Today was a bit more spirited after yesterday's snoozer if only because Baylor coach Art Briles appears to be off of his lithium.
In his opening question, Briles offered this Sorkinesque exchange:
PETER IRWIN: Coach, your thoughts about the summer and your upcoming football season.
COACH BRILES: Good morning! Good to see everybody out. Used up all my good stuff in previous ones, but we'll get through this. Thoughts on the upcoming season and what else?
PETER IRWIN: Summer.
COACH BRILES: Just whatever? Summer. Okay. (thinks hard -what did I do this summer?) Personally, summer doesn't hardly exist in the football world...
Apparently the mere act of football defies the seasons. And traditional grammar constructs.
Art offered this thought on his team's progress:
Upcoming season, what we have to do is take the little bit of momentum that we felt like we finished up with last year, which included beating an opponent that certainly, we felt like, desired some respectability. And taking that to the next level.
He's like Ed Oregeron's little balding brother. The Clint Howard of Waco. I think he's saying that A&M desired respectability but Baylor beat the dogshit out of them so now they need to take it to the next level and beat Iowa State.
Art continues to talk up Penn St transfer DT Phil Taylor big time:
I don't think there's better in America on the field. The guy is 6'5", 352, and he's got a feed of 165 pounds. Those people don't exist.
Like the concept of summer, it seems that Phil Taylor is entirely a figment of Art Briles' imagination!?
Art then flirts with a man named Dwayne:
How are you doing, Dwayne? I haven't seen you in a while. You're conservatively dressed today for your standards. I'll give you that. You usually throw a little silk at me.
Judging from Art's good mood, he thinks that:
1. Baylor is going to a bowl
2. Art's wife just threw a little silk at him 20 minutes before the presser
Gary Pinkel was pissed off at DFW and their outrageous request that he pick up his bags at baggage claim and that he could not transport his Siamese fighting fish through security in a glass of scotch.
COACH PINKEL: First of all, I'm sorry I'm late. I apologize for that. We got into Dallas and the airport, and they kind of kept us up there for about 10, 15 minutes.
Columbia International (with new service to Winnipeg!) allows you to unstrap your duffel from the plane's wing out on the tarmac. When Pinkel demanded his Maxim duffel bag and was told he must wait with the other regular people at baggage claim, he initiated an "incident." This is Dallas, Gary. It's not like you're someone important, like a plastic surgeon or televangelist.
We're here again. Every time I walk in here, it's certainly, from my standpoint, the focus begins, and the season is right around the corner.
Yes, Coach. This is Big 12 Media Day. It's stated purpose is to herald the new season. Glad you're caught up after your excruciating ten minute airport wait. Might you have taken some mental reps on the car ride over?
The Tigers are in shape. Profoundly so:
Our strength and conditioning coach said it's the hardest workout since we came here. That's a pretty big statement and a pretty profound statement.
Big and profound. Like when Soren Kierkegaard told me he threw up 335 on bench press.
When asked about finding new team leaders:
I think that's a real good question. I think that, you know, you have a chemistry of a team. Every team's chemistry is a little bit different. Sometimes it's significantly different. Year one, year two, and sometimes it isn't.
Let me recap: Chemistry is different for all teams, some a little, some a lot. Then time passes. Then it turns out that chemistry was the same all along.
Gary, I know the unbearable airport delay flustered you as it would any man, but what the fuck are you babbling about?
On losing Chase Daniel:
We will not do the same things with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback as we did with Chase Daniel his senior year.
I'm glad the coaches won't make Gabbert play on his knees to simulate Chase Daniel's point of view when dropping back. Nor will they encourage him to tank in every big game. Now you're talking sense, Gary. Welcome back.
Next up, Kansas coach Mark Magino. I like Mangino - he's a smart guy who can actually string together complete sentences. His position paper that gluttony is not one of the 7 deadly sins is still being hotly debated at the Vatican.
Mark has feelings for Todd Reesing similar to Art Briles' feelings for Dwayne:
He really had this swagger about him. When he shook my hand, he looked me right in the eye. He is full of energy. He was intelligent. He could speak on subjects other than just football.
Mangino found Todd Reesing to be like a cross between Steve McQueen and a polymath pit bull that had just been fed an energy drink. Reesing concluded with a brief whimsical review of the Spanish Civil War, including a dead on impersonation of General Franco.
Uh, oh, here it comes:
And I can almost quote, I said, he's small. He's really small. But I like him!
He's falling for him. Hard.
And if we can get him, let's get him. Let's squeeze him a little bit.
Damn. He's in too deep.
I just liked him. There was just something about him that he had -- he exuded confidence, and he just -- he was just like a stick of dynamite.
Finally, Bob Stoops showed up with his trademark smirk set against a Hapsburg's chin and his characteristic passive-aggressiveness on the public stage.
He begins with an amusing attempt at feigned ignorance as to the status of OU's summer workouts:
Hopefully, our players have been working well. I think most all of them have been on campus for the most part, going to summer school and hopefully working out.
Yes, Bob. We're sure that you didn't have Jerry Schmidt gleefully updating you twice a day about which player was forced to eat his own vomit. Because the NCAA rules say that you can't interact with the players or run practices. You Okies and your famous regard for regulations.
Then he was asked about the asterisk***:
That's not for me to -- I know you guys would love for me to have a little quip about that and throw it all over the place. I don't want to take away from the players and the programs and do that. I don't have anything to say about that.
Undeniable gayness of the asterisk aside, this is the passive-aggressive public aspect of Stoops that I've grown to despise. The guy is a walking sewing circle of smiling jabs and shit-talking within his coaching fraternity and when talking to the Oklahoma press ("We graded our OL as TEXAS - which is less than zero") but when he gets in a public forum outside of the friendly homer confines of Oklahoma, he's suddenly Nelson Mandela.
Suck it Bob. I still endorse Red River apartheid.