- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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We all know how much of a grind college football can be -- especially in the SEC.
It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, so coaches never really get to unwind. Sure, there's golf during the offseason, but when does a coach not have football on his brain?
Well, ESPN's Playbook looked to take a little stress off of all 14 SEC coaches with some questions that are more on the fun side. This week, Playbook will bring the Playbook SEC Coaches' Questionnaire in order to show you a different side of coaches. It's fun and different and it starts with one of my favorite subjects: food.
The first question: What's the weirdest thing a family has ever served you on a recruiting visit? Is there anything that you've just had to power through?
Offending family food can be a death sentence on the recruiting trail, so coaches have to be smart about how they approach those in-home meals. South Carolina's Steve Spurrier is all about portion control. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to eat much. Good move, coach.
Tennessee's Derek Dooley said he isn't a picky eater, so he has no problem sitting down for a nice home-cooked meal.
"I absolutely love eating. There's never been a meal that I haven't enjoyed. And I especially enjoy when you get into some local cuisine. Probably my favorite part of recruiting south Louisiana is going down there and getting a good authentic Cajun meal. What I enjoy the most about those are the coaches who come with me, who have to, as you say, power through it. I purposely go back and get seconds and thirds, so they have to keep up. I haven't had a meal I haven't liked yet."
Vanderbilt's James Franklin had to be very careful with how he approached one southern delicacy.
"I am not a picky eater. Never have been. I'm very thankful for whatever's put in front of me. The two things that I struggle with are liver and chitlins [a soul food in the South -- pig intestines -- also known as chitterlings]. I will try liver and chitlins, but I still don't like 'em. And I'll try them every year. But no, they're not me. ... But I'm gonna eat it. Whatever you put in front of me, I'm gonna eat it."
And LSU's Les Miles had to politely scarf down some cow tongue.
"I had cow tongue. It was a dessert, and it was in Louisiana. It was pickled. And it looked just like a cow tongue. In fact, it was cow tongue and cow lips, for that matter. Everybody took a little sliver. Kind of chopped it up good. And... it tasted pretty good. It really wasn't all that bad. It was kind of a little briny. But, you know, I kind of enjoyed it. How wonderful it is that you're in their home, and somebody wants to be hospitable to you. Why wouldn't you want to be a good visitor?"
There are some pretty good responses from the other coaches, so I recommend you check the piece out.
We all know how much of a grind college football can be -- especially in the SEC.It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, so coaches never really get to unwind.