Message to Lane Kiffin Haters: Keep Hatin'
Well, lookie here. Lane Kiffin done went and got himself in a whole heap a trouble again. The SEC's favorite whipping boy got his second public tongue lashing from the almighty SEC commish, Mike Slive, today.
It's been stated that if it happens again, he could be suspended.
In other news, the only people who actually care are his SEC opponents.
The problem here is that Lane Kiffin says and does out loud what every other SEC coach thinks and says quietly.
A Bama fan will complain that Lane has no character, all the while ignoring the circumstances under which their mercenary coach came to T-Town. Remember it, guys? Remember him lying to his Miami Dolphins team? To the media?
"I'm not going to be the Alabama coach," he said. As a matter of fact, he angrily made that statement to the Florida media not once, but three times in a week's period.
If character is the issue, is Saban's lying tongue not held accountable?
How about Urban Meyer at Florida? The guy who continually runs up scores on hapless opponents to bolster his ego.
(Well he hasn't done that much lately since "The Chosen One"...you know, the QB who has made Meyer's career, has been a mere mortal lately.)
What about Mark Richt at Georgia? The guy who continually preaches about righteousness and good living, yet his players are among the most undisciplined, on and off the field, in the country.
Then you've got Bobby Petrino at Arkansas. Here's a guy who's such a coward he couldn't even face his team, the Atlanta Falcons, after he decided to ditch them in midseason for a college gig.
Houston Nutt, the guy Petrino replaced, who is now at Ole Miss, had an affair with a staffer while at Arkansas.
Steve Spurrier was the Mouth of the South long before Kiffin, and he did nothing but build the winningest SEC program since 1990.
It's like the continuous Republican vs. Democrat debate. "He's a scumbag because he believes in socialism!" or my personal favorite, "He's a Bible-totin' Christian, therefore he hates everyone!"
All the while, members of both sides have more skeletons in their closets than most graveyards do.
The bottom line is that you are whining and complaining about Kiffin while your coaches are all scumbags as well. Kiffin just says what's on his mind.
The rest of the coaches keep it to themselves. Kiffin's problem is not character; it's a big mouth.
Even with that being the case, it really doesn't matter. Lane Kiffin is the most popular man on the Tennessee campus. His players love him and they love his style.
Want proof? Eric Berry told the Knoxville News-Sentinel just today, "We feel like if we just keep buying into this staff and keep doing everything that they ask us to do, the sky is the limit."
Berry went on to say, "I mean, I feel like if we just had a little more time with this staff we would be undefeated right now.
"You see we're getting to know each other a lot as the season goes along, you can tell it by the way we're playing and the guys are buying into this coaching staff."
WR Gerald Jones said, "Man, they are unbelievable, and I enjoy every bit of playing for them and Coach Kiffin is probably one of my favorite coaches in history. He's so competitive and he has the eagerness to win, and that's the same person I am.
"To be coached by that type of person, you expect nothing over than to be the best."
In the end, isn't that what matters?
Bamablogger might call him classless. Gatrluvr on some far distant message board thinks he's a prick. Dawggystyle on the Athens Herald website thinks he's childish. Even old WarEagle himself thinks Kiffin's a bum.
But guess what, his players love and respect him. The recruits gravitate to him. The players know that he has their back, no matter what.
As a result his team has played two No. 1 teams on their own home field and has lost by a combined 12 points. The talent levels aren't even close to comparable, yet his rebuilding Vols team scared the Bear right out of millions of Alabama fans on Saturday.
Guess how many players have been arrested under his watch? Zero. Guess how many potential stars have been kicked off his team or decided to go elsewhere because they couldn't live up to his standards? 15 and counting.
His first Vols team is among the least penalized in the country (currently ranked second). He's already amassed one top 10 recruiting class in just two short months. He's currently working on a Top Five class as we speak.
So in the end it really doesn't matter what you write, type, or say about Lane Kiffin. The man knows what he's doing. He may not be doing it the way Bear or General Neyland would have done it, but he's doing it.
There's really nothing the haters or anyone else can say or do to stop it. You can just keep hatin', because he's going to keep bringing in talent. Once that talent is in Knoxville, you can just watch out because the wins will follow.
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