Posted: Jul 23, 2012 4:13 PM by Eric Blumberg
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 4:22 PM
COLUMBIA -- Mizzou football with its first taste of SEC life at the Media Days this past week in Birmingham, but it was also a reporters first taste of SEC life. The SEC Media Days are like nothing you've ever seen.
"It's like a Zoo around here," said Missouri senior wide receiver T.J. Moe, "look at all you guys."
South Carolina wide receiver Ace Sanders said, "When I walked I saw all the cameras and got nervous for a minute, but then I thought about how we play in front of thousands of fans every week so all the butterflies went away. Kind of like when you take that first hit."
The hits came from coaches and players who brought their scene of humor.
"I don't get a lot of advice anymore. The advice they give me now is figure it out on your own," said Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, "I want to be like him in every way. So, I'm going to start wearing a visor this year. I hope I don't throw it."
Missouri senior offensive lineman E.J. Fisher, "Probably still has all his hair."
Moe said, "If I'm not where I'm supposed to be everybody is kind of mad at you. Where is that little white kid from Missouri?"
Alabama Center Barrett Jones said, "They were always giving up big plays and everything. No, I'm kidding. They were amazing."
But would media days be as fun if they didn't have all the lights, cameras, and questions?
"That's a good question," said Georgia Coach Mark Richt.
Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley said, "I missed your question."
Fisher said, "What did he have to say?"
All questions aren't guaranteed answers. But if you came away learning anything... It's that there are no media days like those in the southeastern conference.
Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel said, "This place is very typical of the SEC. They do everything a little bigger and better than anybody else."
"I'm wearing a suit and tie for some reason and I got escorted by security to the elevator when I got off the bus here and there were 15 people waiting for an autograph," Moe said. "It's different. It's just way cooler."
SEC Blogger Clay Travis said, "We're all reporting for somebody that really cares. A fan base that really matters so I think this is the craziest, wildest, zaniest gathering of media that occurs anywhere in the sporting world. It's awesome every year."
The SEC issued more than 1,100 credentials this year, a new record for the conference.