SBD/July 23, 2012/Colleges

Fanaticism And Excess At SEC Media Days; Becoming "Three-Day Football Woodstock"

Over one thousand members of the media attended this year’s SEC Media Days, which have “morphed into an event beyond their original intent,” according to Robert Weintraub of the N.Y. TIMES. There are “still questions asked about zone blitzes and ligament tears, but those are merely the backdrop” of the “three-day football Woodstock.” The main event is something “far more singular, and often absurd.” No other conference’s preseason event “combines fanaticism, excess and eccentricity quite like the SEC’s.” There are “similarities to the Super Bowl media day, though that takes place over several hours on one day.” Still, the SEC, “while attracting a vast number of reporters, bloggers and TV and radio personalities, has not yet seen an influx of personnel from late-night comedy shows like media day at the Super Bowl has.” Univ. of Tennessee Associate AD/Communications Jimmy Stanton "compares the event to Major League Baseball's winter meetings."  Stanton: "There are tons of media around but nothing really happens.” Weintraub noted there are those in the news media “who choose not to go, saying that anything noteworthy is available on social media in real time." SI’s Stewart Mandel said, “With other conferences you can spend quality time with players and coaches. SEC media days is so huge that there’s no way to get unique content.” SEC Associate Commissioner/Media Relations Charles Bloom said that he “denied more credential requests this year than in the previous 16 years combined." Bloom said, “Media members who wouldn’t ordinarily get credentialed for a regular-season SEC game can come here and get some access to something that is a deep part of the fabric of this area of the country.” Weintraub wrote some members of the media “were wondering if SEC media days had simply become too big” for Hoover, Ala. (N.Y. TIMES, 7/21). SI.com’s Lars Anderson wrote unlike in previous years, there “weren’t any moments worthy of national news” (SI.com, 7/20).
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