Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

July 18, 2013

Some substance, please

Uncovering the real meat of media days

HOOVER, Ala. — Inside the Wynfrey Hotel, in front of a horde of more than 1,100 reporters and media professionals, Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel sat down to one lonely microphone on Wednesday and braved an onlsaught of uber-personal questions. Wearing a black suit in front of a black curtain, you could barely make out his shadow under the bright Southeastern Conference media day lights.

Yet despite his chameleon-like dress attire, whether intended or by accident, there was no hiding Manziel's presence. This was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, the SEC's single-season record holder in total yardage (5,116 yards, shattering Cam Newton's 4,327 mark in 2010). This was "Johnny Football."

He had just been sent home from the Manning Passing Academy the week prior, after all, and those in media row wanted their answers in the most anticipated college football interview since Nick Saban delivered yet another championship speech on Jan. 7 following Alabama's second consecutive national title.

Was Manziel hung over at the Manning Passing Academy? Had he overslept due to too many drinks the night before? Had his wild offseason finally caught up with him?

By my count, of the first 12 questions sent Manziel's way from reporters, 10 were centered on offseason issues such as the Manning debacle or his whirlwind of courtside appearances and celebrity encounters. Only two focused on, well, the real reason Manziel was there, which was to discuss the upcoming Aggies season and promote the positives that are surrounding Texas A&M in its second year of SEC play.

The 10-2 ratio of questions skewed in favor of offseason indulges is in no way surprising, as the articles that focus on his partying behavior, fair or not, gather the most hits and subsequent attention. ESPN.com's homepage linked two stories to the Manziel presser immediately thereafter, titled, "Manziel: 'Overslept,'" and "Still going to live life to the fullest."

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Sports
  • Groce.jpg Illini coach Groce stops in Effingham; Speech focuses on team building

    A crowded ballroom met for "An Evening with John Groce” Thursday inside the Thelma Keller Convention Center.
    Groce has been the men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois since March 2012. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012.
    His speech was focused on team building and Groce said it was the a variation of the same speech he will give Sunday evening at his beginning-of-the-year players' meeting.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MadisonBushue.jpg St. Anthony second at Charleston scramble

    In their first meet of the season, the St. Anthony Bulldogs came out firing, taking second place at the Charleston Invitational Thursday afternoon.
    The tournament was a scramble at Charleston Country Club, and the hosting Trojans took home the tournament with a combined score of 72. St. Anthony was five shots back, shooting a 77. Effingham finished fourth with an 88, and Teutopolis took ninth with a 98.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB

    There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
    Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NeogaGresens.jpg Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season

    Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
    Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bulldogs fifth at ISU

    St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
    The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.

    August 21, 2014

  • DonovanHammer.jpg St. Anthony will lead with speed

    For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
    St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

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