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


UTC Wrestling - Michigan Transfer Joins the Mocs

Earlier this summer UTC wrestling coach Heath Eslinger was in need of an experienced 125- pounder who is a veteran of the college mat wars and can go toe-to-toe with the best in the nation. At 24 and a veteran of two NCAA tournaments, sixth year senior Sean Boyle is that guy. A former Michigan wrestler, Boyle trades the Wolverines’ Maze and Blue for the ... (click for more)

Stolz Tied For Fourth In State Match Play

KNOXVILLE -- Zac Stolz from Chattanooga is tied for fourth after the first round of the 11th Tennessee Match Play Championship at the Holston Hills Country Club. Stolz shot 4-under 68 on Thursday. Brentwood's Brendon Caballero leads the tournament after the first day with an 8-under 64. Alcoa's Ron Waters leads the State Senior Match Play with a 67 in the first rond. 11th ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)