Count on football Media Days to involve at least two things, heat and lines.
The artificial turf at First Security Field at Estes Stadium was the foundation of a convection oven as University of Central Arkansas players, coaches and suncreen-wearing media gathered for the usual formalities Thursday.
Some clouds were forming in the distance that generated some wind, certainly the biggest source of hot air on this day.
"Any wind is good, doesn’t matter if it’s hot," said UCA coach Clint Conque, calling for a visor.
Then, came the lines as players assembled for the obligatory team photo, individual photos and position photos.
Before the players lined up, a gust of wind blew down a tall stepladder used for the photos — twice.
Fortunately, there was no person or camera equipment in range.
Players and coaches lined up in orderly fashion for the team photos as if they’ve been there before. Most had.
"Take out your nose ring, Dave," Conque called out. jokingly, to Dave Strickland, the major athletic trainer for the football team.
Smiles alternated with tough guy looks and game phases.
After almost two weeks of practice, the players could react quickly to the photographer’s, "one, two, three," cadence. "Hut, hut, snap."
Then, came the media interviews. And one of the timeless, most basic Media Day questions, "Now, who are you?"
During one TV interview, UCA’s Dominque Brown talked of his dancing ability.
As the camera rolled, he got down to the laughter of his teammates.
"It’s be on at 10:45, right?" he asked the reporter. "I’ll be home."
Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org