Alabama fans flock to SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala.  - Usually only a modest amount of fans camp out at the Hyatt Regency lobby for SEC Media Days, but it's a whole different story when the Crimson Tide rolls in.

By definition, SEC Media Days is not necessarily a fan event, but the Southeastern Conference makes accommodations for those itching to see their favorite players.

Many of these fans had to gather at the Hyatt Regency lobby, just after the run rose Wednesday morning, to claim their spot within the roped off section.

“It was crazy," says Greg Skipworth, an Alabama fan from Athens.

As a teacher, Greg is typically the one collecting phones from the "selfie generation," but this week he joined them, snapping pictures with everyone from Alabama's Bradley Bozeman to the SEC Commissioner.

"It’s a good way to meet people that you can’t always do like at an A Day game when there’s 80,000 people there," says Skipworth.

Ironically, a young fan from Huntsville had no interest in snapping pics.

“I’m a collector, I collect autographs, pretty much anything Alabama," says Bradlee Helton, a student at Madison County High School.

Beyond nabbing new collectables for this wall, Bradlee enjoys just talking to his idols.

“They love talking about football and everything that’s going on so it’s fun to hang out and talk to them and see what they think the season’s going to be like," says Helton.

Like football, there's a method to the madness - strategy plays a big role.

“Hopefully you’re at the right place at the right time," says Skipworth. “I usually get here at 9 o’clock, and this morning I got here at 7 o'clock and it was already busy. The air was electric.”

Skipworth was told by SEC Media Day veterans to move towards the back, because that's where Coach Nick Saban talks to radio hosts.

“It was like watching a bunch of teenage girls at a Justin Beiber concert," joked Skipworth.

Sure, the autographs and pictures are tangible things these fans can hold on to for a lifetime, but there's no way they can capture the excitement of fans heading into another season, ripe with the promise of the postseason.

“If Alabama plays to its potential like they have, then they’re unbeatable," he says.

While history shows us, Alabama fans always are the most represented in Hoover , but Thursday is Auburn's chance to show they're popular in this state too.

If you plan on making the trip, take a lesson from Alabama fans - you've got to get there early to get the best spot.