I flew into Jacksonville the night of New Year’s Eve so I didn’t get the full bowl week media experience but from what I witnessed, the bowl reps and the city did a real nice job promoting the event and handling the media. The folks at EverBank field and with the Gator Bowl were very helpful and courteous and even provided full transcripts of both press conferences which is fantastic. So hats off.
That said, naturally I have to point out a few of the less than brilliant points of light:
* I donned a maize “M Golf” hat on gameday. While taking some photos of the Mississippi State fans banging their cowbells before the game, one Bulldog fan asked me if I was the Michigan golf coach. Me: “Yep.”
* I’m puzzled why the Gator Bowl shelled out $30,000 for the bowl trophy. The finest trophy in sports cost all of 30 cents. Yikes, why did they feel compelled to commission Tiffany and spend thirty large?:
After retrieving the trophy, Gator Bowl officials were asked by Mississippi State officials if they could have the trophy sitting on the podium for coach Dan Mullen’s postgame news conference. It took two phone calls to make that happen.
There’s a big reason: the trophy was handmade by Tiffany’s and cost $30,000.
* It’s worth linking this again. It was the highlight of an otherwise dismal press conference for me and here’s the audio for your tailgate mixtapes:
Q. If coach doesn’t return next season, will you leave and go to the NFL?
DENARD ROBINSON: I’m a sophomore. I can’t go to the NFL anyhow.
* Apparently after the game the folks at EverBank locked up the facility while some media were still in the press box working on their stories. Per a local writer it was an ordeal to find the right folks to get out of the stadium. I would have snapped.
Beautiful 75-degree in Jacksonville. Love the sight of the local nuclear facilities on the horizon behind EverBank Stadium.
Here’s a look: