clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Joining the Show: Robbie Caldwell Wins Over the Room at SEC Media Days

Unless Houston Nutt demonstrates how to use a Ouija board or Les Miles rips out Gene Chizik's still-beating heart, there will be no better show at SEC Media Days than the one we saw Thursday. And the star was not Steve Spurrier, the long time King of the Media Day Quip; it was Robbie Caldwell.

You might have seen some of Caldwell's lines, either here or somewhere else on the Web. A sampling:

[Oh his hometown of Pageland, S.C.] You had to like watermelon, number one, because it was the watermelon capital of the world, we proclaimed anyway. You had to like hunting and fishing. Frog gigging. I was scared to death of girls, so that didn't interest me. And I played ball. We played all sports to get out of work.

My first hourly paying job was on the turkey farm. I don't know if I could tell you what my job was, but I was on the inseminating crew. That's a fact. I worked my way to the top. ... Best job I ever had, got paid by the hour for the first time.

Well, I'm from New York originally, you can tell by the way I talk. [Anyone listening to Caldwell would know he is most assuredly not from New York.]

[On inseminating turkeys] Yes, it fertilizes the egg so they produce a better turkey in the hatchery. It's an interesting process. I'd be glad to show you sometime. We get a Tom in here.

I can still walk in places and nobody knows me. Last night I was opening the door for people and they gave me a tip. I thought, 'Hey, that's great. How can you get it any better than that.'

And on and on. Caldwell's talk was the first time I can remember a coach drawing applause at the end in three trips to Media Days.

Caldwell, of course, came into SEC Media Days as an unknown. And beyond finding out that he was a turkey inseminator -- which has to be a first among SEC coaches, at least in the modern era -- we found out a bit more about this self-proclaimed "country boy."

He's a Bobby Johnson man. He's excited; in fact, he used the word "excited" or "exciting" 24 times, according to the transcript of his remarks. And coaching has a very personal resonance with him.

I said, Coach [Dick Sheridan], the only thing I ever wanted to be when I went to college was a head high school coach one day. That was my goal. Because my high school coaches meant the world to me. I came from a broken home. I had a dad living on one side and a mom living on the other, and I had the coaches in the middle that kept me straight.

He loves Vanderbilt. He likes working with youg people -- which is probably a good quality for a head coach to have. "That what's kept me young. I know I don't look it, but I feel 18." And, as you've already noticed by now, he's a talker.

I don't write things down when I speak to you because I speak from the heart. It gets me in trouble sometimes. But I am what I am and won't change.

After listening to him, you wish him well. You almost have to root for him.

Even though he's about to spend four months getting annihilated.