Big Ten Media Days! They're an opportunity for coaches to say basically nothing in front of TV cameras on Day 1, then to open up just a little bit to the journalists they know during one-on-one interviews on Day 2. If you're looking for heft, though, it ain't here; the coaches aren't handing out depth charts to guys who ask questions the right way, and the players who get invited are the ones who A) are recognizably good at football, and B) toe the company line reliably well. Like, I don't know if Iowa football has its version of a Ron Artest, but I do know that if the Hawkeyes do have such a man, he sure as shit isn't getting invited to this thing.
That hypothetical crazy Hawkeye player isn't getting invited to the Media Days precisely because the media personnel who attend the proceedings are professionals to the core, always looking for the slightest opening in the players' and coaches' facades and trying to expose the truth at all... at all costs... I--I'm sorry, sports director Ed Littler of News 5 in Hastings, Nebraska, did you have a question for Kirk Ferentz?
(WARNING: I had to stop this video no fewer than six times to cringe and regain my composure. That is not an exaggeration.)
(Video via Matt Watson, via sportsjournalists.com)
Okay. Nebraska, clearly we need to talk. Meet me below the fold.
All right, Husker fans. If you're not marching on KHAS by sundown today, you don't take football nearly as seriously as you want everybody to believe. That's fine, though, since you're not even a tenth as classy as you want everybody to believe either*, so the bullshit's already running through your veins to begin with.
Here in the Big 10, though, journalists don't use Media Days to hit up coaches for autographs in the middle of interview sessions. It's not legendary. It's not leadership. It's not heroic. And it's especially pathetic to make more than a five-second issue out of it ("hey it's for my girlfriend Jeanette, sorry"), to say nothing of that ridiculous "code name" nonsense which COME ONNNNN.
Kirk Ferentz handled this one perfectly, though. Didn't tell the new guy to go kick rocks, because what does ol' Ed know, right? Hitting up coaches for autographs in the Big 12 sounds totally normal. Cooperated with that whole convoluted story Ed had to tell. Finished it off with a beautiful anecdote about what colossal assholes autograph seekers are in situations like these while still remaining tactful. It's perfect.
Now, we don't know what happened before and after the video in question stopped, so I can't criticize Littler for his prioritizing of what to ask Ferentz; for all we know, he asked Ferentz about the Heroes Game and like 20 other rivalry-related questions before and after all that stupid, stupid, stupid autograph business. For all I know, before that clip, he asked a buttload of great questions and got great content out of them.
That said, I doubt it, and I challenge Littler and KHAS to prove us wrong. Otherwise, congratulations KHAS, your sports director is a joke.
*Says: "BEST FANS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL!"
Comments on: Corn Nation
Proves point of: BHGP
UPDATE: Yeah, according to Todd Brommelkamp, Littler didn't do anything but ask for the autograph:
@Adam_Jacobi Solid work. I was at the table. Guy didn't ask any other questions. Sat shaking his silver sharpie back & forth and staring.