HOOVER, AL (WSFA) - There is a reason why Mark Sharp showed up so early Monday morning at the Winfrey Hotel in Hoover. One, he's never been to SEC Media Days before, and second, today was his birthday. Sharp turned 44 Monday, and his wife surprised him with a trip to the sports event.
"She asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday. I said, 'Well, I could go to work and I could do something exciting so I chose to come here instead of going to work," Sharp explained.
Pretty soon Sharp was joined by Jerry Alverson of Pell City, Alabama. Alverson, an Auburn fan since 1949, started coming to SEC Media Days 10 years ago.
"Every year it gets more exciting," Alverson admits. "It's something different every year!"
Just for today people like Alverson and Sharp forgot about the depressing headlines around the world and soaked up the electric atmosphere of what's become the only game in town every summer in Hoover.
Down Radio Row inside the hotel pundits and ex-players gave analysis about the upcoming season.
"Alabama is a dangerous team from top to bottom, but they do have a question mark at quarterback," said one player.
Perhaps the most poignant moment we came across was the story of Kathy Frawley who made a dream come true for her son.
"He is 33 but has the heart of an 8-year old," Frawley said. "He has a condition, and we're not sure what the life expectancy is. I wanted to make him happy and make a memory."
Head coaches for Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt started it off Monday. The SEC Media Days 2015 party is well underway.