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Derek Mason Wins SEC Media Day 1, and Other Highlights

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If you're not able to sit and watch the SEC Network at 3:30 on a Monday, don't worry. The media is actually reporting on SEC Media Days without any anti-Vanderbilt spin.

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed the first day of SEC Media Days, here are the highlights: Derek Mason was, by almost all accounts, impressive.  I know, I know, that doesn't sound believable.

Yeah, we're surprised too, and some people weren't impressed...

But I'm honestly not sure what you were expecting from that particular account.  People who actually know things were impressed with Mason, for once.

There were only a couple of negative views, and both were from the expected places.

The first diss came from Charlie Burris, who works for Fox Sports Knoxville; honestly, what the hell do you expect, him to admit that Vanderbilt could be good this year?  The second is Dan Wolken, who (a) if anything tries too hard not to appear to be a Vanderbilt homer, and (b) works for USA Today, which is to journalism what Subway is to sandwiches: a ubiquitous outlet that consistently produces poor quality, and yet somehow is popular.

Mason talked some about recruiting as well, evidently in response to the fretting about why it took us until June to have a commitment on board:

And he also let it be known that he doesn't mind if his players take up social causes that they're passionate about.

In other words, July 11, 2016, marked the day when Derek Mason officially looked like the coach that at the very least I would like to see Vanderbilt employ.  While I don't get too hung up on how a coach interacts with the media, we have to admit that Mason seems to be much more comfortable in his own skin now than he was a year or two ago.

Players Ralph Webb, Oren Burks, and Zach Cunningham were present as well, and Burks got a name-drop from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey earlier in the day.  They had some knowledge to drop as well.

Now, of course, we have to insert the obligatory reminder that SEC Media Days is not actually, you know, a football game, and we'll probably completely forget this performance if the performance on the football field is less than impressive.  But at the very least, we made it through Media Days without our coach saying something dumb, and that's a win in and of itself.