Off The Hook - Texas Longhorns® Vmag

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Celebrity Has It's Challenges...

Imagine hundreds of people writing down every word that comes out of your mouth - intentional and unintentional. They’re all covering Texas football.

Imagine being bone-weary then immediately having to summon focus and clarity of thought for 20 minutes of intense, probing questions.

Imagine just wanting to get the heck out and celebrate but first, your every thought and word will be sliced and diced and served up to millions of adoring fans and rabid critics.

I’m talking about dealing with the media! The hype before the season was intense enough. Now with each win, the media spotlight promises to only get brighter. So the Vmag Insider decided it was time to give fans an inkling of the reality. (Click player above to view video.)

“Embrace the expectations of Texas.” That was Mack’s immediate response when I asked him, “How do you deal with the program’s enormous and ever present media scrutiny?”

Interacting with the media is so fundamental to being a member of the Texas football program that they provide annual media training for its student-athletes. After all, football players turn out to be the most prominent face and voice of the university for millions. And while they’re only talking about football, playing for UT has become the platform to sell themselves, their passions and the program worldwide. As longtime UT football spokesman Bill Little pointed out to me, Mack does more interviews on a given week than anyone in the country (including maybe even the President of the United States).

He says his nature is to cut up but he learned early on in Austin that’s not an option. In fact, his friends now complain, "You don’t smile enough…you don’t cut up as much as you used to.” His response: “I’m representing Texas and if that means giving up some of my individuality, then so be it. Texas is bigger than me.” Mack must have heard Thomas Jefferson's quote, “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself a public property.”

In the latest Vmag issue, Mack candidly talks about how he and the team deal with the media, day in and day out. And you’ll hear directly from the mouths of elite national sports journalists; What do they really expect from Longhorns players and coaches?

According to Mack, fair is unimportant when it comes to how Texas is portrayed in the media. Perception is important because the public’s perception of Texas is very real! Which is why the Longhorns Sports Information professionals are among the very best in the country and are guaranteed to play a vital role at the University of Texas Athletic Department until the last bevo is in the barn.

Check back here next week for the Longhorns’ Vmag Insider vlog (video blog) for a glimpse of what goes on in the defensive backs and offensive line position meetings and the essentials to prepare for the big games ahead.