MOBILE, Ala. — Not everyone is here to see if a player is quick-twitch, a heavy-legged waist bender or displays good wiggle.
The Senior Bowl is actually a major fan event as well, and many of them just want to see their favorite college stars up close and personal.
With the padded portion of practices over, and most of the media, coaches and scouts gone, the fans take center stage.
One of the coolest things about this unique event is how close the fans can get to the players. Ladd-Peeblees Stadium is very intimate, with the stands pushed right up against the field, and the players tend to be friendly and seen in a good light so they are generally very accommodating of autograph seekers as they walk to the team bus after practice.
Then there is the matter of rooting interest. To be sure, most of the spectators here in Mobile are huge SEC football fans and do not be fooled: They want the South team to win.
While I was strolling the sidelines during South practice yesterday, I heard a telling exchange between a father and his young son. The son wanted to know if all of the players on the field (offense and defense were separated by white and red) were part of the South team. The father explained that yes they were, and the son did as mighty a fist pump a little boy can do and exclaimed: GO SOUTH!