Madness mistaken for passion?
Passion mistaken for madness?
Whatever it is, it is the SEC. I lived in Jacksonville where the blue and orange of the University of Florida reign supreme. I’ve been to Athens on a fall Saturday. I’ve been to Texas A&M for numerous games, including the first one Johnny Manziel engineered in 2012.
So, what is it?
Is it madness?
Is it passion?
This being my first time down in Birmingham, or Hoover to be exact, for SEC Media Days, I’ve confirmed what I’ve known for a long time.
Yes and, well, yes. It's both.
It's seemingly hard to describe either but you know it when you see it. I've seen it and see it consistently.
I went for my early morning run, oh about 6:30 am on Wednesday outside the Hyatt Regency - The Wynfrey Hotel. The hotel is connected to the Riverchase Galleria, so it makes a nice mile or so loop. So, I’ve run a few laps each morning to prep for the day’s activities. There were more cars on Wednesday than any other day thus far and it's not even close. As I ran past the Sears and the Belk, I realized the cars were pulling into the parking lot but not near the doors of the stores. They parked all the way at the back. See, the Wynfrey Hotel won’t let fans park in the hotel’s parking lot and the veterans knew where to park to be in the lobby for The Arrival.
Nick Saban was here. It was Alabama day.
Saban’s presence has a full-on rock star feel to it and seeing that in the state of Alabama was eye-opening. After I finished my run, I had walked past radio row around 7:30 am to the Galleria Mall but forgot something back in our work room. So, as I reversed course, I ran into a logjam worse than anything I’ve seen on 290 or the 610 loop. Why? Coach Saban sat down to do a radio interview with a Birmingham radio station and it was a circus.
I finally made it through the throng of people and saw a dog stroll in with a handler of some sort (I have a feeling I know whose dog that was) and thought that the elephants (see Crimson Tide, get it?), the lions and the tigers were next.
Coach Saban got up to leave and then I heard someone say “oh, Bear is here.”
Well, yeah, a bear is a definite circus attraction so I wasn’t surprised.
But, he meant Bear Bryant. No joke. I swear to you a spitting image of Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant strolled right on past and I did a complete double take.
Not every day is like that but whatever does take place at SEC Media days has blogs, internet sites, radio shows and TV shows a buzz.
Dan Mullen’s Yeezy Adidas shoes.
Steve Spurrier’s verbal grenades.
Butch Jones’ retorts.
Daddy warbuck shoes.
You name it, it’s happening in Birmingham, or Hoover. Either way your map spins, it’s SEC Media Days and everyone is watching the Circus.