Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, oh my! The times have changed, and so have the ways in which we communicate. The media days tradition has changed with those times.

Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, oh my!


The times have changed, and so have the ways in which we communicate. The media days tradition has changed with those times.


As football teams gear up for the upcoming season, fans whet their appetites with lots of talk about the games to come this fall.


In 2011, those fans have plenty of content at their disposal, from articles to video and more. Gone are the days of waiting for a quick soundbite on the nightly news or an article or two in the daily newspaper.


Take the Southeastern Conference’s Football Media Days, for example. Even if you couldn’t make it to Birmingham, Ala., on July 20-22, you could take in all the highlights through an Internet connection.


Coaches and players from every team in the SEC took turns fielding questions between the backdrop and lone microphone. Fans could watch entire interviews and wrapup reports from the day’s events. All of this could be done from the comfort of one’s own home – ahem – or workplace.


The spotlight seems to always shine on these young players and their coaches.


“Today, more than ever, because of how integrated the media is, as a college athlete you get thrust on a pedestal and all of your mistakes are made to be bigger than maybe they actually are,” said LSU offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert.


For LSU?head coach Les Miles, the Internet chatter is low on the priority list.


“You know what, I don’t know really if I’ve ever been to a message board,”?Miles said. “I’ve certainly instructed my team to avoid the Internet. Those people that sign their name ‘Slick Willie’ don’t necessarily have legitimate opinions.”


So it goes in a place where anyone can say anything and hide behind a nickname.


Of course, optimism is typically at an all-time high leading up to the start of the season. After all, everyone is 0-0 and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of an undefeated run to the championship.


It was refreshing to hear plenty of honest assessments, such as from South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. In a “call it like I see it” manner, he routinely blended in the good with the bad.


Others, like Alabama’s Nick Saban, took a more philosophical approach at times. After all, his team faced a challenging off-season with the tornado that devastated the state.


“Leadership starts with your character, who you are and your ability to serve other people,”?said Saban, whose team was selected by the media to win the SEC crown.


Well said.


Now, let the games begin.


Weekly Citizen of Gonzales, La.