Thursday, July 21, 2011

One More Day of SEC Media Days

New SEC Officiating Director Steve Shaw opened Day Two by addressing the media before the coaches and players began speaking, and I'm sure he said great things about officiating and how the conference is dedicated to getting it right.  Unless the call goes to the replay booth, in which case, you might as well have a pair of ants race to the next crack in the sidewalk to determine the outcome of the call.

He did cover a few rule changes, including the new rule that states if a player taunts the opposition while going in for a touchdown, the touchdown will be taken off the board and a penalty assessed from the spot of the foul.  I cannot wait until an Ole Miss touchdown is taken away in one of the few games we have a chance to win this year, and it's going to happen.  I say that I can't wait because science will get the benefit of the discovery of a new type of rage.  White-hot with extended blackouts and possible seizures is my best guess.  You're welcome, people of science.

Joker Phillips
"Good morning.  How you doing?"
We doing fine.
"Our theme this year is 'Rise.'  Our marketing department came up with the theme 'Rise.'"
Additional evidence that all marketing departments are terrible and should do absolutely nothing in-house.
"One of the questions that I had for this football team when we left here in January was, Are you ready to do the right things with the right attitude, with the right maturity, with the right focus every day? That's what it's going to take for us to continue to rise in this league, to continue to have success in this tough league. That's what we talked about the first meeting when we left here Birmingham with the BBVA Bowl in January."
I have zero recollection of them playing in a bowl game in Birmingham last year.
"With that, what do you guys want to talk about?"
How is the pond in Rich Brooks' backyard doing?  I saw that he had some silt problems last spring.  Just want to make sure he's gotten that cleared up.
"You know, I am close to Rich Brooks. Rich Brooks is another mentor of mine. I do talk to Rich. I don't talk to him as much as when I first took over, but we do communicate. Got a voicemail from him yesterday with all the things going on. Haven't had a chance to return it, but I will."
It's hard to stay in touch with him when he's busy fishing every river and playing golf at every course in Oregon.  Seriously.  Just look through his Twitter feed.

I read more of his remarks, but fell into my keyboard right about the time he was talking about 95% of the game is mental something something whatever.

Mark Richt
"Good to be here.  Year 11.  It's amazing.  It's an exciting time for me to be here, exciting time at Georgia."
Yes, it is amazing.  Amazing that Georgia, sitting on top of all the resources of an LSU or Alabama, has allowed you to stay and convert those resources into so little over the past few years, culminating with a 10-6 loss to Central Florida.  In Memphis.  In December.  10-6.  Central Florida.
"I think that everybody understands what it's going to take prepare-wise.  I think everybody has been willing to pay the prize.  I say 'everyone.'  There have been a few guys that have gotten off the bus, so to speak, from a year ago, or last few months, last few days.  Some guys have chosen to move on and a couple guys got a little bit of help."
Some guys got pulled off the bus by the police, some are morons, and some think they are way better than they actually are.  Also, the bus ran over all available running backs but two.

Then Richt began to speak in tongues and threw the podium at the media.  Or that might have been in my dream while napping through the rest of reading his comments.

Gene Chizik
"...Ted Roof does a phenomenal job."
And with that, he deserved to be asked about nothing but the NCAA investigation, the incident in Destin, and Cam Newton, which, save for a few questions most likely asked by Auburn writers, he was.  This is what he looked like and said during NCAA-related questions:

Derek Dooley
"Hey, guys, let me start by thanking you guys for being here, the great job you do covering the SEC, the exposure you give Tennessee. We’ve certainly done our part in giving you some material to write about over the last year. But that’s what a good relationship is all about."
Dooley and Les Miles together gave everyone enough to talk and write about for the next 412 years.   I'll never forget wildly cackling in my house as LSU was running around like everyone was on fire, clearly with no chance of getting off a final play against Tennessee.  Then, even though I despise Tennessee (a tip of the hat to you, Coach Fulmer), I remember feeling very happy for Derek Dooley when I saw that look of pure joy you rarely see on a coach's face.  That was all quickly followed by rage and disbelief that Les Miles had once again escaped a roaring house fire caused by the fire he started on the living room couch.
" long as he (Tyler Bray) continues on that track of improvement, I think we’re all going to be impressed with what Tyler’s production is."
I want to go on record as saying I would love to put up some cash money that Tyler Bray takes home the Third Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure.  In 2009, Jevan Snead set a blistering pace of 17 INTs thrown (he would add three more in the Cotton Bowl for a total of 20), and Jeremiah Masoli kept the trophy at Ole Miss by throwing 13 last year.  Given his reckless decisions, I think Bray has a really good chance to fall somewhere between the two.

"I hear about how it’s so awful when a player gets a scholarship taken away. I’m sitting there going, Universities give academic scholarships all the time, and if a student doesn’t meet certain academic requirements, they take it away from them. 

It’s no different to me in athletics. We have a commitment to them, and they have a commitment to us. So we’re giving them a benefit and they’re giving us a benefit. That’s why it’s a contract.  

So I think how we have things is good, it’s fair. It is one year. It’s renewable. I think the market takes place when a team is abusing that situation. If a coach is just taking away scholarships, kicking people off the team, the market is going to take care of it in recruiting. Who is going to want to go play for the guy? Allow the market to act."
God bless you, Derek Dooley.  I wish for excellent shower discipline for all your team, and that an experienced senior somehow finds his way into your possession.

And that's followed by a perfect example of why it is completely insane that a school like Louisiana Tech and Tennessee play in the same division of college football (he's talking about cutting costs in recruiting services):
"We just did little quality control, shaved it down a little bit. Nobody told me to do it.
You got to remember where I came from. We didn’t have any money at Louisiana Tech. I mean, my instinct was to cut money. Then I realized we had $100 million. Then I’m going, Why did I just do that (smiling)?"
Oh, what the hell, let's have one more good memory of the LSU and North Carolina circus shows:
"I told everybody I was 8-7 in post-game handshakes last year. It was a remarkable feat (smiling)."
And that wraps up Day Two.  Tomorrow is our final day, and with Houston Nutt and Les Miles on the schedule, it promises to be a day filled with anarchy.  But, before you go, I advise you to watch this.  It's Dan Mullen as he goes through the day yesterday, complete with a spot-on Spurrier impression (about 1:30-1:45).

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