The great thing about having the CAA title game on the Monday of championship week is your school gets days and days of media coverage and national attention, before the major conferences take over.
“Your name comes up ad nauseam on ESPN,” James Madison Coach Matt Brady told me on Thursday. “That’s great for the program and the university.”
Of course, this also means you are dealing with 72 hours of media requests, texts from friends, e-mails from alumni and phone calls from people in the industry, who don’t yet have empty brackets and travel plans to distract them.
In the George Mason years, Jim Larranaga used to talk about how you had to answer every message, agree to every interview and enjoy the moment to the fullest, and Brady seems to be embracing a similar approach.
Which is why he’s now slept a combined seven hours over the past three nights.
“I’m up two-and-a-half to three hours longer doing e-mail, because it’s the right thing to do, but it does take a toll on you,” Brady said. “I’m fine — I’m getting 3 or 4 hours now. The first night I didn’t sleep at all. My wife and I stayed up and we talked, texting back and forth with friends, because I knew what the next day would bring. I recognized that I was gonna be under an avalanche. My wife eventually fell asleep; I stayed up and did e-mail and texts until the kids got up around 6:30, and then I came right to the office. Tuesday I got three hours; last night was the longest I’ve slept, which was four hours.”
A friend and fellow media member asked me to ask Brady about any displays of purple love he’s seen around campus this week; he paused to think about it.
“It’s interesting, I’m in a bunker mentality,” he said. “I’ve kind of been in my office all day long, as soon as I come in, and all night. I haven’t been much across campus. But I can tell you, the e-mails and the texts and the twitters that everyone on campus is receiving is a great benefit. It creates an incredible awareness nationally for anybody connected to the university.
“Anybody affiliated with the university at any time in their life, they’re all being affected. It’s not just the players. If you call a chemistry professor or you call a sociology professor, I can tell you that their phone has blown up. That’s really a great benefit. It’s a great benefit for the university. And as I said to my team, every time you win a game, multiply that by 50.”