Blog: Putting a bow on Big 12 Football Media Days, 2017 edition
This year's edition of the Big 12's Football Media Days felt a bit different than years past.
For almost as long as I've been attending, the two-day extravaganza was held at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas. The Omni felt like home when it came to Media Days. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Enter Jerry Jones and his $1.5 billion, 90-acre playground known as The Star in Frisco, TX (if you're counting at home, The Star will end up costing more to develop than the price tag to build the Cowboys current home, AT&T Stadium, in Arlington). The Star is the new home of the Big 12's Media Days, at least for this year - although I was told it will more than likely be the host site going forward.
Included in the 90-acre development is a 16-story Omni Hotel -- a hotel that wasn't ready for this year's festivities - but next year will house the hundreds of media that make the trip to North Texas.
Before I move on to a few thoughts from the two days inside The Star, a quick kudos to Jerry's staff - they were courteous, helpful, and whoever was running the kitchen churned out two fantastic meals.
Oh, in case you're wondering, Mr. Jones was in the building on Tuesday. Well, kind of. He walked outside to his helicopter that was waiting on the outdoor practice field, went for a quick trip around the development, then landed and chatted with Cole Beasley for a bit before taking off into the Texas sky.
Now, a few quick notes from Media Day:
* Lincoln Riley was cool, calm, collected, and came across with grace and style. See for yourself here.
* The same can not be said about new Texas head coach Tom Herman. The former Houston head coach seemed brash, cocky, and at times downright rude. Herman showed glimpses of his "soft" side - like when he got choked up talking about the love he has for his players - but overall, he came off as a wanna be bully.
* Mike Gundy is as comfortable as I've ever seen him. OSU's head coach seemed as comfortable talking about X's and O's as he did his mullet, his punters newfound Heisman candidacy, his snake-hunting summer, or the extremely high expectations on his team this fall.
* Speaking of the OSU punter -thanks to Zach Sinor for making Day Two of Media Days one to remember. The self-made pamphlet showing off the reasons you deserve to be the first punter to ever win the Heisman was first-class entertainment. If you missed the story, you can see it here.
* I had a chance to chat with new Baylor head coach Matt Rhule in the hallway of The Star - I don't know how long it will take him to right the ship in Waco, but I do believe the Bears have the right guy to do it. I was impressed with the way he carried himself, and what he had to say about cleaning up that program.
* It was great seeing Coach Snyder looking like his usual self. I didn't know what to expect after the 77-year old battled throat cancer this offseason, but he was as jovial and respectful as usual.
Where to eat:
If you find yourself staying at the Westin Stonebriar (our media hotel this year), I highly recommend Kenny's Burger Joint across the street. Myself, Pat Forde, Andy Staples, George Schroeder, and Carson Cunningham ate our weight in delicious burgers. Helping them go down was a good selection of local craft beer.