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Day One: SEC Media Days 2016

The first day of Southeastern Conference Media Days feels like the first day of school! The largest gaggle of sports media in America (outside of the Super Bowl) gathers at The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama to get their annual seasonal almanac from all fourteen SEC head coaches.

But first, the SEC rolled out a new motto signifying their dominance in college football. I know it means a lot to the fans, but what does this phrase really mean for the casual observer living in Helena, Montana?

The at the podium was SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. He opened his remarks by offering his condolences to the slain individuals in Baton Rouge, Dallas and Minneapolis. He didn’t miss the moment.

Sankey continued: “The sadness from the past few days remains on all of our minds, and it’s appropriate to make that observation up front as it remains in our hearts as well … This is one of those times in our nation where we weep, we mourn, for those families and cities who have experienced loss.”

Next, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn stepped to the podium. He said he will put his schedule up against anybody in the country. The Tigers’ first five home games are at Jordan-Hare Stadium; however, it’s murderer’s row.

“In this league, you’re going to have a lot of close games,” Malzahn said. “The two previous years, we were one of the best in the country at winning close games.”

After an hour intermission, Florida coach Jim McElwain stepped to the podium. He talked about his disdain for socks!

McElwain in more important matters said Treon Harris and Antonio Callaway are back in classes at the University of Florida however their futures are to be announced. When reporters asked McElwain if the decisions to reinstate Callaway and Harris were in his authority, he said, “It’s out of my hands. It’s in administrative control.” Finally, reporters asked McElwain his views regarding Georgia hiring Kirby Smart. He simply said he wished he was “in another division somewhere.”

Finally, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason spoke to reporters at the Wynfrey Hotel. He stole the show with his fashion choices and his answers at the podium!

It’s part of the greater purpose of selling Vandy Football in the post James Franklin era.

“I believe what we’ve been able to do in a short amount of time is sort of hush the critics a little bit, who talked about maybe we’re behind, maybe we don’t quite understand what it is to be in the SEC,” Mason said of panic before recent recruiting scores. “It’s not about understanding what’s out there. It’s about understanding your institution, what you have inside.”

After 10 minutes of awesome remarks and sharp answers, Mason left everyone with one gem for Twitter:

“It takes teamwork to make the dream work.” – Derek Mason, philosopher, historian, football coach.

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