Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Action Football! On the Scene: SunBelt Conference Media Days - Day One

While the BCS conferences' media days were getting all the publicity the last few days, they weren't the only game in town. Buddy and Rochester headed down to the Super 8 in Ruston, Louisiana for the SunBelt Conference's Media Days (July 20 and 21). Here's the report:

Monday, July 20

8:00 am
Check in to the Super 8 and pick up media pass. AF! was the only press other than the sports staff from The Rustonian, Ruston Junior High's student newspaper.

9:30 am
Grabbed a coffee and Otis Spunkmeyer cheese streusel muffin from the card table in the lobby. Continental breakfast/Media Day catering: plus - muffin selection; minus - no waffle maker with the batter measured out in Dixie cups like your finer chain motels offer....

9:40 am
Made our way to room 212, Commissioner Wright Waters's room and location of the Media Days meetings since there isn't any sort of meeting room at this Super 8. Room is right across from the ice machine. Lucky Commissioner!

9:45 am
Announcements and Welcome from Commissioner Waters: "Welcome to this year's SunBelt Media Days. We're expecting an exciting, competitive, and successful football season. Well, maybe not so much in terms of non-conference wins or bowl game appearances...but our conference play should be eleventh to none!"

10:00 am
Florida Atlantic Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger and quarterback Rusty Smith. Both Schnellenberger and Smith expressed their excitement to build on last season's 4-3 conference record to challenge for a SunBelt title. In response to a question from Chris P. (The Rustonian), Schnellenberger said, "Half-Blood what now? No, I haven't been to the pictures since I saw Patton in oh, about 1970. Although I did see a part of Batteries Not Included on USA some time ago and thought it was a hoot."

10:30 am
Florida International Head Coach Mario Cristobal and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Coach Cristobal deflected questions from Rochester regarding the FIU/Miami brawl from 2006 (Cristobal was an assistant coach at Miami at the time) saying that the brawl was "[D]istant past and not what the program stands for now." He tried to discuss their plans for 2009, but Gary (The Rustonian) starting making fart noises. It was hilarious.

11:00 am
Arkansas State Head Coach Steve Roberts and defensive end Alex Carrington. Did you know that Arkansas State are the Red Wolves? Yeah, neither did we.

11:30 am
Louisiana-Lafayette Head Coach Rickey Bustle and center Chris Fischer. "Second place in the conference [in 2008] is not good enough," said Fischer. "We'll be disappointed with anything less than the conference title." When asked how he'd feel if Lafayette had retained it's original "Vermillionville" monicker, and so maybe he could have played for the Louisiana-Vermillionville Vermillion Villains, he answered with a blank stare.

12:00 pm
ULM Head Coach Charlie Weatherbie and safety James Truxillo. They probably said something about their football team or season or something, but Action Football! was busy playing hangman with The Rustonian. Rochester beat Chris P. ("Obsequious") but Buddy lost to Chris R. (because what the hell is a "Demon King Piccolo" anyway?).

12:30 pm
North Texas Head Coach Todd Dodge and linebacker Tobe Nwigwe. North Texas's portion of the day was cut short because the guy from Domino's showed up early. And besides, 0-7 in conference last season? Those guys must suck. Big time.

That was it for day one. It sure did feel a helluva lot longer than, like, three hours.

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