Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Type A Personality...As In A-Hole

I watched the making of the movie Stepbrothers last night and one of the actors interviewed was Adam Scott (double first name alert), who plays the ultra Type A personality salesman brother of Will Ferrell's character. While describing his character, Scott said "I've played dicks before I guess, but nothing to this degree. This guy is an unrelenting f*ckhead."

Turns out Scott could have based his character on Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin.

Let me say first that I actually want to be a Tennessee fan. I enjoy the state, one of my neighbors is from the school, and I'm happy to root for any team that may cause Nick Saban to lose games at Alabama.

But Kiffin is making things very difficult for me. He's turning out to fit Scott's character description so well that I wonder if he makes his family sing an a cappella version of Sweet Child O' Mine while driving (if you haven't seen Stepbrothers, disregard.)

I enjoyed his hiring at first. He was young and excitable. He managed to hire his legendary father, Monte, away from the defensive coordinator position with the Tampa Bay Bucs. His other assistants are top end coaches. Kiffin will begin spring with an open practice so fans can watch the team and he will have a coaching clinic featuring Mike Tomlin as the keynote speaker. He ran a pro-style offense at Southern Cal that attracted NFL caliber talent. Top SEC players should flock to Tennessee for that offense since it's been so successful under Kiffin.

I thought he might have some trouble fitting into the Southeastern Conference good ole boys network, but I was okay with that. I didn't want another chicken fried pedestrian hiring of some SEC lifer who talked like a character out of Gone With the Wind. Florida coach Urban Meyer is an SEC outsider (born in Ohio) and he's d
one a bang up job with the Gators.

Kiffin, however, is turning out to be a world class jerk. It started with his attack on Meyer. I understand that Kiffin was trying to breath life into the fan base and a quick way to do that is
to go after a major conference rival that also happens to be the national champions. Too bad Kiffin was wrong in his accusations about Meyer and had to issue a well publicised apology.

Then there was the Sports Illustrated article where Kiffin generally brags about his awesomeness as a cut-throat recruiter of coaches and talent. Kiffin tells the tale of how a driver was late picking him up at the airport and within five minutes the dispatcher was fired. Ah, those dispatchers need to be taught a lesson so they don't grow too relaxed with their gobs of money and frivolous lifestyles. I'm pretty sure a stern talk would have done the job rather than jettisoning a guy in the middle of an economic meltdown because of one mistake.

Now comes word that Kiffin is burning bridges with recruits was well, telling top wide receiver prospect Alshon Jeffery that if he signed with South Carolina he'd be pumping gas for the rest of his life like all other former Gamecocks. I'm guessing that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will remember that slight.

I understand that Lane Kiffin is trying to make Tennessee relevant in the SEC again. But he is sounding more and more like a guy who is too young (Kiffin is 33, the youngest head coach in Division I football) and impatient for the responsibilities of his position.

Kiffin has done what he wanted to do at first which is put Tennessee back on the college football map. But this isn't pro football. Kiffin will have to woo parents as well as kids and if he keeps getting negative press, no amount of work and staff building will make parents comfortable enough to entrust their kids to him. It's hard to recruit if you're public enemy number one.

Raiders owner Al Davis may have actually been right. Who would have thought?


  1. On Saban: Who do you support when Florida plays Alabama? Remember, this is Florida with Tim Tebow. And it's Florida.

    Al Davis may have actually... Al Davis may have actually been riiggmfvpsdhr... I just can't write it. My fingers won't do the typing.

  2. That's okay. His fingers won't type either.

    As for Florida vs. Alabama....all I can hope for is a natural disaster like an earthquake or dinosaur attack.

  3. Defensive Driving Florida offers Florida online defensive driving courses.