Behind the Scenes of Oklahoma State’s Media Day
Every year, the media gets a chance to get re-acquainted with Oklahoma State football. It’s media day. On Saturday, upwards of 40 players answered questions, took pictures, and helped out with every request as part of the kick off to the season. And putting it all together is the Media Relations staff. At the top is Kevin Klintworth, in charge of making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible…I followed him around, or tried to. Kevin really doesn’t stand still…
So we’ll start out in here at 4:40. This room, yeah. Coach Gundy in here, players in the practice gym later.
The first step…find head coach Mike Gundy…
Graham, you haven’t seen Mike have you?
Make sure he’s not in here, yeah, no.
Then Kevin opens a door leading to Boone Pickens Stadium and spots him.
Told ya. Everytime.
The search in the gym, through Heritage Hall, a couple different lobbies in Gallagher Iba, all for this…
Well we meet again, I don’t really have much of an opening statement other than we’ve had a couple good workouts…
But it’s just one small part of media day. Kevin got to the office at 7:30 for practice. Then a quick break to get changed at home, got back around 2 or so. And once things got started up again, a lot to keep track of…
Where are the players going to be?
In the practice gym, right around the corner there.
You guys know what you’re doing here with the credentials? I think three of you should be able to handle that.
Well he’s the only one we got right now. Just give us a few minutes. Oh, we got more coming?
In this Olympics season, Kevin and other media relations directors are like gymnast Gabby Douglas – they’ve got to keep their balance. On the one hand, they cash checks from Oklahoma State University. But they’re paid to help the media do their jobs too.
The first concern of the day are really the student athletes because they practice in the morning, they have lunch, they have meetings, they have fan day, which goes from 2 to 4. A lot of autographs, a lot of being on, being nice, they may be a little sore, a little tired.
We have some student athletes who have to be in a lot of places within minutes. For instance, we take pictures in the media guide for maybe everybody from Houston, that’s a group shot. Then we take shots of the freshman with Coach Gundy, individual. We take shots of the mug shot that we’ll use in the game program, and the mug shot that we’ll send to ESPN or CBS or ABC.
And planning is a big part of that. With forty student athletes available on Saturday, and at least as many media members, there’s about fifteen juggling sticks in the air at a time…
Year one or year two, I probably spent half a day, planning it out, as far as in my mind walking through the day. But the last couple years, we’ve really had this blueprint that we follow and it’s more about penciling in names.
The players all set up at tables in Oklahoma State’s smaller practice basketball gym. A couple to a table, lining the walls. You see groups of media gathering every few, maybe a one on one here, a group of 10 over there. And for every minute players go without talking to someone, they get restless…
Just hang in a little bit, people will work the room. We’ll get you out as soon as we can, but don’t go yet. I know you’ve got a lot of media, we’ll remember as we get going. We won’t pester you.
As it would be expected, there were some wrinkles. While some guys were wrangling to get set free from Media Day, others hadn’t even arrived….
As soon as they get their group photo. Apparently it was so hot outside some of their bulbs were bursting, photographer’s literally. As so once they get their team, their group photo, they’ll be in.
One of those things that we talked about earlier that you don’t count on. That’s one of them.
As the players trickled out, 6′ 4″, 305 pound offensive lineman Jonathan Rush came over to the considerably smaller Kevin and literally took him under his shoulder…
Kevin right here, he’s a stud. Probably the best in the business. I’ve been really blessed to have him show me the ropes in media relations and I think he’s a great guy, great Cowboy, great human being.
Around 6:30, the gym had practically emptied. Kevin could actually sit down, and the day had come to an end.