Passion for Southern footballour favorite teamseven of the 12 BCS national champions have come from the SEC, including the Defending National Champion Auburn Tigers.
The SEC's big media event presents coaches and selected players to the questions of state and national media. Occasionally there is some big story that breaks out; but more often it's the same thing that you can hear from your coach on his local call in show.
I love it anyway. I love it because of the news stories it generates. I love it because of the buzz it brings to the sport. I love it because it really is the unofficial start of a new season. But mostly I love it because it's just another indication of what sets the SEC apart from the rest of the nation.
Not even major league baseball has this kind of media extravaganza. Baseball may be the national past time but in Dixie, college football is the South's passion. Consequently there is no other sports media event like SEC Media Days save for the Super Bowl.
A press credential to attend the event is hard to come by. The SEC is very restrictive in how many they issue to each outlet. Security is tight and only those with the legitimate press credentials are allowed in to the Winfrey Ball Room.
This year Track 'Em Tigers Editor Jay Coulter will be part of that credentialed press core. I'm looking forward to Jay bringing his impressions to TET of what it's like to actually be there.
For Auburn fans the 2011 season begins Thursday at 12 noon when Coach Chizik and three of his players are scheduled to face the media. Fans can listen to the interviews over one of 28 radio stations broadcasting live from the Wynfrey or view live streaming at the SEC Digital Network here beginning at 1 p.m. CT today. Joining Coach Chizik on Thursday will be tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, wide receiver Emory Blake, and defensive tackle Nosa Eguae.
Auburn will follow up media days with the players reporting back on August 2nd with practice beginning August 3rd. Fan Day will be on August 14th in the new Auburn Arena from 2-4 p.m.
And finally, will come the long awaited kickoff on September 3rd against Utah State in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
There may be someone, somewhere in the South that may be ho hum about SEC Media Days - I don't know. I only know that I 'm excited; because it's the unofficial start of the college football season and ...
What red blooded Southern football fanatic doesn't love that?