The Big Ten showed off a lot of confidence as they kick started their media days on Monday.
USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO — P.J. Fleck has not stopped rowing the boat. If his appearance at Big Ten media days is an indication, he is rowing even faster. Minnesota’s new coach led off Tuesday morning’s session with a highly caffeinated few minutes that might possibly have set a record for words spoken in a 15-minute interview.
Fleck wore the school colors in a gold plaid sports coat and matching maroon tie, pocket square, socks and pants. Oh, and also, he had a freshly shaved bald pate. Fleck said he lost a bet with his wife, but he wouldn’t tell what the bet was.
And he said so much more.
“Every head football coach in America is self-promoting at some point,” he said. “We’re all selling ourselves and showing what we’re like and recruiting our cultures and developing our cultures.”
He was referring specifically to the reality show, Being P.J. Fleck, which is set to air next month on ESPNU. But he spent the session — as he does every public appearance — pitching himself and the Minnesota football program. It’s a significant part, he said, of his job, he said, to “bring national exposure, national attention for the University of Minnesota.”
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Fleck, who left Western Michigan after a 13-1 season and a berth in the Cotton Bowl, brought his catchphrase with him to Minnesota (though wresting the trademark away from Western Michigan cost $50,000). He brought the energy, too.
While Fleck noted, “the honeymoon stage is coming to an end,” kickoff is still a few weeks away. On Tuesday, he was still in full talk mode, at 2X (the word count, by the way, was 2,903; for comparison, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer had 1,601 on Monday).
• About the reality show:
“I don’t know if this is going to be ‘the…