My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stinchcomb Preps for New Role with SEC Network

ESPN was all over the place at SEC Media Days last week, which shouldn't be surprising given the landmark deal the network signed with the conference this year. The upside for me? It gave me a chance to chat with former Georgia lineman Matt Stinchcomb, who will be handling color analysis for the SEC's new studio show on the SEC Network. Here's what Stinchcomb had to say about his new gig...

David Hale: Are you excited about the new job? I know a lot of Georgia fans are happy to have a local guy doing analysis of the SEC.

Matt Stinchcomb: A meathead? A meathead they'll all know and recognize? No, that'd be someone else. Yeah, I'm fired up. It's just another opportunity to talk shop. To get to do that all day on a Saturday and not actually have to go hide in the garage or something to get away with it -- that's not a bad scenario really.

DH: Well, I think ESPN and the SEC are both pretty excited about the scenario, too. Have you given much thought to what it will be like working for a network like ESPN with such a huge reach nationally?

MS: There will be plenty of voices other than mine, but it's exciting. Growing up where I did, we're Tucker, Georgia guys, growing up in the heart of SEC country. You grow up a Georgia fan, you grow up surrounded by this kind of football, to be able to do that after you're done playing, to have a good excuse to follow it other than just because you want to kill a Saturday, that's ideal. It's just a tremendous opportunity. It's a landmark deal that ESPN and the SEC entered into, and it just shows that this conference has legs outside of the geographic area that it exists. This has an impact on the national landscape. So to be a part of that and have input on how that's communicated to sports fans, that's going to be a lot of fun.

DH: As a guy with such close ties to Georgia, I assume it will be hard to hide your allegiances on the air. How will you be giving an unbiased opinion about, oh, say, the Florida Gators?

MS: An unbiased opinion? Well, they know where you played your college ball, so it's not hard to figure out. But it's not difficult to be an objective observer. I think as long as what you're looking at, the observations are fair, it's hard to really argue with it. At the end of the day, it's always going to just be your opinion, but I think there's ways to communicate that where it's respectful. I grew up a Georgia fan and I follow Georgia now. I've got a lot of family there. But that being said, you can look at the SEC and analyze a football game and it is what it is. Football's still football and you ignore what decal is on the side of the helmet. As long as you're fair to everybody, I think it will be an easy thing to do.

DH: As you're looking ahead to what's to come this season, as a broadcaster, what games are you most looking forward to?

MS: There's plenty of them. Florida-LSU, Georgia-LSU, the Oklahoma State game will be fun. Alabama-Virginia Tech to start the season is going to be an interesting game to watch. Right there, you see one of the top two teams in the SEC East in Georgia playing Oklahoma State, that is by some accounts a top-10 team and one of the best in the Big 12 having to go to Stillwater. Then you have Alabama playing Virginia Tech, another top-10 team out of the ACC. That's a heck of a way to kick off your opening game for two of the top teams in this conference. So those are two of the games you look to almost immediately. Down the line, in the SEC West, pick one. The fact that you have Ole Miss, Alabama and LSU in the conversation, and then you have Arkansas just waiting to spoil one of their seasons, there's too many to really pigeonhole. You can talk about that whole mix. All those teams are going to mesh, and it'll be interesting to see who survives it. That's going to be a murderer's row this year, the SEC West.

DH: Were you at Media Days when you were at Georgia?

MS: As a player I came.

DH: So how does being back here this time compare?

MS: I'm doing a lot more interviews this time. The SEC was big then, but it's a lot bigger now. Part of that is the BCS and the media deals and how successful this conference has been in the bowl season and on a national scale in the bowl championship games. There's a lot of attention on these three days, and rightfully so. This conference impacts what it looks like in December and January.

DH: So with all that's in store for you when the season starts, how are you preparing for the new job? Have you been studying up? Get a haircut?

MS: How does my hair look?

DH: I think it looks great.

MS: I appreciate that. I've worked hard on the weave and tweezed the eyebrows more than once.

Seriously, as much as a lot of people, including myself, follow SEC football, it's not going to be that different. You kind of have to distill some of your thoughts. You can't get up there and do what I'm doing right now and talk and talk and talk. You have to be more concise. But the subject matter, it's great subject matter. It's really compelling stuff that I would follow anyway, so I don't know that it's going to be that much different. I read all the magazines and visit all the sites whether I'm going to be on television or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great interview, david. stinchcomb seems like a very cool guy with a good laidback style for TV.

when he was being interviewed during GDay, it felt like that was just one of your buddies on TV only less drunk and more articulate.