WALLY HALL: Not all football media days are the same

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Tomorrow I’ll be walking through the six hours in Birmingham for the SEC Football Media Days, but it got me thinking when I realized I’ve been covering Media Days for over 40 years.

It started in 1980 during the Southwestern Conference press tour.

About 40 types of newspaper, radio, and television media would meet in Dallas, board a bus, then travel around the state of Texas for press conferences with all the SWC schools in that state, then finish. by a flight to Fayetteville.

For more details, see Sunday’s column.

There are a million stories about this press tour, some worthy of a family newspaper.

One that I will never forget. We had an 8am departure from Houston to Austin and everyone was on time except the bus, which had been parked in our hotel parking lot the day before.

The police were called and four hours later a replacement bus showed up, and as we turned the corner from the freeway someone saw a bus prominently in the middle of a field. It was maybe four blocks from our hotel.

Someone commented that he should have brought this bus to us and saved three hours.

It turned out to be our bus.

One of the bravest TV guys had “borrowed” the bus for social engagement with an employee of our hotel.

Four blocks was all he could handle before he hopped off the sidewalk into an empty field.

They returned to the hotel and he made the decision not to tell anyone.

Every year at the end of the tour there was an award for “Horse’s Behind”. The television reporter won that year. It was given in a good mood, or at least that’s what I was told the year I won it.


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