CHICAGO – Everything is massive at the 2010 Big Ten Conference football media days, which kicked off Monday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. Ohio State football is represented by head coach Jim Tressel and seniors Bryant Browning, Cameron Heyward and Dane Sanzenbacher. Director of Athletics Gene Smith, the Athletics Development team and a few additional administrators are also on hand.

The McCormick Place, located near Lake Michigan, truly has to be one of the largest convention facilities in the United States. It’s massive. The interview sessions for the coaches and student-athletes include separate areas for main stage interviews, Big Ten Network, ESPN GameDay, CBS Sports and Sirius/XM satellite radio to name a few of the national media outlets. Segways would be helpful, especially tomorrow when most of the action shifts to the McCormick Place convention center. Here’s more massive:

  • The mascot-like heads of iconic figures roaming around the facility promoting the new Big Ten Network show “Big Ten Icons Top 50” could be considered massive. Look-a-like heads of Jesse Owens, Kevin McHale, Kendall Gill and Ki Jana Carter have been seen in Chicago and BTN fans will be able to see features on them and more starting this fall. “Icons” will count down the Top 50 iconic athletes in the Big Ten during the series’ run.
  • Over 400 credentialed media are on hand, a rather massive number that includes 15-to-20 media who regularly follow the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This is one of the larger media turnouts in several years, according to one Big Ten representative.
  • The sandwiches in the box lunches for the media on Monday have massive amounts of meat; tasty turkey, ham or roast beef. The sandwiches are topped with lettuce, tomato and onions inside of a large, soft and flavorful roll.
  • The neck of Iowa’s Adrian Clayborne; it is massive, too. So is his beard and dreadlocks.


Media Guides  No massive numbers of tangible, hard copy media guides at Big Ten Media Days. Five schools had printed versions in Chicago – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State.

Dressed for Success  The Buckeyes dress up nicely. Dane Sanzenbacher wore a gray, three-piece pinstriped suit with a gray tie. Bryant Browning also went with a suit; a solid black suit with white shirt and black print tie. Cameron Heyward opted for black pants and a black, v-neck sweater over a white shirt with a gold tie. Coach Jim Tressel wore a dark gray sports coat with gray pants, white shirt and paisley-like gray-on-white tie.   

What Does Saturday Smell Like?  With so many media members asking so many questions, Ohio State’s players had to handle the odd as well as the routine. For example:

“What does Saturday smell like?” Cameron Heyward was on the receiving end of this odd one. His response: “Hopefully it smells like victory. For most people, though, it just smells like any other day.”

Dane Sanzenbacher was asked if there was an all-time record for number of Buckeye leave stickers on a helmet. “I don’t know about that but guys like Cameron Heyward, who have one of the larger helmets, are obviously going to have a lot more room for stickers than guys with smaller helmets,” he said.

Who would play you in the Bryant Browning story on the main screen? “Oh, probably the same guy who played the lead role in the movie ‘The Blind Side,'” Bryant Browning said.

Home Team Advantage  While Ohio State’s players had yet to start their interview sessions, Northwestern’s guys had already completed their Monday media responsibilities. The two groups of players dined next to each other in the VIP area – green bean salad, chicken, rolls and a yogurt-like fruit cup – and then the Buckeyes went to the ESPN GameDay area while the Wildcats headed back to Evanston to get in an afternoon workout.

Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim!  With hundreds of media in the main “stage” area where each of the head coaches had 15 minutes of solo dais time, Dispatch beat reporter Tim May hustled his way into asking the first question of Coach Jim Tressel.