Dave McMahon -- How long have you been working at ESPN?
Rece Davis -- 11 years... I started in March of 1995 as an anchor on ESPN2's SportSmash. Thankfully, my career didn't go the way of the Smash... which was smashed shortly after my arrival.
DM -- Is college football still your passion, or has being in the northeast that long switched you to the NFL?
RD -- Oh please. If you're from the south College Football courses through your veins. The NFL just serves to pass some time on fall days when they don't play college football... which thanks to the foresight of our ESPN executives is now virtually everyday of the week. What's better than that?
DM -- How many SEC guys are in Bristol, Connecticut?
RD -- The guy who heads our research team for our studio shows is an Alabama grad, Brad Edwards. The guy who is with us on
Saturdays, Brett Edgerton, is a Tennessee grad. When you need experts on college football, you go for a couple of SEC men. Brad has been with us for years and is the best in the business. Brett joined our team last year. I call him "Smokey" because of he lives and dies with the Vols. There used to be a guy who worked here who wore a red jacket appropriated from Delta Airlines every time Georgia played.
Not sure what happened to him. :)
DM -- When you went to school at Alabama did you get a chance to go to Athens?
RD -- I've been between the hedges on many occasions. I worked in Columbus, Georgia for a few years. All of my trips, though, came after I had to put my allegiance on the back
burner and work in television. I may never forgive myself for passing on a trip to Athens with some friends my sophomore year of college. That was the Mike Shula to Al Bell TD drive to win the game for the Tide. I thought I couldn't afford the trip. What's a little debt to a college student?
DM -- You were in school after "The Bear" left, but did you get to meet Coach Bryant?
RD -- I met Coach Bryant briefly as a 10-year old. One of my pee wee coaches (we had spring football in pee wees back then) took us to the Alabama spring game. We saw Coach Bryant leaving. We ran down to get his autograph. He told us he didn't have time to sign for all of us, but that if we'd walk with him out of the stadium he'd be sure to shake all of our hands and talk to us on the way out. We clamored
around him... and all got to shake his hand.
DM -- Other favorite SEC towns?
RD -- Most are great. I'm not going to rank them. No need to aggravate anyone. But I will say my four favorite SEC towns (other than Tuscaloosa)in alphabetical order: Athens, Baton Rouge, Gainesville, Oxford.
DM -- What is the best game you went to as a student and as a member of the media?
RD -- As a student, it's a tie: 1986 Alabama-Notre Dame. That's "the sack"
game. Cornelius Bennett hit Steve Beuerlein so hard, knocked him out of the game... scared their backup QB so bad, he couldn't remember the snap count the next play and dropped the ball. Game was over after the sack. The other, the great Alabama-Auburn game in 1985. Great fourth quarter. Shula led a drive with less than a minute left and no timeouts. Van Tiffin's 52-yd FG at the gun won it 25-23. As a member of the media, I was at the Michigan-Colorado game in 1994. I was on the sideline for Kordell Stewart's
pass... and wound up sticking a microphone in Michael Westbrook's face while he was on the bottom of the pile. The Big House went dead silent. It was eerie.
DM -- On SportsCenter and College Gameday Final during the Georgia highlights I sometimes hear you immitate Larry Munson... do you have a favorite Munson call?
RD -- Anytime Larry really
starts rooting, I love it. It's great when he says, "and we knock him down behind the line." As great as the Belue to Scott call was, I think my favorites are the pleading to hunker down against Auburn. And his call of Herschel's first
run, "My God, he's a freshman." I was listening to that game in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
DM -- Do you immitate other announcers?
RD -- Every now and then we slip a few in there. But few are as distinguishable as Larry.
DM -- Speaking of Georgia, what are you thoughts about the Bulldogs this year?
RD -- I think they're going to win the SEC East. I love their RBs. I think
their D will be stingy... and I think their QB play will be good enough. When I say they'll win the SEC East... I'm predicting they'll lose
2 conference games and win the tiebreaker.
DM -- You work with Lou Holtz... what is he like?
RD -- He's great...a million stories...and great one liners. Comparing the euphoria of victory to your mother-in-law forgetting your address was classic. He's uncanny in his ability to get a read on what
a team needs to do to gain or change momentum in a game.
DM -- When you are in the studio, how many games do you watch on a given Saturday?
RD -- A gazillion. Basically, if it's on TV, we can see it. We have access to about 15 monitors at any given time. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday outside of actually going to ALL of those games.
DM -- Who came out with the helmet sticker segment?
RD -- Collaborative effort. I'll grab credit for spearheading it with our producer, Michael Diesenhof.
DM -- Would you rather go to the Super Bowl or the Iron Bowl when the SEC West is on the line?
RD -- Give me a break. No comparison. Sure the Super Bowl is a great event, but it's corporate and antiseptic. The Iron Bowl is pure, raw passion and emotion.
If there's actually a championship at stake, it's even better.
DM -- Thank you for your time and your insights on the SEC.