Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lane Kiffin is An Ass

I have no affinity for Tennessee on any level. In fact, I probably dislike the state due to a speeding ticket last summer. I drove to Nashville for a wedding, and on Sunday morning, I’m headed back to NY, tired, head hurting, and facing a 13 hour drive. So Barney Fife of the Tennessee State Police pulls me over going 82 in a 70 mph zone. Give me a break dude, it’s 12 over. Anyway, he gives me the ticket and tells me to call the number on the back of the ticket in 10 days to find out how much the fine is. What? Why is there not a simple system that tells you, 12 over = $100. Move on. No, out here, the hillbillies need to consult with their cousin/wife – the only one in the county with at least a 7th grade education – to figure out how much they can stick you with. So after ten days, I call. No response. I call 3 times that day and leave 3 messages within 5 days. On the advice of Hildo, I google the citation # and find the table of fines in Kingston, Tennessee. It starts at 15 over and $150. I didn’t even make the minimum threshold. So I send them a check for $100 with a note that I called 10 times, no one called me back and according to their website, I am now clear. A month later I get a letter from MaryJoeMarieBettySueBobbby Hicks, the city clerk, saying I still owe $100 because the fine was $200. Assclowns.

Anyway, that was a really long intro to prove that I don’t really like Tennessee. Yet I like Lane Kiffin less. Kiffin is the douchebag who obviously has the gift of persuasion and he definitely learned a thing or 10 about taking the money and running from his mentor, Pete Carroll. (side note: Pete – give up the “right situation” act about taking the Seahawks job. You and Mark McGwire really believe that everyone else is an idiot when the reality is you’re more transparent than Ashley Greene in a body paint bikini. Back to your regularly scheduled rant on Lane Kiffin.) Kiffin was the defensive coordinator under Carroll at USC and somehow parlayed that into a gig with the Raiders. That was the same Raiders job that Steve Sarkisian (the USC offensive coordinator) turned down before Kiffin took the payday despite never having been a head coach at any level. To absolutely no ones surprise, Kiffin rubbed his rich older players the wrong way and he couldn’t control them the same way he could control poor young guys at USC (at least they were poor until they became stars at USC and then were given houses for their family – Reggie Bush, or cars – Joe McNight). He butted heads with the owner and as crazy as Al Davis is, he’s the boss. If you want to keep your job, you can’t publicly call out the guy who signs the checks. So after one horrid year, he was canned and bashed in the most bizarre press conference I’ve ever seen by the Crypt Keeper, Al Davis.

He then somehow parlays that public failure into the head coaching job at Tennessee, one of the premiere fan bases in the SEC. He uses the Pete Carroll model of recruiting great athletes regardless of whether they have the academic capacity or maturity to handle college. He committed a minimum of 6 NCAA infractions during his one year, and also had to dismiss players from the team due to their off the field problems. On top of all that, he tried to tweak the tail of Urban Meyer’s recruiting practices at Florida. Lane, Urban wouldn’t even hire you to get him coffee. He has national championships and Heisman winners at Florida. You have never had success. Remember those great USC teams? Defense was their problem – not the offense with Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Steve Smith & Mike Williams. So while on the field the Volunteer team improved during his one year, his off the field issues make it a tumultous tenure at best.

Yet, there must be something that Lane Kiffin has in his ability to smile and say the right things to your face that these places keep hiring him and believe him. He obviously can recruit - look at the guy’s wife as a prime example of his ability to convince someone that has no business being with him to buy what he’s selling. He definitely outpunted his coverage there. He’s the epitome of what’s wrong with the college coaching carousel, and also the perfect picture of a snake oil salesmen. Beware USC – you have a guy who will get your fan base excited, but there are fires in the building, and Lane loves to jump at the next payday instead of ever facing the music.


Tough break (literally) for the Wisconsin hoops team losing Jon Leuer to a broken arm. That will be a crushing blow to a team that needs his ability to score from the post and step out and knock down three’s. Without Leuer, the Badgers don’t have anyone capable of drawing attention in the post which opens up Bohannon, Taylor and Hughes from beyond the arc. While I like Keaton Nankovil’s hustle and rebounding ability, he will not command any attention from opposing defenses. The Badgers will struggle against very good defensive teams the next time through the league like Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue.


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