K-State football head coach Bill Snyder addresses media at the Big 12 Football Media Days at the Dallas Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on July 22, 2014.
July 23, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
DALLAS, Texas - Media Days are an event unlike any other.
The air is filled with the buzz of reporters, the snap of cameras and the click, click, click of keyboards as journalists type, type, type the findings of their exhausting yet exciting day before sending their work off to press.
On this day, summertime feels like a thing of the past while the reality that football season really is just around the corner sinks in. Football season was in the air; it was everywhere at Big 12 Media Days.
As both a reporter and football enthusiast, no other event is as exciting as this. The Big 12 Football Media Days, which took place in Dallas, Texas, is among my favorite events.
Both Monday and Tuesday, the Dallas Omni Hotel was filled with each of the Big 12's head coaches and a few key players for the upcoming 2014 season. The coaches and players posed for photos, were followed around by national media and answered numerous questions throughout the day.
K-State was represented by head coach Bill Snyder and his 2014 senior captains: quarterback Jake Waters, offensive lineman B.J. Finney, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, linebacker Jonathan Truman and defensive end Ryan Mueller.
"This was my second time at the Media Day and I enjoyed every minute of it," said Lockett. "I got to meet and talk to a lot of neat people. I loved it. You never know if you'll get to do something like this again in your life."
The players were asked numerous questions ranging from their thoughts on last season to their thoughts on the upcoming season. They were asked about defense and offense and their 2014 schedule, and while the players showed up prepared to answer questions about football, there were a few questions they had thrown at them that they just weren't quite prepared for.
"The funniest question today was someone asked me who I would include in my posse," laughed Truman. "I guess Johnny Manziel has Drake or something, so they asked me who mine would be. I was kind of at a loss for words, so I just came up with Rick Ross."
Truman continued laughing as Waters added, "I was asked what I like to eat for Thanksgiving dinner. I said turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuff like that. It was a video interview but I was like, 'What the heck?'"
With a smile on his face, Lockett chimed in, "A funny one I got was, 'Who would you most want to follow you back on social media?' A celebrity or someone, and I couldn't think of anyone at first so I just said LeBron James or Jerry Rice. Then afterwards I was like, I should have said Skylar Diggins!"
However, laughs and silly questions aside, the Big 12 Media Days offered the five players new experiences and memories in which they won't soon forget.
"It's crazy, I've never been to anything like this," said Waters, "but knowing how much media is here and then also seeing all the other players too, it's really cool to see them outside of their football uniform. It's definitely a crazy day, but it's been a good time."
For Mueller, while talking to media was exciting, his favorite part of the day was getting to know one opponent who he only had the opportunity to meet briefly last season on the field.
"The best part of the day was when we were eating lunch and I got to talk to one of Oklahoma's tackles, Daryl Williams," Mueller explained. "Talking to him was great. I remember playing against him, and, in my opinion, he was probably the most talented tackle I went against last season. I definitely struggled the most against him. So I wished him good luck this season and he did the same for me."
When the long day filled with interacting with reporters and photographers was all said and done, K-State football traveled back to Manhattan filled with anticipation for the upcoming season.
"They ask all these questions that make you think about certain things and aspects of the season, and that reminds you of just how fun the season really is," said Truman. "So it definitely got me excited to get back out there."
A few more notes from the 2014 Big 12 Media Days
Big 12 introduces new logo:
Lately you may have found yourself doing a double take when you look at something displaying the new Big 12 Conference logo.
The conference announced the switch from the old logo to the new - a more colorful and vibrant image - at last year's Big 12 Media Days and went through with the change earlier this month.
"One of the things that we have done is we've gone about the process of trying to make sure that it is consistently portrayed in every usage," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said about the Conference's new logo. "That includes the proliferation of the new mark, but also withdrawing the old mark and making sure that the old (logo) is not any longer in popular use."
Just in time for football season, the Wildcats 2014 jerseys, gear and field will all display the new logo.
The 2014 Big 12 Slogan:
Get used to hearing the words "One True Champion." The three words were everywhere at the Big 12 Media Days, and you will hear and see them as Big 12 Football's catch phrase this season. You can check out the Big 12's new commercial using the slogan by clicking here.
"The only thing that you really have to do after adopting One True Champion as your moniker is you have to go out and win some games," said Bowlsby, "and we are certainly going to try and do that."
Everybody plays everybody in the Big 12 - 10 teams, nine games - every game matters. There's no division, just One True Champion.
Up next one the Sports Extra menu:
K-State Sports Extra will highlight a new Wildcat football captain each week leading up to the kickoff of the 2014 season. Stay tuned for a feature on Jake Waters this Friday, and, if you missed last week's story on Ryan Mueller, you can find it by clicking here.