HOOVER, Ala. — Each summer, the swirl of activity that is conference media days marks the unofficial start of the college football season. Head coaches and their star players are rotated through hotel conference rooms filled with media members who want to know everything from predicted season win totals to player potential, game strategy and even preferred game day breakfast cuisines.
For the first time, ESPN’s College Football Live program originated from SEC Media Days. More than 1,200 credentials were issued this year for the three days of coach and player interviews. And seated at the desk alongside host Joe Tessitore and analyst Brock Huard to observe it all in between live SportsCenter hits was ESPN analyst David Pollack. The fearsome three-time All-American defensive end for the University of Georgia twice attended SEC Media Days as a player and still recalls the intensity of the experience.
What were media days like for you?
Granted there were just 600 media members at the event back then, but it was a big deal; it was and is a spectacle of sorts. I didn’t know what to expect. As a player, the more you embrace it, the better. In my senior year, I did that better because I realized anything is fair game as far as reporters’ questions go.
How does it feel to now be here as a credentialed media member?
I think I have a different perspective on this event and experience because I very much remember what it was like being in these players’ shoes. And I feel an obligation to tell that side of the story and to provide that perspective to viewers.
Is it easier to attend this as a player or analyst now that you’ve done both?
This event symbolizes the start of the grind. As a player, you’ve been doing your summer workouts, preparing your body, working on skills. And then you come out of here realizing it’s about to be “go time.”
Does this signify the start of your “go time”?
Actually, it’s those big preseason football magazines that get the juices flowing. I’ll read 300 pages in one day because I’m so excited. Then, coming to media days puts a bow on it where we are all talking college football from here on out.