For those of you who follow college football...and I know at least a few of my neighbors down here in Tigerland have at least a passing knowledge of the sport...you've probably heard about the, well, whatever the hell that was in Knoxville last night.
I'm still stunned.
I'm not even sure the best fan fiction would be as mind boggling as the reality. Or the sports writers:
"Paris Hilton has paid more dues than Lane Kiffin." - Pat Forde, ESPN
I try to be a classy sports fan, but it is hard to keep from laughing out loud when you read lines like that. And follow links like this. I've never needed to trade my office's big glass window for a cubicle as badly as I have today.
But that's laughter tinged with the manic edge of relief. It didn't happen to the program I follow. In our current college football atmosphere, this can happen to any program and any fanbase at any time. Think about what situation Georgia would be in if all the idiot fire-eating "fans" get their way and really put Coach Mark Richt - our program's winningest coach in the shortest timeframe - on the hot seat? Think about our position if we had a Jim Donnan-like coach in this day and age?
This is something my LSU-partisan neighbors will have to consider as they call for Les Miles' ouster.
A lot of Tennessee fans are laughing, too. Like someone waking up with a bad hangover, they'll mull over the emotions of last night, and quickly move on. The player recruiting fallout will be less than expected, a new coach will be hired, and the Volunteers will fall back on their solid, 90 year tradition of terrorizing other SEC football teams on the gridiron.
Happily, what this does afford us is even more reason to loathe USC and, especially, their coach. Culturally, I will rarely have more in common with my Tennessee, LSU, Cal and Notre Dame fanatic friends than when watching Southern California implode in Kiffin's wake.