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SEC Media Days 2023: What if head coaches grew out their hair?

The annual summer event is here and what better time to traffic in delusion.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JUL 18 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days

The blockbuster event of the summer that doesn’t rival Oppenheimer, Mission Impossible: The Next Mission Impossible, Barbie, a long lake house weekend, a three-day staycation, or any extracurricular activity is finally upon us.

The 2023 version of SEC Media Days starts today, with coaches, players, and the assembled masses filtering in and out of Nashville through Thursday. This year’s event marks the first time for Nashville to play host, and the third time it is not being held in Birmingham, much to the dismay of Sbarro in the Galleria addicts.

Things get underway with appearances from Brian Kelly, Eli Drinkwitz, and Jimbo Fisher, which promises to be mostly uneventful. Well, that is until Jimbo gets asked a fourth question about Bobby Petrino and calling plays. He’s not mad about the question! Don’t put it in the newspaper that he got mad about the question!

The remaining schedule looks like this:


  • Hugh Freeze
  • Kirby Smart
  • Zach Arnett
  • Clark Lea*

*Totally getting screwed on mileage and per diem pay


  • Nick Saban
  • Sam Pittman
  • Billy Napier
  • Mark Stoops


  • Lane Kiffin
  • Shane Beamer
  • Josh Heupel*

*Has promised not to throw the golf balls and mustard bottles Tennessee fans gave him to hurl at Lane Kiffin

More important than any of that, last Friday, a great American named Brooks Carter gifted the world a scenario in which we could see what all SEC head coaches* would look like if they cut the brakes on life and let the locks flow.


*Steve Sarkisian and Brent Venables were included because they are SEC adjacent for now.

Odds any of them show up in Nashville looking like this are not great, but we can dare to dream. We can also thank Mr. Carter, an American hero, for giving us the most precious gift of all: middle-of-July content.

Should any of these coaches show up looking like this, we’ve compiled four descriptions of whom or what they look like for talking points, if needed, over each of the four days in Nashville. So, starting top left and moving clockwise, let’s lay it out.

Nick Saban

  • A 79-year old retired Nick Saban who hustles people 45 years younger than he is on the pickleball court
  • A 79-year old retired Nick Saban coaching his grandson’s Pop Warner team, frustrated that they can’t pick up the intricacies of trap coverage
  • A 79-year old retired Nick Saban who sells Jimmy Buffet merchandise on eBay
  • 79-year old Nick Saban coaching Alabama in the Gasparilla Bowl

Kirby Smart

  • 1980s college movie villain who wears a Members Only jacket in every scene
  • Movie theater manager in a 1980s movie who makes life hell for his high school employees
  • Second baseman for the 1985 California Angels
  • Founder and owner of the Kirby Smart Paper Company

Shane Beamer

  • Mid-1990s WCW wrestler who is part of a tag team duo called The Cocky Boys
  • Original guitarist in John Tesh’s band
  • American Gladiators contestant who finished third in the tournament of champions
  • Silver medalist in men’s figure skating at the ‘94 Lillehammer Winter Olympics

Lane Kiffin

  • UCLA head coach Lane Kiffin
  • UTEP head coach Lane Kiffin
  • UT-San Antonio head coach Lane Kiffin
  • Coastal Carolina head coach Lane Kiffin

Hugh Freeze

  • One half of Florida Georgia Line (with Zach Arnett) when they eventually move into the Oklahoma casino circuit part of their careers
  • A man named Frugh Heeze who visits Tampa area massage parlors
  • Backup guitarist in The Righteous Gemstones church band
  • Discount Keith Urban

Mark Stoops

  • Iowa wrestling coach
  • Iowa State wrestling coach
  • Minnesota wrestling coach
  • Minnesota State wrestling coach

Sam Pittman

  • Neighbor who shows up to your summer cookouts and drinks 14 Rolling Rocks, which he brought, before passing out on back porch/lawn furniture
  • Regular at a beach town dive bar
  • Owns a pair of flip flops so molded to his feet that there is an audible sound when they separate from his skin
  • Plays golf from the tips and could just as easily shoot a 102 as he could a 72

Zach Arnett

  • The other half of Florida Georgia Line (with Hugh Freeze) when they eventually move into the Oklahoma casino circuit part of their careers
  • Lead guitarist in The Righteous Gemstones church band
  • Frontman for a Whiskey Myers cover band called Broken Window Serenaders
  • Giving a commercial testimonial about a church that is “not like other churches”

Brent Venables

  • Non-denominational pastor who has at least 12 ATVs at his 3,000 acre hunting camp
  • Defenseman for the 1990 Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Has been asked to leave multiple casinos
  • Attorney General for the state of Texas in 1987

Steve Sarkisian

  • Frontman for a Creed cover band called Takin’ You Higher
  • Lorenzo Lamas’ stuntman in Renegade
  • Only shoes he owns are Crocs
  • Former big wave surfer who runs a surf shop on Maui

Clark Lea

  • UCLA coach Lane Kiffin impersonator
  • Dad who needs a haircut but kids and shit
  • 1990s dad who needs to talk to his kid’s YMCA basketball coach about playing time
  • Weakside linebacker in All The Right Moves

Eli Drinkwitz

  • An extra in The Big Short
  • A CPA serving 15 years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients
  • Attorney for George Santos
  • Director of a museum for really creepy things

Jimbo Fisher

  • Leader of a religious survivalist group who quotes things from the book of Revelation that he doesn’t understand
  • Someone who died in Season 2 of Deadwood
  • Someone who betrays you in Red Dead Redemption
  • Someone who has spreadsheets related to the weekly scratch-off tickets they buy

Billy Napier

  • Billy Napier after the 2023 season
  • Billy Napier taking his buyout after the 2023 season and spending the spring and summer of 2024 in Montana
  • Billy Napier taking his buyout after the 2023 season and putting all his effort into local theater
  • Billy Napier taking his buyout after the 2023 season and following the 2024 Tour de France from stage to stage

Brian Kelly

  • Crypt keeper
  • Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II
  • FIFA executive who recently had his apartment in Monaco seized
  • Disgraced Swedish Minister for Public Administration

BONUS: Die Hard henchman Karl Vreski

Josh Heupel

  • Former Widespread roadie
  • Following a court order, no longer allowed to sell grilled cheese sandwiches outside of Widespread shows
  • Eyewitness who tells a local TV reporter that “the explosion woke me up around 2:15 this afternoon”
  • Ole Miss SAE faculty advisor