Friday, January 15, 2010

Penny Lane

Alas for poor, jilted Tennessee, whose mediocre football coach has abandoned them for greener pastures, or at least ones paved in greenbacks.

I can see feeling bad for his recruits. These are young men who had every reason to think he'd stick around and be their coach, especially since it was highly unlikely that anyone was going to swoop in and steal a guy whose head coaching resume consisted of one mediocre college season and a season-and-change of utter disaster in the NFL. Considering his paycheck, the dollars thrown at his assistants, and the fact that he really hasn't indicated that he's much of a head coach, he seemed as likely to be plucked from Tennessee as I am a candidate to go on Iron Chef.

And yet, USC nabbed him, largely because of past association and desperation, not to mention the fact that with the assistants he was bringing along, he was setting up to be the new lead singer for Pete Carroll's old band. Of course, that move always works well. Ask the guys in Journey about that one.

But I somehow can't find it in my uncharitable soul to feel the slightest sympathy for the University of Tennessee. Yup, their highly paid employees abandoned them at a critical time of the year (though ESPN tells us that every single day is critical for football, right?) How dare USC steal them away.

Except, of course, that UT did roughly the same thing with former defensive coordinator (and father of Lane) Monte Kiffin, whose senior(citizen)itis in his last half-season with Tampa Bay was so obvious it was painful. Everyone knew Monte was headed for Tennessee and a big paycheck, his Buccaneer defense fell apart, and nobody cared or bitched or blogged. But the lesson is simple - if you're going to poach, don't bitch when you get poached.
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