Senior Bowl week is in full swing and I’ve never felt more out of place in my life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I love seeing giant media companies all around me.
I just needed to get this off my chest. Something about The Bluebloods being in the same room as a mix of NFL Scouts, Pro Football Focus, USA Today, and others is just surreal. I never thought that I would be in this position, it’s really a blessing.
That’s really all I’m going to say to preface this, I’m done being sentimental. Let’s get down to business.
(Senior Bowl Coverage begins at 11:30am)
9:30am – I Walk to Class
Yeah that’s right. What? You thought I would just skip school to cover the Senior Bowl all week? I’m a senior, myself, and I am trying to graduate. Yeah, I would love to be able to cover College Football full time. That’s the dream. But for now, let’s get that diploma!
11:30am – I Leave for the Team Hotel
Out of class and onto my next mission: Senior Bowl Media Day. Which, I don’t know what was even going on here. I show up to the team hotel. This was my first mistake. After overpaying for parking (thanks to the broken parking meter) I walk inside and look around for players. I see like two, so I figure that I should check the agenda to make sure that Media Day is taking place at the hotel…
11:55am – I Walk to the Convention Center
Surprise! The event is across the street at the Mobile Convention Center. I walk over there very quickly because Media Day for the North Team began at 11:45. I walk over there excitedly, hoping to see players all over the place.
I didn’t. I didn’t see a single player. What I did see were at least 15 Detroit area reporters bombarding Matt Patricia with questions about his incomplete coaching staff.
So what was I supposed to do in a moment like this? Well, I joined in. Why not? I came to Media day for content, and that’s exactly what I was going to get. Did I record the interview? No I didn’t. Did I take notes? Not a chance. I was 3 feet away from Matt Patricia and I could hardly even hear the guy. The information that I did get was that his coaching staff wasn’t filled yet because he didn’t want to rush the process, and he is looking for guys who are versatile to fill his vacancies. Meaning he wants guys who can coach both sides of the ball, essentially.
12:30pm – I head to South Team Practice
I get to the South team practice and I actually took notes like a real journalist. One of the top things that I noticed was that it seemed like Jalen Hurts was overthrowing his receivers in drills an awful lot. As soon as I text Zach that little bit of information, Hurts began underthrowing some of his receivers. So at this point I just feel like a liar, so I shift my attention.
It’s at this point that I realize that Justin Herbert is playing with the South Team. Why? Couldn’t tell you. I can’t help but feel like Jordan Love, who played for Utah State, should be on the South Team while Herbert leads the North. But, it is not up to me; that’s why I’m here typing a blog about my day as a member of the media.
One other thing I remembered at this practice was that the players got to choose the helmet they wore for the practice and game. The one that stood out was that Marlon Davidson (Auburn) was wearing Auburn’s Pat Sullivan commemorative helmet, which features a number 7 on one side of the helmet.
Another thing I noticed was that Joseph Charlton, South Carolina’s former punter, is going to be the South Team’s holder. This was funny to me strictly because of Rodrigo Blankenship’s missed field goals in Georgia’s loss to South Carolina this season. Kind of a slap in the face to the kicker in my opinion.
2:34pm – I am Allowed onto the Field
Finally, it’s my time to shine. A security guard allows me and 2 other journalists onto the field after practice’s conclusion. Then I hear it. “Guys, wait until the team breaks!”
2:35pm – Team Breaks
Okay, NOW it’s my time to shine. I run out onto the field, and I have my eyes set on Lloyd Cushenberry III, the center from LSU. Well, the team broke, but Jim Turner, the O-Line coach for the Bengals, wanted to hold the offensive line a little longer to discuss some things. I panicked because I was one of the first media members on the field and I could have interviewed virtually anyone that I wanted, but I only prepared notes for Cushenberry.
So I wait for the O-Line to break, and I finally walk up to Lloyd. Before I can even say “Hey Lloyd” a very small, balding man swoops in and jacks my interview. I was fuming. I walk around to find anyone else, but everyone is already occupied with scouts or media members. So I made a few rounds and come back to Lloyd a solid 5 minutes later.
I get back around and George Costanza is still interviewing Cushenberry. So what did I do? I strapped in, and after another 2 minutes I finally get my interview.
2:42pm – Lloyd Cushenberry III Interview
I really wish that I could have recorded this interview, but at this point I had to hurry to get this interview and my recorder was not cooperating. So I have the transcript of the interview:
Me – “What has it been like and what does it mean for you to be here in Mobile for this year’s Senior Bowl?”
LC – “It’s been an experience for sure. This has been my dream since I was 8 years old. Being here has been a blessing for sure.”
Me – “That’s awesome. So onto my next question. I know that before this season you were given number 18. That’s a pretty big honor at LSU, but you weren’t able to wear it during the season. Did you give any thought to wearing it for this game?”
LC – After giving me the biggest smile “Yeah, well actually I’ve been speaking with Mr. Nagy about that, and I think I will be wearing number 18 in this game. No one has asked me about that.”
Me – “That’s awesome. Alright one more question…”
Security Guard – “Alright Lloyd, we have to go.”
Me – “Alright Lloyd, well I appreciate the interview and best of luck to you. Geaux Tigers!”
Lloyd – “Yeah for sure. Sorry about that. Geaux Tigers!”
2:45pm – I Leave
I’m psyched that I got that email with Cushenberry after practice. I also realize that I may have a rivalry with the security guard and that other reporter. Stay tuned for the rest of the week to see if I handle these feuds in a healthy way (probably not). But as I’m finalizing this post on Thursday morning, I can assure you that future posts are filled with more interviews, interactions, and maybe the feud boils over.