In this week’s edition of “Conversations with Clayton,” I shoot the breeze with Frank Fowler, the producer of SEC This Morning on Sirius XM SEC Radio, Channel 374.
Frank and I discuss just about everything imaginable: minor league baseball walk-up music, having bad seats at the Crosstown Shootout, and the handsomeness of Florida coach Dan Mullen. We even talk a little football.
Take a few deep breaths and take ten minutes to learn a little bit about Frank Fowler.
Clayton Trutor (CT): Who is the handsomest coach in the SEC?
Frank Fowler (FF): Tough call, but I’ll go with Dan Mullen. He’s always had a lot of swag and by the way, I also think he’s going to have a better first season in Gainesville than people expect.
CT: Who is your SEC sleeper in 2018?
FF: Mississippi State. If Nick Fitzgerald can make a full recovery, I think he’s a dark-horse Heisman candidate. His ability to make plays outside the pocket is so fun to watch and he’s also a good decision maker too. On the defensive side of the ball, Montez Sweat will once again be a force to be reckoned with. Not many offensive linemen can keep up with him in general, and when he beats them off the edge, it’s game over. He’s going to excel at the next level. People in Starkville are rightfully excited about Joe Moorhead. He’s set the bar high in his first year, and I truly believe if a few things fall their way, they can win the SEC West and compete for a conference championship in Atlanta.
CT: Other than Clemson, who is the most SEC non-SEC program?
FF: Florida State. I think their culture would be a nice fit and they obviously have enough talent to compete with the majority of the conference, especially since they would play in the SEC East.
CT: If you were a Double AA baseball player, which song would serve as your walk-up music?
FF: This one is a no-brainer for me. Right Above It by Lil Wayne & Drake. Every time I hear that first verse from Drake I immediately get in a zone and feel ready to conquer just about anything.
CT: What is your favorite book about sports?
FF: Yankee Years by Joe Torre. He has an incredible baseball mind, which is why I think it’s been great for the game to have someone like him work in the commissioner’s office. When you manage a franchise like the Yankees, there’s so much that comes with it, especially during the seasons when he had so many high profile players on his roster. He managed the club for 12 full seasons and took them to the playoffs every time. Think about how amazing that is. To win six American League pennants and four World Series championships he really had to think outside the box, which is where the book becomes fascinating because you get an in-depth look at all the different approaches he took to sustain success.
CT: Do you prefer live animal mascots or anthropomorphic ones?
FF: Live. I always think they do a better job of entertaining the crowd
CT: In what states are you the most and least qualified to live?
FF: I think I’m least qualified to live in Alaska because I wouldn’t do too hot in the cold ( see what I did there?). I’m probably most qualified to live where I’m at right now, which is Virginia. I specifically live in Arlington, so it’s about a 15-minute drive into Washington D.C. I love history, so being able to go see any monument or museum whenever I want is certainly pretty ideal.
CT: Describe the worst seats you’ve ever had at a sporting event.
FF: The 2012 Crosstown Shootout at U.S. Bank Arena. I understand why the game had to be played there, but it’s such a bad facility to watch a game. The seats aren’t comfortable, the concessions are way behind the times and the jumbotron is tough to read if you’re sitting in the upper deck. Thankfully, both schools won’t have to worry about playing big games there again, but I also think in general it needs to be upgraded because it’s not the greatest place to see a concert either.
CT: Describe your greatest sports video game victory.
FF: I think any time you can beat someone online that’s talking a ton of smack, it’s a huge victory. I was playing NBA 2K15 against this kid in California who started getting sort of nasty with the chatter during the game, and I just went off against him and dropped like 60 points with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. This was before they had Boogie too, so I was pretty proud of that victory to begin with, but obviously it just felt great to put that loser in his place, especially since he was playing with the Warriors.
CT: When you hear the word “Cincinnati,” you think ______
FF: Development. I don’t know many cities across the country that are putting a stronger emphasis on improving current infrastructure and building new destination spots. You look at how hard the city fought to bring a professional soccer team to the area. That’s beyond impressive. You really have to appreciate the leadership that’s in place right now in Cincinnati.
Follow Frank Fowler on Twitter: @FrankFowlerSEC
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