ACC: Good Day Sunshine!

By - March 08, 2007


After stepping out of Tampa International Airport into the 75-and-temperate, palm-tree-lined Florida sunscape, I pulled the knit ski cap off my head for the first time in three weeks: The ACC tournament -- and my five-day respite from the consistenly lousy New York weather -- has arrived.

Arrived at the St. Pete Times Forum around two hours before first tip -- eighth-seeded Clemson and ninth-seeded Florida State get underway at Noon ET -- to see a couple hundred fans assembled outside the venue for the ACC FanFest, a free event organized by the conference, the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and the Times Forum featuring interactive games, face painting, food, drinks and (at the moment) a cover band doing a passable job channeling Coldplay.

Nothing says conference tournament season than the annual behind-the-scenes, semi-illusionary game of oneupmanship that the media swag seems to create. Smaller leagues might give out a business-card holder or a personal organizer as a hospitality gift at their press events or tournaments. A one-bid conference that shall remain nameless distributed a pen at its media day last October which looked pretty nice but had stopped working before I could even board the plane back to LaGuardia. But the BCS conferences spare no expense for showcase events like postseason tournaments -- and the ACC might have just set a new benchmark with this year's gift. What appears to be a run-of-the-mill zipper binder is actually an executive style "E-Organizer" which includes a 5" x 8" pad and a 1 GB flash drive. Huzzah!

The Tigers and 'Noles get underway in about 20 minutes so I'm going to negotiate my way to press row. Catch up in a few.

Posted by at 11:35 AM on March 08, 2007
Comments (1)

Comments

When I was at the Valley last week, we didn't get anything but four exciting days of basketball, but they have a great hospitality room for the media.

At the Big East, you don't even get directions to your seat and several media folks had trouble finding theirs yesterday, though I managed OK.

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