I'm really looking forward to embracing some of the great traditions at the University of Tennessee. For instance: the Vol Walk; running through the T; singing Rocky Top all night long after we beat Florida next year. It's going to be a blast. Ok? So get ready.
[pause while journalists chuckle and applaud]
That line was Mike's idea, by the way. Ok? Alright, Urban?
- Lane Kiffin at his opening press conference, December 1, 2008.
[emphasis mine] Click here and watch from 22:30 through 23:00. If that's considered hubris, we are far too immature of a country for sports. Incidentally, the very next thing he said is that he can't promise any wins - that there are simply too many factors involved. If you don't believe me, then keep on watching through to about 23:24.
I want the Tennessee family to know this: this is what I'm going to give you. I'm rolling my sleeves up and going to work. I'm not promising you how many wins we're going to have, how many championships. I can't do that. I don't know that. There's too many variables within that. But I can tell you this right now. No one is going to out work us. No one is going to out work me as a head coach and no one's going to out work our staff that we put together. That's the promise I'm giving you. The wins will come after that.
-- Immediately continuing in Lane Kiffin's December 1, 2008 press conference.
[emphasis mine] If ESPN wishes to push this as a promise from Lane Kiffin, that's their deal; nobody's accused them of journalism for years. If the Gators wish to use this for bulletin board material, that's fine; far more irrational material has gone onto bulletin boards before. It's just what teams do. If Florida fans wish to use this, that's fine; that tells me they have nothing better, and I like to know that.
The only other comments I've heard any significant complaints about are the booster meeting comments and the Pahokee comments. In both cases, Lane Kiffin has apologized to the satisfactions of the offended parties. The booster comments were wrong to say and we've never made excuses for that here at RTT. The Pahokee comments were, at their absolute best, tactless. We've never defended those either. But in both cases, Kiffin has apologized.
So if the Gators wish to use those comments for bulletin boards - again, that's their business. I find it a little surprising that Tim Tebow is willing to suspend forgiveness for the sake of holding a grudge because it's football-related, but that's his choice.
My point in all of this is that the comments that Lane Kififn is apparently so vile for having made are either harmless jokes that people are taking out of context or mistakes that have been resolved. If this is really the worst that Kiffin has done so far, then he's doing a rather terrific job in his first year.