Did ya'll know it was the 100th anniversary of the Pac-12?
Rob Hwang - This was absolutely one of the greatest experiences ever. Getting to see all the coaches, players and other journalists/writers/bloggers/reporters was pretty insane. The amount of interest in PAC-12 Football can be experienced 3-fold just from all the questions being asked. I can without a doubt say that because of this experience my hype and excitement for this upcoming season is second to none. What about you Solomon?
Solomon Kim - I agree completely. I can't think of another way I would have liked to start my experience writing for Golden Blogs. You know how nervous I was going into the event and I'm sure you got a good laugh when you saw my jaw drop after we walked into the main sound stage. The scale of it took me by surprise, with it being the centennial celebration and all. Rubbing elbows with seasoned media guys like Ted Miller (who probably doesn't know I exist) was surreal and I spent the entire first day gaining my bearings. What was that first day like for you?
Rob Hwang - You make it seem like it wasn't my first time at the rodeo. It was actually my first time at this rodeo. The gift bag full of PAC-12 goodies took me by surprise, seeing Ted Miller and other ESPN writers sitting a few rows behind us took me by surprise, the sheer scale of the entire studio 12 setup took me by surprise. So many things happened that first day and by the time I came home I could not really remember exactly what had happened that first day. I do remember making small talk with Matt Leinart at the back of the studio. That was insane to me. I mean granted he was from USC, but the fact I talked to a Heisman Winner? I was in awe. What was your favorite moment from the first day?
Solomon Kim - Now that I think about it, I wonder if they chose sound stage 12 on purpose? Anyway, favorite moment from day one...hmmm. It'd have to be asking my first interview question EVER. It was during the breakout session with Oregon State and I asked Coach Anderson who he's looking at for consistency this season. He was too merciful to inform me of the fact that that was a STUPID question, so he stated the obvious answer whilst appearing thoughtful. "We'll see after fall camp." DUH! I immediately realized the error in my ways and felt pretty scrubbish, but still a great moment for me personally. What else sticks out for you from that first day? It's all a blur now.
Rob Hwang - It is a huge blur, but for me the first day was mostly made up of meeting the players. As I stated yesterday Bercovici was a great interviewee. Deontae Cooper was awesome as well. But staying on the OSU line, talking to Storm Barrs-Woods was my favorite breakout session that day. I mean the guy changed his name to honor his mom, went through a plethora of injuries and now had a healthy season splitting time with Terron Ward. Now he looks to have a breakout season as the lead back and also in his final season at Corvallis. My favorite part was when he was talking about his name change and said he attributed everything he's done and achieved to his mom and God, but he couldn't put God on the back of his name. Let's move on to the second day. Anything that stands out for you from Friday's press conferences?
Solomon Kim - Easy. Talking to Coach, Jared, and Hardy takes the cake. After that I was looking at the preseason projections and thought, "Third in the North? I don't know about you, but we're clearly the best team in the nation!" The season cannot come soon enough. I am more pumped with excitement for Cal football than Dolly Parton is with Botox. However, since that's a bit of a cop-out, I'd have to say watching Su'a Cravens obliterate that USC pinata was a choice moment for me. I got to see "Trojans" literally get smashed to pieces, bits of red and gold raining down from the heavens - too bad we missed David Shaw and Co. smashing the cardinal "S". You?
Rob Hwang - Can we talk about the elephant in the room concerning the pinatas, Why are we beating up our own school? Did no one during the planning meeting ask whether this would look weird? I mean, even Rich Rodriguez brought it up as well. Despite this odd ritual, Friday was a pretty awesome day. Coach Dykes asking us if we ate. Hearing Clint Eastwood had walked by where we were eating lunch. I mean really, when will we ever hear PAC-12 Football, Sonny Dykes and Clint Eastwood all in the same conversation? Anything more fun happen on Friday for you?
Solomon Kim - Meeting the other SB Nation guys was definitely cool. Kaelen from House of Sparky, Zach from Pacific Takes. Nothing beats hanging out and talking football with other guys who love the game. Capping off the day with a tour of Warner Brothers' Batman/Harry Potter exhibit was amazing too. The nerd in me started pouring out from the seams, but I'm proud to say that I kept it cooler than Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze. I had always heard tale of the perks of having a media pass, but to experience them first hand was sweet.
It's safe to say that the two of us had a great time at PAC-12 Media Days and would go again if scheduling permits. The new relationships made with other SB Nation bloggers and connecting with players and coaches about football was a huge learning experience. I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that, we are truly excited for this upcoming season and will be watching all PAC-12 games closely, but will only be emotionally invested in Cal games. Go Bears!
Special: To all those that read through our 3-segments, here is our lunch sit down with Coach Sonny Dykes!