SEC Media Days was an awesome experience. It's also a little bit of a beating. A lot of alcohol is consumed at SEC Media Days, but only the best are able to sit down and share some bourbon with Stephen Garcia. The former Gamecock quarterback chatted with us about the Aggies, Coach Spurrier, Johnny Manziel, the CFB Playoff, the NCAA, and of course the best places to party in the SEC.
GBH: On a scale from 1 to Winning the SEC East, how thrilled are you to be talking to Good Bull Hunting.
SG: Extremely thrilled, this is awesome. Having some bourbon and talking football, this is perfect.
GBH: Before we get to the hard hitting questions we're known for, fill everyone in on what's been going on lately.
SG: Not a lot. I'm with the Tampa Bay Storm. It's an Arena League team. We have two more games left. I'm also with Saturday Down South, we're going to start that up and see how it plays out. It's an awesome company and I think it's going to work out well.
GBH: A&M is kicking off the season against South Carolina and there will be a lot of Aggies heading to Columbia for the first time. Where are the cool places to hang out.
SG: They're going to be shocked at how hot it is in Columbia. It's a small little town. I would tell them to probably stay out of Five Points. But The Vista has some nice places. It depends on how nasty you feel like getting. If they want to get nasty with it they need to go to Five Points. The Village Idiot is probably the best bar in Five Points.
GBH: We've heard how Coach Spurrier is in a press conference. Is that him on a day to day basis?
SG: Absolutely. That's who he is, that's what he is. He calls it like he sees it and isn't going to sugarcoat anything. He's just that quirky in real life.
GBH: Any thoughts on him saying you look like the Ducky Dynasty guys these days?
SG: Well I'm actually trying to set something up with those guys, so maybe I'm just getting into character. None of those guys have ugly wives, so it must be alright.
GBH: What do you think Johnny Manziel's chances are in the NFL?
SG: I think they're great. I'm a huge Johnny Football fan. I like his moxie and respect what he's done. I've been telling people the SEC is as close as you can get to simulating the NFL. The way he thrashed everyone in college, I think that will translate pretty well for him in the NFL. But if he takes a few of those hits, it may hurt him a little bit.
GBH: A night on the town with Johnny Manziel and Stephen Garcia. Best night out ever, or greatest night out ever.
SG: That could be dangerous.
GBH: So if you two were roommates at a Manning Pass Academy, who's fault would it be for not waking up in time?
SG: Peyton Manning for not waking us up.
GBH: Who do you have coming out of the SEC East?
SG: I think it's South Carolina or Georgia, and it sucks that they play so early in the season. It's always been like that. That game decides your season right out the gate.
GBH: Having played on the field, how do you feel about the playoff, and is 4 teams the right number?
SG: I think 4 might be a little low, but if I was a lineman I'd probably hate playing that many more games. I got hit several times and it's a very long season. I don't think 4 is the right number, but I don't know if they'll ever change it.
GBH: Having played at different levels after college, what's it like playing with and against guys that played in conferences other than the SEC?
SG: It's night and day. Obviously there are plenty of athletes that come from these other conferences, but for the most part nobody compares to guys from the SEC.
SG: Speaking of the SEC and A&M, that's going to be huge for them in recruiting. They're going to seal up the state of Texas.
GBH: We're all witnessing a change in offensive production in the SEC. Do you think there's anything in particular that explains that?
SG: Yeah, the defense isn't allowed to hit anyone without getting a flag or getting ejected. I'm a freaking quarterback and I think they need to let them hit 'em. The game is changing towards more of a hurry-up system. It's more exciting, but I like to see more of the traditional stuff as well.
GBH: As a former player, what are your thoughts on all the NCAA legislation and players getting more than just total cost of attendance?
SG: I think they absolutely deserve it. Look at how much money Manziel brought in for A&M. Why can't you pay the players again? Coach Spurrier is a huge proponent of paying players and he's said he would pay them out of his check if he could. I always told him that would be nice. I need to find out about back-time. It's literally a full time job, then you have to go to class, write speeches, do group projects. I don't know how I survived it. I hung on by a thread for a while.
GBH: Did you ever play with yourself in NCAA Football?
SG: Did you just ask me if I ever play with myself? You said this interview was going to get weird. But no, I'm not a huge sports video game player. I'm more Call of Duty and Call of Duty only. No Battlefield, I tried but I'm too loyal to Call of Duty. What's the deal with the NCAA and all that? Are the players getting paid for it? I'll say it on the record. I think the NCAA is a scam. They are making so much money. Who are they to say you can't pay your players.
GBH: It's been a couple seasons now, do you feel like A&M has earned their SEC stripes?
SG: Absolutely. They beat Alabama and almost beat them a second time. They absolutely belong.
GBH: Out of the SEC stadiums, which one is your favorite?
SG: I like Tennessee's a lot. They have a nice set up. A lot of old guys with too much money on their boats right there on the river. (GBH said Knoxville is an underrated college town.) Nashville is underrated. Nashville was, oh my God. I don't know what women in College Station look like, but Nashville was unreal. I wasn't a huge fan of Gainesville. Ole Miss was a good time, Ole Miss was a really good time. Athens in Georgia is probably the best party scene.
GBH: Anything else before we go?