July 27, 2009 - by
Live Blog: 2009 ACC Football Kickoff

July 27, 2009


ACC Football Kickoff Photo Gallery

Blog Entry 7 – updated Monday, July 27th, 6:05pm

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

We have nearly completed the coaches interviews with just Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney left to go.

Head Coach Bobby Bowden just finished his session and as always, he was the absolute hit of the afternoon with his humor and honesty in his interviews. It was truly a joy to hear his thoughts about this season and how much confidence he has in Christian Ponder and the offensive line led by Rodney Hudson. He also mentioned that Dekoda Watson should be the fastest linebacker in the ACC and should be a fun player to watch in 2009.

After Dabo Swinney’s interview, it’s back on a plane to Tallahassee as the Seminoles have a conditioning practice tomorrow afternoon.

And I also caught up with Dekoda Watson before he left Greensboro, and apparently he can hit a golf ball 250 yards with a pitching wedge…the jury is still out on that one though.

I’ll be back later on tonight with final thoughts from the 2009 ACC Media Kickoff. Stay tuned right here on Seminoles.com.

Blog Entry 6 – updated Monday, July 27th, 4:05pm

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

As the head coaches prepare to start their afternoon media session, the ACC announced Florida State as the predicted Atlantic Division winner as voted on by the ACC media for the 2009 football season.

The coaches interviews are fully underway as Jim Grobe, David Cutcliffe, Paul Johnson, and Butch Davis have all spoken to the media. And one thing has remained constant. Every coach has immense respect for Bobby Bowden and Florida State. They all have spoken very highly of the program.

And even how good the ACC is going to be this season. Stay tuned for much more from Greensboro as Frank Beamer and Ralph Friedgen are up next. Its another day full of ACC football.

Blog Entry 5 – updated Monday, July 27th, 2:14pm

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

I caught up with Christian Ponder who had a good morning on the links.  His group shot a 65 which was six shots off the leaders who shot a 59.

Blog Entry 4 – updated Monday, July 27th, 12:28pm

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

The second half of the 2009 ACC Media Kickoff gets underway in just a few hours, as every one of the head coaches have assembled downstairs in the Grandover Lobby.  Head Coach Bobby Bowden is currently doing some radio interviews for the upcoming season, and he will have his four-hour session with the media later this afternoon.

Most of the players have either left Greensboro or are still on the golf course.  We still have not heard the latest from Christian Ponder on the golf course, but knowing him, I’m sure he has pulled out quite a few Tiger-esque shots out there on the East Golf Course. We’ll hear much more from him later on in the day, but for now, the spotlight belongs to the 12 ACC coaches. 

Stay tuned for much more this afternoon, as we’ll have updates from each of the interview sessions with coaches like Paul Johnson, Butch Davis, Randy Shannon, and our very own Bobby Bowden as the afternoon progresses.

Blog Entry 3 – updated Sunday, July 26th, 11:00pm

By Christian Ponder, Seminoles.com

My first ACC Kickoff Weekend was a great experience.  It was long day of interviews that was very repetitive at times.  I think a lot of guys go into the interviews pretty intimidated, dreading having to speak more in 4 hours than they have their entire life.  Dekoda and I took a different approach to it and just tried to have fun.  There were a few jokes, a lot of laughs, but we had fun and represented well.  It was great to meet the other players and build relationships with them.  Again, there were a lot of laughs and it was cool to see how much we had in common.  

There was a little competition tonight with an NCAA 2010 football tournament on the PS3 with the highlight match of Florida State vs. Miami.  It didn’t turn out too well.  I haven’t played NCAA in years, as Dekoda and I are both hooked on Call of Duty.  We didn’t have high hopes going into it and I guess it was a self-fulfilled prophecy as the game ended at half time after the mercy rule kicked in…34-7.  Not very pretty but I don’t think that is a good reflection of what the real score is going to be on September 7th.  We are all excited as football season is right around the corner and we will be able to settle the real game on the field in several weeks.  

Tomorrow is the big golf tournament.  I am looking forward to it as I can make up from the Shawn Powell debacle and make a few putts.  Then it will be back to Tallahassee for some final preparation before camp starts.  



Blog Entry 2- Live from ACC Kickoff- 10:00 p.m.

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

Everyone has finally arrived to take part in the 2009 ACC Football Kickoff, as every head coach, famous broadcaster, and even the legendary voice of the Seminoles has made his way to Greensboro.  It is quite the sight to behold to see coaches like Frank Beamer and Dabo Swinney talk with Todd Blackledge and Gene Deckerhoff. It is a meeting ground of media, coaches, and administrators alike who are here to kick off another ACC football season.

