Talkin’ Season’s here again.
The SEC’s annual pigskin media bacchanal, SEC Media Days, kicks off this morning in Nashville. Commissioner Greg Sankey will deliver his traditional state-of-the-conference address (spoiler: the league’s rolling in money and has won the last four national titles, things are pretty swell). Additionally we’ll hear from LSU’s Brian Kelly (that still feels weird), Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (honestly wasn’t 100% sure we’d be saying that this year), and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher (not sure we’ll be saying that next year).
The sad truth is that this event is now a diminished version of the over-the-top, raucous affairs of the past. No one is likely to be served any subpoenas, no fan is going to get close enough to ask Nick Saban or Lane Kiffin to sign their bald head or bare midriff. And most of the big off-season news has been disseminated in sterile, serene press releases (Monday morning for good news and Friday at 5:00 pm for bad) in accordance with standard social media age practices.
Most of the media on hand have been vetted thoroughly and know full well that ESPN has cut people loose for asking actual, journalistic questions. It will instead be a series of hum-drum, anodyne sound bites that everyone sees coming from a mile away.
And in the words of one Jeffrey Lebowski, that’s a real bummer, man. Because there are plenty of hard-hitting, even entertaining questions that could be asked if only someone had the press clearance and the guts to do so.
For the seventeenth year running we’re short on the former.
But we have the latter in spades.
Thus I am proud to once again present a sampling of questions that should be asked at SEC Media Days, but won’t.
To Auburn’s Hugh Freeze: “Coach, is it true that you convinced famed Auburn alum and Apple CEO Tim Cook to goad Mark Zuckerberg into creating Threads just so there’d be a microblogging outlet not covered by the self-censorship provisions of your contract?”
To LSU’s Brian Kelley: “Coach, with a year of insight and reflection, what is your current position on boudin?”
To Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher: “Jimbo, how does it feel to know that if you fell out of the boat on the annual SEC coaches’ whitewater rafting trip the league would rip off your life jacket and hand it to Steve Sarkisian instead of fishing you out?”
To Alabama’s Nick Saban: “Emperor Palpatine, I heard the betting sites have a prop wager up asking which will occur later, the release of Tom Cruise’s final Mission Impossible movie or your final game as Alabama head football coach. Which way are you betting?”
To Ole Miss’s Lane Kiffin: “Mr. Freshwater, if you’re being held captive in Oxford, would you please throw up your arms to signal ‘touchdown.’”
To Florida’s Billy Napier: “How far do you usually get into your Anthony Richardson-based recruiting spiel before a prospect’s parent asks why he sucked out loud in your system if he was so talented?”
To two-time defending national champion Kirby Smart: “I have nothing to say. By now people should have learned not to question Kirby Smart.”