Sports

Bob Belvin Sports Notes
Bob Belvin Sports Notes

(Bob Belvin is Sports Director for 100.7 FM – AM 540 ESPN-Clarksville)

It is All-Star Week in Major League Baseball. The rest of the world is awaiting a Royal birth and the start of the British Open. Below the Mason-Dixon Line it is all about the Southeastern Conference Media Days taking place in Birmingham.

My educated guess is, if there wall-to-wall television coverage of the SEC Media Days, the ratings would annihilate that of the MLB All-Star Game. By a 20 share, as far as ratings go. There is that much interest in the SEC, and the conference’s brand was incredibly bolstered with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M last July 1, 2012.

As a cub reporter at the mighty TV-43 in Hopkinsville I had two incredibly rewarding chances to cover Media Days. Previously the event was called the “SEC Skywriters Tour” where reporters plane-hopped from campus to campus.

At the old Riverchase Galleria hotel in Birmingham my colleague Brian Yount and I jumped from ballroom-to-ballroom inside the spacious confines trying to snatch an interview with the likes of Jerry Claiborne (Kentucky, had to get to sound from the Hopkinsville native), Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Pat Dye, Galen Hall, Rocky Felker, and Watson Brown. Not necessarily household names.

The absolute best part of the event was the “hospitality room”, where after hours coaches gathered and swapped stories. And insults. They key to gaining access to the room for reporters was to have the nod and approval of the coach you covered. In our case, Brian and I used the Hopkinsville Home-Boy angle with Jerry Claiborne. It goes like this “Coach, Malcom B. said to tell you ‘hello’ and I saw your mother last week at the Bi-Lo, she too can’t wait for the season to begin”. It worked and Brian and I never slept over the three days as we hung out in the back of the room and listended as coaches trashed their rivals, and in some cases, their athletic directors. Yep, were were media trailblazers, no doubt!

This week, online media sources will easily outnumber traditional radio and television outlets in terms of the sheer number of attendees. And the hospitality room is more tightly guarded.

Tomorrow, my thoughts on the MLB All-Star game.

Latest Sports Headlines

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) drives against Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 107-102.

Talking Grizzlies and the NBA with Eli Savoie

Eli Savoie covers the Memphis Grizzlies and gives us his perspective as the NBA season begins.

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol celebrates after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime of Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 98-95.

Grizzlies win first home opener since move to Memphis

Gasol scores career-high 32, Memphis knocks off Minnesota.

Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15) and defenseman Garrett Noonan (58) celebrate after Smith scored a goal against the Florida Panthers in the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

Smith scores twice, Predators whip Oilers

Nashville opens six-game road trip with win over Edmonton.