KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The voice comes over the phone, calmly but urgently.
“You write your story yet?”
It has been a day since the interview and the notebook is stuffed. As a wise man once said, “This is gold, Jerry! Gold!” But there is a dramatic pause on the line and you think: Oh no, all of it was too good. He’s going to backtrack. Afraid to hurt feelings, dent chrome, take another swipe after all the damage he has done.
“Well, I’m not going to tell you what to write, but you should make it clear, you know, well, this stuff was on purpose.”
On purpose? All of it? Does this guy know what he is saying? You can’t keep from offering the voice a way to squirm out of another temporary lapse of reason.
“But your dad said when you came off the podium on signing day you remarked, ‘God, I shouldn’t have said that.'”
“See,” the voice says. “I even fooled him.”
An hour later, the voice on the line is there in person, projecting from a different podium.
“Thanks for coming,” Lane Kiffin says to a packed room of media waiting for him to trip up again. “We can’t wait to get spring practice to get started …”