The subheading above is from the movie BASEketball. In an Oscar-worthy performance for both, Al Michaels talks about how exciting the game is, only to have Bob Costas respond with, “You’re excited? Feel these nipples!”
I can’t help but hear that line at every Big Ten Media Days.
If I had more time and foresight I would have taken video today of all seven coaches, plus Kevin Warren, and supercut every time they all said some variant of the word “excited”. It never fails. I have been to half a dozen or so of these now and everyone is “excited to be here and excited to get the season/camp started. I likely could have cut together that exact sentence from all seven coaches today.
In order to mix it up, I created a spreadsheet of the usual cliches that come from every coach at media days, usually in their opening statement. Here is what every coach said:
Excited to be here/Get the season started
Oh boy. Not only did all seven coaches say some variant of this, Kevin Warren said it SEVEN TIMES as he introduced each coach. We get it. You’re excited!
Active in the local Community
This wasn’t from the coaches, but from Warren himself. I thought it was a nice touch that he gave a listed of community partnerships and charities that each coach supports as he introduced them.
We’ve worked hard this offseason
Really? Even Ryan Day wouldn’t have said, “Yeah, we just out our feet up and took it easy. We have this figured out.”
He has great awareness as a player
This was usually said about one of the players the coach brought with him to media days.
This is about our culture and guys buying in
This was a Mel Tucker favorite, as I had him talking about culture at least four times. Tucker gets bonus points for talking about a trip to Selma and the struggle for civil rights from slavery to the mass incarceration of the present day though.
We have great respect for our opponent
This is usually about the season opener, especially if it is a Big Ten game, but there was an IU beat reporter asking some very good questions about each of IU’s opponents, so they had to get creative. I did find it hilarious that Bret Bielema found a way to turn a question about IU into praise for Pat Fitzgerald and Jeff Brohm.
Where we are/where we’re going
This was usually used with some variation of improvement or looking for ways to improve. Again, the only one that probably didn’t need to say this was Ryan Day.
There were a few interesting bits though. Our own Jeff Brohm was very high on transfer Charlie Jones and how they expect him to play both outside and inside receiver, as well as boost a return game that has been moribund for a while. He also mentioned that Tyrone Tracy will play at receiver and out of the backfield some. It sounds like he is a Jackson Anthrop replacement.
Finally, here are some of the best quotes I was able to get from each guy:
"It's unfortunate that Aidan O'Connell's head coach didn't start him at the beginning of the year."— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
"Hayden Fry would slap me upside the head if I showed up here without a suit and tie." - Bret Bielema— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
Tucker: "I prefer not to get into hypotheticals, especially on games that have already been played and settled on the field." when asked about Narduzzi saying Pitt beats them with Kenny Pickett.— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
Schiano also said his Australian punter is like those old Dos Equis commercials in that he is the most interesting man in the world.— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
Franklin is praising PJ Mustifer for housing a massive meal at St. Elmo's last night.— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
Chryst: "I've had a ton of respect for Jeff (Brohm) and what is fun about playing him is you have to be on your toes."— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) July 27, 2022
I didn’t get Ryan Day because I retreated in for lunch and he wasn’t saying a lot anyway.
So that was my Big Ten Media Days. As usual, not a lot of substance, but at least we know PJ Mustipher can house like $200 of food at St. Elmo’s because he is done with the Penn State conditioning test forever.