Carol ™ got Lina ™ on the phone as soon as he could. It was SEC Football Media Days and this was a special opportunity, a chance to participate in a conference call discussing all the teams, just like in Birmingham. Well, as he found out, not quite. But the discussion might have been even more fun.
“I saw this posting on one of the other Boards. All the coaches were invited for a special pod-cast with a fan of each school hosting him. And they need someone for Carolina,” said Carol, “so I signed you up!”
“Me?!” said Lina. “What time? What do I have to do?”
“Nothing, if the Coaches participate,” said Carol.
“But what if they don’t?” cried Lina, but Carol hit the speaker phone and dialed the number without answering.
“We want to thank all of you for participating,” said a Voice who later called himself the Moderator. “It looks like the coaches will be delayed – er, umm – maybe won’t have time to come, as you can understand, I’m sure. So we will have the other participants ask questions of each other. We will start with Arkansas asking Ole’ Miss a question.”
“Okay,” said the Arkansas representative. “Will Houston Nutt send back his play book and his little black book to us, or do we have to get big Ed Orgeron to get it for us?”
“We don’t need either,” answered Ole’ Miss. “We’ve got players left, and we didn’t ask him to coach until you asked him not to coach, unlike the guy y’all ended up with.”
“Hey,” interrupted Alabama, “didn’t Bobby Petrino learn anything from you Auburn Tigers about not getting on the coaching carousal until it at least starts up? And especially not in the dark!”
“Hold on!” retorted Auburn. “What’s your rivalry game record? We’ve got to have surgery to add fingers to our hands to count all those consecutive wins.”
“That’s how you Auburn people count after all those Math classes on the Plains,” interjected Georgia. “You people might need a calculator to count our wins this season. There may not be enough extra fingers lying around Alabama this fall!”
“Too bad you couldn’t count a win over the Vols last year,” said Tennessee. “Might have been a nice season for y’all if not for us.”
“But the Vols won the pre-season again – the “Fulmer Cup” – most off-season arrests by an SEC football team,” said Vanderbilt. “Imagine that.”
“Not true,” said Tennessee.” Look around the country. And at least our Vol navy can beat you Commodores every year, on land and water.”
“Watch out this year,” warned Vanderbilt.
“You better watch out this year,” said Kentucky. “Beat us once, shame on you. Beat us twice in a row, shame on us. The Wildcats will be as proud as thoroughbreds this fall. Maybe we get to knock you out of a bowl game this season. We got ours last year, and you didn’t.”
“Umm, gentleman…..” started the Moderator.
“Didn’t Kentucky fans say they had a Heisman Trophy candidate last season?” interjected Florida. “Some guy named Woodson? But didn’t he graduate from some Big Ten school years ago? It must have been a case of 'mistaken ability.' Do you guys remember who won the Heisman last year? A Gator named Teebow, I think.”
“Yeah, but who won the National Championship last season?” said LSU. Was it not the Tigers from Baton Rogue, the most accomplished Tigers in the league?”
“Oh, come on,” said Auburn.
“I think that guy with the gruff voice wasn’t even sure he wanted to stay in Baton Rogue last December. He must like that cold weather in Michigan,” said Mississippi State. “We got a coach who wants to be here in Starkville – even more than up the road at his Alma Mater.”
“Just wait,” said Alabama. “He will put in for the job five years and two national championships from now when Nick Saban gets $8 million a year to coach Michigan State and Eastern Michigan combined. He could do it.”
“Uh, gentlemen, do any of you have any comments about the upcoming football season? I mean about the teams?”
Lina joined in. “Here at Carolina – the Carolina – we have got the makings of a great defense, especially with Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson’s intensity in practice. We have a super offensive mind in Coach Spurrier and some pre-season All SEC’s, like receiver Kenny McKinley, linebacker Jasper Brinkley, cover corner Captain Munnerlyn…”
“Brinkley didn’t make first team All SEC,” correctly pointed out Georgia.
“I guess the coaches just forgot he was coming back, thought he was already in the NFL,” said Lina. “We know Spurrier’s best two recruiting classes will be sophomores and juniors this season. If this wasn’t the dang toughest football conference in the country we might be doing some bragging already.”
“Darn straight it’s the toughest,” said Vanderbilt. “We know.”
“Going to lose five straight to end the year again?” needled Florida. “Looks like a pattern. Steve Spurrier enjoyed the end of the season almost every year in Gainsville.”
“Remember 2005,” said Lina.
“I do,” moaned Tennessee.
“We remember,” said Florida.
“And we will remember 2007,” said Georgia.
“That’s why it’s such a great conference - the competition,” said Lina.
The others murmured their agreement. “Thanks for giving us a semblance of order,” said the Moderator.
“That’s why we took them into the SEC,” said Auburn. “They have some common sense in Columbia, unlike in Tuscaloosa……”
“Naw, we just wanted another patsy,” said Alabama. “Don’t say it, Carolina, we remember 2001, the comeback and everything, and 2004. We’ll see you in a few years again.”
“Might be a great game,” said Lina. “Might be in Atlanta, too.”
“Well, that’s all the time we have, my pre-payment is about to run out," said the Moderator. "Hopefully next year the coaches will be able to join us for this SEC Media Days conference call.”
“Don’t bet on it,” said Ole' Miss.
“I think Houston Nutt does that,” shot back Arkansas. “You know I heard a rumor that….”
Click. The line went dead.
“I think its time to read GamecockAnthem to see what has been going on, don’t you?” said Lina. But Carol was already reading the stories at his computer. In the corner of his computer was a Count Down to Kickoff clock. The N.C. State game was coming up faster than a reaction from a fan of an SEC arch-rival.