I have a standing rule: Don’t engage idiots in debate. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. However, I do occasionally break my rule, like when someone is being mean to the helpless or with my ex-wife. The other occasions are reserved for when something is so over the top in its vacuoucity, I just feel compelled to jump in. This opinion piece on Chattanooga.com is firmly in exception three (h/t Sen. Blutarsky).
Essentially, the essence of this opinion piece is essentially Paul Finebaum is an small time shill for ‘Bama, Saban cheats, and Stewart Mandel is out of touch with reality. Oh, and Fulmer was all about mediocrity and didn’t care about winning. I can agree with at least one thing, Mandel is definitely out of touch with reality. They even screw that up by calling him a ‘respected national columnist.’ Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.
Look, I get these guys are Vol fans. I get they are huge Kiffin fans and so LLLAB. For the first time in at least two years and probably more like six years, the Volunteers are semi-relevant, even if it is for the press their coach is garnering and nothing the team has actually done. But you can’t in one paragraph relish the new found attention and then be pissed about the attention in the next.
Furthermore, to assert UT’s *right* to spend money on bringing the best assistants in the world to Knoxvegas as a new idea is just plain idiotic. Tennessee didn’t come up with a new model of hiring coaches, it took one that has worked for years in the NFL. These guys even failed to get what Finebaum’s point. Finebaum wasn’t even talking about Kiffin’s actions, he was talking about Mike Hamilton’s actions. Yes, he uses Kiffin’s actions to illustrate the (possibly) poor decision to hire Kiffin and mocks Kiffin for bragging that he ‘stole’ South Carlolina and Mississippi State’s recruiting coordinators. I guess if he does much better in Knoxville than he did at Oakland, the ends will have justified the means. However, the real issue is Kiffin and his band of rich merry men are just mercenaries. Hired Guns. That was Finebaum’s point.
The problem is, when you hire mercenaries, the gig is just the gig. UT is just a remediation gig for Kiffin. A chance for him to work with his father before Sr. retires. No way Lane Kiffin is coaching there in five years. If he does well, he goes somewhere else that offers him much more money. There are places that have more money to spend than Tennessee (for further treatment see Cowboys, Dallas; Giants, New York and Trojans, Southern California). If he doesn’t, it could get really, really ugly (for further treatment, see his acromonious split with the Raiders). I think volumes were spoken by Rodney Garner after he was squired by and turned down Tennessee: “I stayed for a man.” Character counts, gents. That is what Finebaum was saying.
Hey, at least we essentially have a new claimant on the 2010 preseason National Championship that South Carolina usually owns.
*Coach John Wooden