Remember the days when guys like Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden would get fired by the Raiders, only to go off and win a championship in their very next job? And in doing so, leaving the Raiders looking like poor evaluators of coaching talent?
Thanks to the antics of Lane Kiffin, it looks like those days are over.
The Oakland Raider football organization is looking shrewder and shrewder by the day for cutting it's losses with the Boy Wonder coach at mid-season this year. Kiffin rebounded quickly with a big-ticket head coaching gig with the Tennessee Volunteers, but his performance as an SEC coach thus far has been more Anita Bryant than "Bear" Bryant.
On the job barely two months, Kiffin has already compiled a Raider-esque rap sheet of of rule violations and embarassing incidents. To kick off his Volunteer career, Kiffin delighted a Tennessee crowd at a signing press conference for recruit Nu'Keese Richardson by publicly taunting Florida coach Urban Meyer for attempting to phone Richardson while Richardson visited the Tennessee campus. Kiffin blasted Meyer for the supposed rule violation, and added, "I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still couldn't get him!"
The laughter in the room had barely quieted before the SEC Comissioner pointed out this was no rule violation at all, and Kiffin was forced to publicly apologize. The two teams meet Sept. 19, and one would forgive the Gators for a scoreboard-running romp of triple-digit proportions.
Unfazed, Kiffin himself committed some genuinely offensive phone chicanery. Taking in a basketball game with the same Nu'Keese Richardson days earlier, Kiffin nabbed Richardson's cell phone and sent text messages, whilst claiming to be Richardson, in order to fool rival recruiters. The guy just clearly needs to avoid whatever Tennessee moonshine he's drinking.
But the violation de rigeur came last month, when visiting recruits were checking out Tennessee's stadium. In a move Kiffin just flat out stole from a Michael Bolton video, he had them walk on the field while blasting one of those god-awful rock concert smoke machines.
The shame factor on this one goes up to eleven, considering he was turned in for this violation by his own bosses.
If this keeps up, Kiffin's new bosses at Tennessee may want to keep that overhead projector handy.