After over 28 years in this business, I can safely say the two questions I’m asked most often are: 1.) Come on, who do you root for? I know you root for someone, because it’s clear you hate my team and my school and my coach, and by the way you’re bald and ugly; 2) Can I have your job? I know I can do it better than you, because you hate my team and my school and my coach, and by the way you’re bald and ugly.
And I always answer the same way: No, you can’t have my job. No, I don’t hate your team, your school or your coach. Just you.
Kidding. (Not you. The other guy.)
That was a long way for me to get into why I’m going to the Chick-fil-A press conference today. To all Tennessee fans: I don’t hate your team. I certainly don’t hate your coach, Lane Kiffin. Fact is, I would do anything in my power to give Lane Kiffin a lifetime contract.
Here’s a general rule about sports writers: We don’t root for or against any team, school, athlete or coach. We root for stories. In that sense, we’re like everybody else: We root for ourselves. When stories fall into our lap, whether we’re a news writer or a columnist, our job becomes easier.
Lane Kiffin makes our job easy. We all owe him a serious fruit basket for the holidays.
That’s why I’m going to today’s bowl luncheon. Kiffin and Frank Beamer are in town to promote the Dec. 31 game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Gary Stokan and his Chick-fil-A minions have done another great job, giving us a great match-up. Kiffin’s presence just makes it better.
There’s no reason to get into the NCAA mess now. But it seems some of the issues are finally grating on a segment of the Tennessee fan base. A writer for Bleacher Report, which often uses fans to write stories, even authored a column with the headline, “Is it time to fire Lane Kiffin?”
There’s a poll with the story. I had to vote to see the results, which were surprisingly split. My vote went to the third-most popular choice. The current results:
♦ HECK NO! Kiffin is the best thing that ever happened to UT! (45.7 percent)
♦Absolutely. He’s an embarrassment to UT! (35.5 percent)
♦ No, but I’m beginning to see your point. (11.7 percent. Includes my vote)
♦ Probably so. (7.1 percent)
Let me know how you would vote. (This should be interesting.) I’ll check back later and I’ll have a new post after the luncheon. I’m guessing they’ll have chicken.