Randy Smith: Another Reason To Hate ‘Bama

Monday, January 13, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Hate is such an ugly word. I was taught from an early age that I shouldn’t hate anyone; that I should love everybody. I will tell you up front that even though I am a lifelong Tennessee fan, I have never hated Alabama. I always respected the great success of the Crimson Tide football program, and the tremendous passion of the fans. During the past few days however, Alabama Coach Nick Saban has given ‘Bama haters everywhere another reason to absolutely despise his team. He hired Lane Kiffen as the Tide’s new offensive coordinator.

The posters on Facebook and all over the internet have had a field day with photo-shop pictures among other things. My favorite so far is a shot of Coach Saban with his arm around Kiffen, who looks like a mean little boy. It was obviously done with help from photo-shop or some other internet site, but even with no words, that picture tells a hundred stories.

I personally have no beef with Lane Kiffen. I interviewed him a few times in 2009 when he was the Vols’ head coach, and he was always a decent interview. The problem I have with Lane Kiffen is something I really can’t mention; something he did to one of his players and the things he said to that player regarding his family. Forget about the other things he did that everyone knows about. That’s just his style.

When Kiffen left Tennessee in the middle of the night for his “dream job” at Southern Cal, it caused a near riot in Knoxville. Students were so angry with him that he surely feared for his safety and got out of town as quickly and quietly as he could. A lot of Tennessee fans point directly at Kiffen as the source for the Vols’ recent problems on the field. They are wrong however. The Vols’ problems began with the dismissal of Phillip Fulmer as head coach and have not gotten any better.

A few weeks ago, Kiffen paid a visit to Tuscaloosa to meet with Coach Saban and his staff. He spent several days in town, talking football and whatever he said must have impressed Coach Saban. Saban hired Kiffen last week, and more than one college football fan has stated it was the “kiss of death” for the Alabama football program.

I really can’t say that I agree with that statement. There is no question that Lane Kiffen is a good offensive mind and a solid quarterback coach. I still doubt his character, but then again, people can change.

I try not to ever sit in judgment of anyone; even Lane Kiffen. It is not my job to do that, so when people ask me what I think of ‘Bama hiring Kiffen, I respond with, “Well it could be really good for them. But it will be interesting to say the least.” So, if you ask me, that’s the answer you will get.  Pretty vanilla isn’t it?

Perhaps the most humorous scenario involving Alabama football came from a long-time Crimson Tide fan. He said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with Coach Saban. First he pulls that deal going for a 57 yard field goal against Auburn which really back-fired. Now he hires Lane Kiffen to run the offense. He must be going through the ‘change of life’ or something.”

 As I have already mentioned; it could be really good for them, but it will interesting to say the least.


---

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson, TN. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


Baylor's Trey Freeman Qualifies For 2016 Olympic Swim Trials

For the second time at the 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships Baylor Swim Club / Baylor School athlete Trey Freeman qualified for the 2016 Olympic Team Trials. This time he got the cut in the 400 meter freestyle. His time of 3:56.92 got him fifth overall in the event swimming in the championship finals heat. In his preliminary swim of the 400 free he swam an Olympic Trials ... (click for more)

Frost Falcons 12-under Softball Team Advances To ASA Winners Bracket Final

The Frost Falcons 2020 12-under softball team scored a go-ahead run in the top of the sixth and held off a seventh inning rally to defeat the Nevada Stealth, in the ASA national tournament being played outside Sacramento, California. The 5-4 win on Saturday afternoon pushed the Chattanooga-based Falcons into the winners bracket final against the Texas Sudden Impact, at 2 p.m. ... (click for more)

Abdulazeez Apparently Went Target Shooting In River Gorge Area Prior To Rampage That Killed 5

A 24-year-old Hixson man who went on a rampage and killed five military personnel at Chattanooga apparently went target shooting in the Tennessee River Gorge area just beforehand. A Chattanoogan said he was canoeing the day before the shooting and heard Mohammad Abdulazeez shooting in the woods in a remote area. The man, who said he thought he was being shot at, looked ... (click for more)

Columnist Says Navy To Bring Charges Against Commander Of Chattanooga Naval Center Who Fired At Shooter

The Navy plans to bring charges against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, who fired shots at a Hixson man who on July 16 rammed through a gate at the facility on Amnicola Highway and killed four Marines and a sailor, columnist Allen West wrote. He said he received a text message confirming the charges are imminent against the Chattanoogan, who is the father of six and who has acknowledged ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is A Blessed Community

I am an American by birth and a Chattanoogan by the Grace of God. (A phrase I borrowed from the late Lewis Grizzard and modified) I grew up in Chattanooga / East Ridge – Anna B. Lacey Elementary, Dalewood Junior High, Brainerd High, degree UTC.  My family lived in Chattanooga until March of this year but I’m still up every month visiting friends.   I have been following ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Fight For Lieutenant Commander White

The United States Navy has run a tight ship since it was founded in October of 1776. You’ll recall that was when Capt. John Paul Jones began to forge the steel with the words, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Some years later Adm. David Farragut etched himself into Navy lore when he cried, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lt. Howell Forgy ... (click for more)