HOOVER, Ala. (CBSMiami) – The Southeastern Conference will kick off its annual media preview Tuesday in Alabama and the event has turned into a gathering that attracts more than a 1,000 media members and scores of fans. It also attracts some of the best quotes of the year.
Last year, Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe stole the show. When asked to compare the SEC and the Big XII, Mizzou’s former conference, Moe said, “They say girls are prettier here, air’s fresher and toilet paper is thicker.”
Moe also said that things were “serious” in Hoover, Alabama for the media days, “I wouldn’t be surprised if everybody was strapped with a gun here.” Moe received an ovation after his media appearance.
One of the annual stars is South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier who has made his appearances must attend events. Last year, Spurrier took a shot at Alabama who had won the national championship without winning the SEC championship saying, “It’s easier to win the National Championship than the SEC, ask Nick Saban.”
When asked about the Gamecock’s schedule last year Spurrier quipped, “If I made the schedule, Georgia would be playing LSU and we’d be playing Ole Miss.” And Spurrier, who’s routinely asked if he’s going to retire, said every time he’s asked that, “I feel like asking you guys how much longer you’re gonna write!”
The loquacious Spurrier did have to eat some crow in 2009 when his director of football operations put Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead as the All-SEC quarterback over Tim Tebow. “We screwed it up pretty badly,” Spurrier said.
Then there was the Robbie Caldwell comment a few years ago. Caldwell was in his first, and only, year as head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores in 2010 and made waves for his somewhat unorthodox comments that perfectly fit the SEC’s annual media gathering.
Caldwell told the crowd his first job was on the inseminating crew on a turkey farm. “If I told some of these ladies what they put in that lipstick right there, oh, my goodness, because I de-beaked, blood tested, vaccinated (turkeys). I done it all. It was pretty special,” Caldwell said, according to Al.com.
When asked about his unorthodox coaching career Caldwell responded, according to AL.com, “When I took a pay cut to go to Furman as a full-time assistant, my daddy said, ‘You’re an idiot.’ I’ve continued to live up to his word, I’m sure.”
There was also 2004 when then-Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer decided to skip the annual media days and instead appear via teleconference. Fulmer avoided coming to Alabama at the time to avoid receiving a subpoena over his alleged role in a NCAA investigation of the Crimson Tide.
Even this writer had some fun at SEC media days back in the late 1990’s. Then South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz was asked by a writer to answer a question in 15-20 seconds and then proceeded to ask about a two minute question.
Without missing a beat, Holtz replied, “If you can’t ask the question in 20 seconds; why should I answer it in 20 seconds?” After the room stopped laughing, Holtz answered the reporter’s question, but not quite in 20 seconds.