will (i.e., rage and death stares), but he will unveil a plan to stop them that involves the fastest responders in America. WHAT A GENIUS.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: I like Meyer's chances of spewing stomach acid at reporters' questions he deems stupid, but I think the safe bet is a comment involving Lane Kiffin's recent bout of fantastic misfortune.
Those with speaking parts: Joker Phillips, RB/WR/EVERYTHING Randall Cobb, DE DeQuin Evans, RB Derrick Locke
Topics to be covered: After the room is silent for several minutes and it is confirmed that Phillips is the head coach and Rich Brooks is hunting bald eagles on some river in Oregon, the first question will probably involve a spelling of Phillips' name. Or maybe just more blank stares, thinking this is an elaborate prank being played by Brooks. Unfortunately for regular readers of The Belly of the Beast, I doubt Phillips will discuss Mike Hartline's chances of winning the 2010 Awww-Shit Trophy.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: A question that simply asks "So, coach, when are you going to have one of your players get in a fight or have contact with an agent? You realize your program is falling behind."
THURSDAY, JUNE 22
8:30 - 11:10 AM
Those with speaking parts: Bobby Petrino, DE Jake Bequette, QB Ryan Mallett, TE D.J. Williams
Topics to be covered: Who is Jake Bequette, Ryan Mallett's foot cart, Ryan Mallett's arm strength, the story about that time Ryan Mallett threw the ball from Fayetteville to Fort Smith, how tall is Ryan Mallett and WILL YOU HAVE A DEFENSE THAT PLAYS AT SOMETHING ABOVE A SUN BELT LEVEL?
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: Bobby Petrino lasting all of four minutes before turning into the ass we know he is.
Those with speaking parts: Mark Richt, P Drew Butler, FB Shaun Chapas, WR A.J. Green
Topics to be covered: I want to know if this is the first time a coach has ever brought a punter to address the media. Instead, we'll get more boring questions about quarterback drinking, just who is going to play quarterback and will Richt sign a commentating deal before or after Les Miles at the end of the 2010 season? And of course, Georgia's contribution to the SEC's offseason of fighting and violating rules.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: The punter explaining the intricacies of punting to 900 media members.
10:50 AM - 1:30 PM
Those with speaking parts: Steve Spurrier, FB Patrick DiMarco, DE Cliff Matthews, LB Shaq Wilson
Topics to be covered: Stephen Garcia.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: The surge toward the doors as the South Carolina session ends. A media horde never misses a free meal.
Those with speaking parts: Someone named Robbie Caldwell, LB Chris Marve, RB Warren Norman, LB John Stokes
Topics to be covered: None, as I'm assuming no one comes back after lunch.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: I hear the tacos are going to be delicious.
FRIDAY, JULY 23
8:30 AM - 11:10 AM
Those with speaking parts: Gene Chizik, LB Josh Bynes, DB Aairon Savage, OL Lee Ziemba
Topics to be covered: The amount of torn ACLs Ziemba and the rest of the offensive line plan on dishing out to opposing defensive lines, how much it will suck when Cam Newton turns out to suck and will defensive coordinator Ted Roof be fired in October or November?
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: Chizik call Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads and cackles.
Those with speaking parts: Derek Dooley, OL Nick Reveiz, TE Luke Stocker, DE Chris Walker
Topics to be covered: So, Coach Dooley, do you chain the players to their beds at night now or do you just have graduate assistants handle that?
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: A fight, assault or robbery breaks out.
10:50 AM - 1:30 PM
Those with speaking parts: Les Miles, QB Jordan Jefferson, DB Patrick Peterson, LB Kelvin Sheppard
Topics to be covered: Why Les Miles was late, will he prefer taking a year off or doing TV in 2011 and seriously, there's talk of bringing back Jarrett Lee?
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: Miles' eight-month retrospective breakdown of the LSU/Ole Miss clock-mangling.
Those with speaking parts: Houston Nutt, DE Kentrell Lockett, DT Jerrell Powe, OL Bradley Sowell
Topics to be covered: THERE WILL BE NO QUESTIONS TAKEN ABOUT OFFENSE. IT IS GOING TO STINK. LET US JUST BASK IN THE QUOTE MACHINE THAT IS KENTRELL LOCKETT AND JERRELL POWE'S DISCUSSION OF HIS APPROACH TO DESTROYING FRIED CATFISH BASKET AFTER FRIED CATFISH BASKET. Slight correction, Powe is in fantastic shape, so those could be baked baskets.
Highly entertaining moment most likely to happen: Houston Nutt moving from talk of his offense to his amazement of cirrus clouds in eight syllables.