Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why is the only rookie SEC coach with a losing record getting so much attention?

Any thoughts that Lane Kiffin has learned or grown in any way during the past few months can officially be put to rest. I never thought I'd see the day when losing to Florida by ten was cause for the coach of Tennessee to preen and strut, but here we are. Kiffin decided to respond to Urban Meyer pointing out the obvious - Tennessee did nothing to try and win the game despite being down two scores with five minutes to play - with an insinuation that Florida's players weren't actually sick. I imagine Billy Gonzales isn't either. Kiffin also played the "Mike Slive said not to do that" card, as if that was supposed to apply to honest assessments of what went on during a game, and claims he wishes UT could play Florida again. I would have figured he'd like another shot at UCLA, but that's just me. Lots of really tough talk coming out of Knoxville - just imagine what Kiffin would be saying if he wasn't 1-2.

The Jaguars season is already teetering on the edge of becoming a disaster. The news wide receiver Troy Williamson is done for the season with a torn labrum certainly won't help matters. All state of Florida NFL teams have opened 0-2, as the Dolphins made it look easy for Peyton Manning to lead a two minute drill for a game winning TD in south Florida's new celebrity hot spot/football stadium.

Some coaches think the way to motivate their players is to be a jerk. Bo Schembechler is famous for saying he treated all his players the same - like dogs. It appears coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns has no clue how to deal with other human beings. Why else would Mangini fine a player for drinking a bottle of water in his hotel room while on a team road trip? The cost of the bottle was three dollars. The fine given the player who drank the bottle and failed to pay for it: 1,701 dollars. Not quite a proportional response, but when a guy's focus is more about making himself seem like a tough guy than it is helping players deal with actual problems this is what you get.

There's plenty of ways communities have honored prominent sports figures. Street names, statues at the stadium, retired jerseys - all pale in comparison to North Carolina's tribute to pro wrestler Ric Flair. He now has his own line of NC Lottery scratchoff tickets called Wooooooo! How did this promotion ever hppen without Pete Rose being involved in some way?

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