Tennessee Fans: An Open Letter From a USC Honk

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IMarch 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13:  Lane Kiffin (L)  the new college football coach of University of Southern California speaks during a news conference at Heritage Hall on the campus of USC on January 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

I have resisted the urge to respond in any way to either Vol or Trojan fans regarding the hiring of Lane Kiffin at USC.

For the most part, this was due to my desire to "stay above the fray" on this touchy subject.

It was my hope that this would blow over, and we could all just get back to supporting our respective teams.

However, though it appears that Tennessee fans' anger is waning, it is still palpable, and for that reason, I must come clean.

At the risk of angering my Trojan brethren, and believe me, some of them will not like what I say, I understand you Vol fans.

If it were me and the roles were reversed, I would be pissed too.

More to the point, I would be livid.

And the more people would tell me to "get over it," the angrier I would get.

To be honest, I don't think I would ever "get over it," and for that reason, I don't expect fans of the Vols to either.

If Lane Kiffin came to the Trojans, said all the right things, garnered my absolute support, and then left town a year later, my anger would be focused laser-like on the program he left us for.

Then, if he took some prospective Trojan recruits with him on the way out of town, I would be beside myself.

In fact, I probably would carry this grudge for the rest of my time here on earth and nothing anyone said, whether friend or foe, would change or redirect my fury.

So, I thought it would be appropriate that I let you know that this Trojan fan understands.

For the sake of full disclosure, I should also let you know that I think hiring Lane Kiffin and crew was a brilliant move by USC, and I fully support Kiffin as a Trojan fan.

I can't think of a better move.

Hiring Lane Kiffin, I believe, literally saved the Trojans, given the timing of Pete Carroll's departure.

Having said that, my allegiance to USC, blind as it may be, still doesn't prevent me from seeing how Kiffin's leaving could and, more importantly should anger Vol fans, and I thought it important that I let you know.

In other articles that I have written that involved Kiffin, when Vol fans have commented, I have always gone out of my way to let them know I understand their angst.

When other columnists that write about USC have impatiently told those same fans "get over it," I have always thought to myself " that's easy for them to say."

I know I couldn't get over it, maybe not for years—if ever! So why should you, Vol fans, do the same?

While it won't change the fervor of my rooting interest for my beloved Trojans, you won't ever hear me say, "get over it Vol fans!"

So there, I have said it, I have gotten this thing off my chest, and I will deal with my fellow Trojan fans later on.

I just thought you should know.