HOOVER, Ala. -- Aggie offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, linebacker Sean Porter, and receiver Ryan Swope each came up with different adjectives to describe their first SEC Media Days, but all three agree the event is wild.
"It's been crazy," said Joeckel.
"It's intense," added Porter.
"It's for sure different. I've never experienced anything like it," said Swope.
And neither have we. We being myself and John Wilson after years of covering Media Days in the Big 12.
The SEC steps their game up on the field and steps their media days up as well here in Hoover, Alabama, and as the new guys, Texas A&M and Missouri found that out in a big way.
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said, "I think it speaks to the passion of fans of the SEC. I think it really speaks to the footprint and the notoriety that this league has."
Missouri's Gary Pinkel added, "I think this is an example of how big the SEC is nationally. So many people are represented here from
places and they don't go to other leagues, but they'll come here to the SEC because of the reputation it has."
A few fans came here to the Wynfrey Hotel, but, we're told, the atmosphere is nothing like it will be on Thursday when Nick Saban and the defending national champions from Alabama make an appearance.
A few Texas A&M fans showed up today, including a family from Houston who is making the most of a visit to see family in Birmingham.
"As we were driving down for 10 hours my mom heard on the radio they were having SEC Media Days and my mom asked my aunt, 'Wait, where's this hotel,' and my aunt said it was right across the street," said Houston native Tabor Benton. "My mom said, 'Well, the kids are just going to be playing video games all day so lets take them there."
Benton and his cousins joined fans in the lobby, some seeking autographs, some just watching their favorite players walk by.
While Aggie players were politically correct in comparing SEC Media Days to Big 12 Media Days, one of their fellow conference newbies, Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe, had no problem telling us what he thought of his new league.
"It's like a zoo around here. Look at you guys. There's 1,100 media members here, I'm wearing a suit and tie for some reason, and I got escorted to an elevator by security when I got off the bus here. There
were 15 people waiting for an autograph, so it's just different. It's way cooler here."
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