After an afternoon full of interviews, it finally came time to kick back, relax, and enjoy a dinner put on by the ACC.  And yes, it definitely helped that the conference chose to stick with the barbeque theme again. 

Instead of placing each player from the same together at the same table, the ACC chose to split up each player and encouraged everyone in attendance to sit with a player whom they had never met before.  That was definitely a great idea, as we got to have a great conversation with Wake Forest defensive tackle John Russell over some biscuits, baked beans, and some fall-off-the-bone tender ribs.  And we even got to discuss that all-important Florida State vs. Wake Forest game in mid-November!

As you can imagine, both Christian Ponder and Dekoda Watson’s tables were full within minutes, and those people were treated to great conversations with both student-athletes.  Rumor has it that Miami offensive tackle Jason Fox and cornerback Randy Phillips challenged Ponder and Watson to a round of NCAA Football 2010 on the PlayStation, so more to come on that in tomorrow’s post. 

Towards the end of the dinner, ACC Commissioner John Swofford gave a great speech and previewed the upcoming golf tournament in the morning here at Grandover.  And you can count on Christian Ponder being out there to represent the Seminoles well.  He has a 7:30 a.m. tee time and will be paired with some other great golfers from other schools and the media as well. 

Tomorrow afternoon, the head coaches will address the media in another four-hour session here at Grandover.  Head Coach Bobby Bowden will be attendance and will wrap up the 2009 ACC Media Kickoff.

Blog Entry 1 – Live from ACC Media Kickoff – 12:15 p.m.

By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com

Welcome to Greensboro!  It’s hard to believe that the 2009 football season is now just a month and a half away, and what better way to start things off than with ACC Media Kickoff from the Grandover Resort. 

The Atlantic Coast Conference has put on yet another first-class event that every media member and athletics administrator looks forward to year after year.  It’s a who’s-who of the Atlantic Coast Conference, as Christian Ponder and Dekoda Watson are here to represent Florida State and have been joined by other ACC student-athletes like player of the year Jonathan Dwyer, C.J. Spiller, and Riley Skinner just to name a few.  But Christian and Dekoda have been the hit of the conference so far. 

After a few laughs and some great North Carolina barbeque for lunch, the two Florida State student-athletes posed for pictures and the other 11 ACC teams and ACC Commissioner John Swofford overlooking the Grandover East Golf Course.  Always the comedian, Watson did some interviews with Clemson running back C.J. Spiller and joked around the majority of the 22 other football players before heading inside to an interview session from 2:30-6:30 to talk with more than 100 members of the media.   

In other words, Ponder and Watson talked–and talked–and talked about anything and everything Florida State football for four hours.  After talking to a few media personalities here in Greensboro, I can assure you that Dekoda Watson was the highlight of the afternoon during their intense media session.  From his mock interview with a poster of C.J. Spiller, to his jokes about twitter, he truly represented Florida State University well to both national and local media. 

On the journey from Tallahassee to Greensboro, we learned a few interesting facts about our beloved Seminole football players.  First, Dekoda Watson’s favorite TV station is Cartoon Network, and he enjoys Spongebob Squarepants more so than any other show.  Second, both Ponder and Watson forgot their cell phone chargers and are likely to run out of battery power within the next few hours.  And finally, an hour spent inside the airport waiting for a rental car can produce more belly aching laughter than one human being can stomach in a single day. 

Wasting little time getting down to important matters, Ponder decided to take out his golf clubs at baggage claim inside the Greensboro airport and show us his golf swing.  Not to be outdone, Watson wanted to make sure we knew he had potential on the links by demonstrating his 3-day old swing that was eerily reminiscent of Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore.  Watson’s arms absolutely dwarf Ponder’s golf clubs, and seeing him set up to swing the club is more than anyone could handle without bursting into uncontrollable laughter.  To give some perspective, Ponder has been showing Watson how to hold a club in between weight lifting sessions at the Moore Athletic Center.  One can only hope to be a fly on the wall during those sessions. 

After pulling up outside the Grandover Resort, Watson was still feeling the itch to hit the links, and as he sees two golfers walking by, the senior linebacker points at them and shouts, “Oh, we’ll be seeing y’all later out there…mark it down!”  Little did he know that one of the two men was current North Carolina head football coach and former Miami head coach Butch Davis.  Coach Davis definitely got a chuckle out of the situation as well. 

That’s it for now.  I’ll be back later with updates from their interview sessions as well as the plans for tomorrow when head coach Bobby Bowden arrives.  Stay tuned!

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