I didn't make it out to MAC Media Day yesterday but that night, after work, I was able to fire it up on the ESPN3 replay, because that's the world we live in. It's for the hardcore fan, admittedly: three and a half hours of rapid-fire questions from MAC announcers Michael Reghi and Doug Graber.
Each team got 12 minutes of face time featuring the head coach and two football players. Leading off the shebang was MAC commissioner John Steinbrecher who talked a bit about his involvement with devising the new playoff structure and trying to level the playing field. As I've said before, I know he had a hand in it but the four-team playoff's effect on the MAC still seems marginal. But it's nice to see him stand up for the little dudes.
Sprinkled in there was former NFL referee Bill Carollo, who now works with the MAC in regards to rules and player safety. OK. At the end was a slightly awkward discussion with members of the primary bowl tie-ins, which at that point you're probably done watching already. Nothing to be gained there.
I know there are some who are not huge fans of Reghi's work, but I'm not in that camp. He grew up in Michigan, cut his teeth on broadcasting in Northwest Ohio and now resides in Cleveland. That's grade-A hustle belt street cred. His enthusiasm is just right for what he does; it's usually not too over the top. Additionally they're very knowledgeable about the players and coaches and make it known.
I say all this because the three-hour production did seem a little chummy. After a while I got the picture; Reghi and Graber were impressed with this young man, and this student-athlete, and this man is one of the top players in the MAC, and ... and yes, I get that the top MAC players need to be marketed. But I'm pretty sure everybody watching the telecast already very much admires the players being interviewed. With a couple exceptions, everybody knows Khalil Mack and Tyler Tettleton and how great they are.
A couple of scattered thoughts:
• Dave Clawson and Charley Molnar do not look like football coaches. I don't know what they can do to improve this.
• I'm a little surprised CMU coach Dan Enos, who said he grew up going to Tiger Stadium, didn't make the connection that Tyler's father was Mickey Tettleton. It's probably because he doesn't watch every single OHIO game telecast. Game film has less color analysis.
• Toledo coach Matt Campbell is doing this thing where he refers to Bowling Green as "that school down south." Dude, they're 26 miles away. And fear of saying the name only gives them strength.
Now that was just the rapid-fire questioning for ESPN3. I know the actual Media Day is much more than that. It's reporters, SIDs, coaches, MAC employees, athletes, and free lunches all at Ford Field. They also did a very neat thing by inviting three MAC fans to the event and having them chronicle their tales on @ExperienceMAC. As I understand it they're doing to do this throughout the football season, once at each stadium, in a social media suite.
It's just a shame this had to happen on a Tuesday morning. Some of us bloggers have jobs, you know! Put this thing on a Saturday or Sunday and I'm there like Fred Astaire.