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Forever Knox

I know the facts of this post will not interest the most of you, but maybe the spirit of it will.

As the rappers say, “people were blowing up my cellie” tonight.  I’d be on a call when another would beep in.  I’d let one go, and another would beep through.  I stopped answering the others once The Attorney got in.

His call referenced the same thing as all the others.  But, I could tell he figured I had already heard the news.

“Okay, I guess you were right.”

That’s all he said.

It’s not so much that I am “right,” but I had never been able to quite warm up to Lane Kiffen in his first year as the football coach at the University of Tennessee.   For some reason, which I could never really explain, I had trouble getting behind him.  Something in my gut just didn’t feel good about him.

Based on Kiffen’s announcement tonight that he is leaving Tennessee to take the open head coach position at University of Southern California, my gut instincts were correct.

I get why he wants to go to USC.  It’s one of the most storied programs in the nation.  Rose Bowl and everything.  Plus, he had been an assistant there during at least one of their recent National Championship years, serving under the very man he is replacing.  So, there is a sense of home about the place for him.  It’s his dream job.1

But what about the recruits that were set to sign with Tennessee three weeks from now? 2 What about the players who came to Tennessee already to play for him? What about coaching staff that he will not be taking with him and find themselves wondering if they will be replaced when we get a new coach?  Where do we find a good coach who will come into a program with no time left to recruit?

What about the fact that Kiffen in his first press conference a little more than a year ago, he was emphatic about how he was at Tennessee for the long haul so that he could rebuild our suffering program.

Where is his conscience?

In his final press conference tonight, which lasted less than one minute, he refused to take questions, and tried to deny TV cameras.  Those are not the actions of a man who is struggling with the consequences of a tough decision.  Those are not the actions of a man with a heavy heart.

Those are the actions of a man3 without a conscience, without class, and without a backbone.

Could he not display even the smallest expression of regret or sorrow.  That’s all it would have taken.  Even if he didn’t mean it.  I’m not saying people would have liked it any better, but I think more would have accepted the news.

“You’re pissing on us, Lane, but we understand.”

Instead, he chose to tell us that without a doubt in the fourteen month he was here, he is leaving us in a better place than we he arrived.

I assume he is not referring to the series of NCAA recruiting violations, mouthing off in the press, yet another bowl game loss, four team members going to jail for armed robbery and shop-lifting, nor the Halloween uniforms.4

Stupid ungrateful punk.

Interestingly, the USC fans, for the most part, don’t seem much happier with the news5 than our fans.  No one seems to be looking at it as the return of the prodigal son.   My gut now tells me that he is going to have a rough time of it out there.

That is if he makes it there.  There’s a lot of drunk rednecks out there right who have had their football messed with.  That’s worse than messing with their women.  There were reports that on campus, students were rioting outside the athletic center and demanding that Kiffen be brought out to them.

You reap what you sow.  One good turn deserves another.  Karma sucks.

Kind of ironic, but the Kiffens have a boy that was born not long after he took the job in Knoxville.  In honor of the new position, they named the baby “Knox.”  As much as I’m sure he wants to, Lane Kiffen will never be able to forget Knoxville, because forever he will be feeding it, changing it, and it will be asking him for money.

Karma is a bitch.  An evil, evil bitch.

{ fin }

  1. No doubt they are offering him more money too. []
  2. And will be penalized a year of playing if the decide to go somewhere else? []
  3. and I use the term lightly []
  4. I know black jerseys are all the rage in modern sports, but when your primary team color is orange, you just have to let that fad go. Especially if the game is on Halloween night. []
  5. for different reasons []
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  1. I’ve been too upset about the Patriots loss to the Ravens on Sunday to follow college football.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Mike in Asheville Mike in Asheville

    When I heard the news about USC’s choice, my thought was, “If Kiffen can do for USC what he did for Tennessee, well that’s great news for all the other Pac-10 teams!” California had as tough a year as Tennessee, great prospects, surprising wins mixed in with bigger surprising upset losses; and then slaughtered in their bowl game.

    And per the press conference, his guy lacks the balls to man-up about his decision, owning his choice, and acknowledging the impact of his actions. Hope he coaches with the same lack of guts. Go Bears!

  3. I figured Carroll would leave USC since they had such a bad season. I guess it is better to get out then to continue down that road. As for Kitten? Not impressed with his coaching style. At least he won’t be going to the ACC.

    Of course ‘that Cajun’ is probably doing a jiggy dance over this. I Hate LSU, USC and ‘The OSU’.

  4. Paul from Q Paul from Q

    I’m glad we’re back to hearing about football.

  5. David David

    Well written. You need to put this post in a letter and mail it to him “fed ex – personal”.

  6. I know this is nit-picking, but the University of California and USC (University of Southern California, home of the Trojans) are two very different institutions. As an alumnus of UC Berkeley (home of the Golden Bears), I’m keenly aware of the difference. 🙂

    Here’s hoping Tennessee gets a better head coach this time around!

  7. Greek. It’s all Greek to me.

  8. brian brian

    Tell us how you REALLY feel! The shirtless picture of the Tennessee squad was the best thing that happened under Kiffen.

  9. Sounds just like some politicians. Mitt Romney SWORE up, down and sideways that he would serve two terms as governor of Massachusetts if elected to the first term. He was. Half way through his term he was spending over half the year away from the state, publicizing himself and building up to dumping Massachusetts for his blessedly unsuccessful run for the presidential nomination. Like your coach, he was nothing but a blatant opportunist.

  10. Paul from Q Paul from Q

    Good luck with Dooley.

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