I happened to catch a quick excerpt on ESPN’s bottomline today that detailed another classic in the ongoing personal destruction that is Lane Kiffin’s career. Kiffin took the head coaching job at The University of Tennessee no more than a few months ago, and has already gotten himself into a heap of trouble. He has criticized other SEC coaches and accused them of stealing recruits, made comments at an alumni function that might as well been his size 3 Stride Rites in his mouth, (comments that have since been proven false), and now has decided to add insulting student athletes to his resume. Both Kiffin and South Carolina head ball coach Steve Spurrier were fighting over recruit Alshon Jeffery, a prize wide receiver who was also being coveted by Pete Carroll and Southern Cal. On the eve before national sigining day, Kiffin decided to bring out the big recruiting guns and go after the other Universities. Jeffery, who aparently was leaning towards becoming a Gamecock, was told by the wordsworth Kiffin that he would “end up pumping gas for the rest of his life” if he chose to go with Spurrier. Well played Lane. Apparently Jeffery enjoys BP because he spurned Kiffin to roll up his sleeves and accept his post-graduation role as a clerk at Citgo. Now I personally have nothing against The Vols or even the University itself. I think Peyton Manning is a stud and even thought Phillip Fulmer got a short stick when he got the boot. But Mr. Lane might just be able to sway me to cheer for Tim Tebow hard next year and it got me to thinking.
Are some public sports figures attempting to do the right thing and end up being scrutinized anyway, or are they simply just morons? Now, obviously I have not the slightest clue as to what it takes to be a head coach at a major football powerhouse such as UT, especially when it comes to recruiting. I’m sure some unsavory tactics are used to secure the best possible athletes to come to your school. But obviously Kiffin had to know what he was saying was downright stupid. Perhaps we would be able to let it slide, but as I said before, this is not the first time we’ve heard from Kiffin. Even scooting past his lovely tenure so far as a Volunteer, his short lived time in Oakland as the Raiders head coach was anything but poetic. Naturally working with the beauty queen that is Al Davis can’t be easy, but Kiffin’s firing seemed to almost end in a standoff, one similar to a bad Kevin Costner movie. Which is a redundant sentence. Although I did think Mr. Brooks was mildly entertaining. But I digress. Kiffin’s Wyatt Earp shootout over the sports media at Davis was like a toddler whining about how the neighbor boy kicked him and took his bike. Ultimately, Lane got nothing and Davis road off into his sunset to buy more clothes from the Kenny Stabler era. Then Kiffin taveled to Knoxville and has seemingly unintentionally suggested that maybe Davis isn’t losing it at all. Perhaps he did deserve to be thrown out of Oakland. (But seriously, Davis is off his rocker). And Kiffin is not the only one who’s repeatedly beat himself up.