Lane Kiffin is the ultimate example of how certain people, either because of nepotism, a little bit of charisma, or a reputation that doesn't match their actual achievements, must screw up over and over and over again before the world realizes that they actually kinda suck at their jobs. For the longest time, Kiffin could not stop failing upward, even as he left a trail of burning bridges in his wake. From the Jags to USC to the Raiders to Tennessee to USC again to Alabama, he always seemed to land on his feet, despite inspiring pure hatred at each successive stop and failing with impressive consistency.
The football world finally seems to have come to its senses—with the writing on the wall at Bama this past season, Kiffin jumped ship to FAU, which is not even close to a horizontal move. Should he fail there, which history indicates he will, it's hard to see how his career moves forward. The Kiffin spiral has begun.
I bring this up because one of the best stories of last season was the time Nick Saban tore him a new one on the sideline, and later called it an "ass-chewing." It's always great to see someone like Kiffin put in his place. The only problem is that we didn't know the exact details behind the tongue-lashing.
Now we do: A new book on Saban reveals that the source of the spat was a comment Kiffin made about after a Bama fumble: "Dumb players make dumb plays." Saban, already pissed, wheeled on his OC: "No, dumb offensive coordinators call dumb plays." And then he swore at him a bunch, probably.
That story rules: Saban defended his players and simultaneously put the milquetoast snake in his place. For a workaholic sociopath, Saban isn't half bad! He should've kept Kiffin around as a water boy just to abuse him a few times per year, and thereby endear himself to all of America. Forget Russia: Kiffin is the enemy that brings a nation together.
On to the rest of the superlatives...
Best "This Could Only Happen in Florida" Story of the Week
This is not a joke: In a retirement community drug bust near Palm Beach, detectives uncovered what they believe is an actual golf cart chop shop. Basically, all the old-timers who live in this community drive around in souped-up golf carts, and while the criminals in question were dealing heroin and meth from their home, they decided to expand the business by stealing the local golf carts and selling them for parts.
Personally, I'm just happy to see the two greatest Florida stereotypes combined: Trashy criminals and senior citizens. If only Mickey Mouse had wrestled an alligator on the scene, this would have been the perfect Florida story.
Best Creator of Wonderful Memories: James Shield, Chicago White Sox
Shield set a very weird and very interesting MLB record on Saturday by giving up the first career home run to THREE DIFFERENT PLAYERS. In a single game!
I used to think that Cal Ripken Jr.'s record of consecutive games played was the most unassailable record in baseball, but this might take the cake. First off, how often will a pitcher remain in a game to give up three home runs? Second, how often will there be three players in a lineup who have never hit even a single home run? Those two circumstances alone are prohibitive—it's already a little crazy that the basic requirements for this feat were even present. For all three home run virgins to then go yard against the same pitcher, in the same game, is absolutely bananas. It's a baseball miracle, albeit the kind that nobody really cares about. Still, this will never even come close to happening again, and those three players will never forget the generous spirit, or the dead fastball, of James Shields.
Best Sports Dad of the Week: Mets Dad
I never intended for "best sports dad" to become a regular feature, but we just have so many terrific examples of fatherhood that I can't resist. This week, the winner is Mets Dad. Notice how much his wife appreciates the way he treats their child when a foul ball comes his way:
Solid Excuse for Drugs/Alcohol of the Week: Michael Floyd
One of the best parts about sports is when athletes test positive for drugs or alcohol, and then make up an excuse for why it happened. And hey, it might be true! For legal reasons, I'm leaving open the possibility that every single one of these excuses has been totally legit!
Including this one: Michael Floyd, under house arrest after a DUI conviction, said in a statement that the alcohol recently detected in his system came from kombucha tea. Further, he drank several bottles of it while watching a movie.
That's a solid drug/alcohol defense, sir! Please take your place in the Bad Excuse Hall of Fame, alongside such legends as Maria Sharapova (didn't know it was banned!), Melky Cabrera (actually invented a bogus website), Justin Gatlin (the masseuse did it!), Dennis Mitchell (too much sex!), and about a thousand different cyclists.
Best Use of Spoilers: Some Dude at the NBA Draft
It's faintly ridiculous that there are like 50 reporters dedicated to tweeting out each team's pick in the NBA draft before it's actually announced—the revelations come mere seconds before the rest of the public knows, and it takes a certain kind of sports fan (the kind that is not me) to actually care about such red-hot scoops. But in a world where this kind of reporting and media consumption exists, we may as well get some laughs out of it.
That was the mindset of some dude at the NBA draft this past weekend, who was apparently following Wojnarowski or Charania or whoever on Twitter, and was privvy to each successive pick before it was announced on stage. So what did he do? He ruined the fun for everyone by shouting it out loud:
I support this type of trolling. (By the way, who actually goes to the NBA draft???)
Best Dunk of the Century: Klay Thompson
Let's end with this gem, from NBA champion and scoring genius Klay Thompson. I'm going to come at you with a pretty bold statement right now: Dunks are boring. We've seen so many dunks, so many times, that there's really nothing new under the sun. You only have to watch the recent All-Star weekend dunk contests to see that we're running out of ideas—people are jumping over cars, for God's sake. We've reached a saturation point, and really the only exciting dunk left comes during a game, when someone gets knocked over.
But there is one realm in which dunks can still make a huge impact, and that realm is COMEDY. Which is why I consider Klay Thompson a pioneer for the dunk below, attempted at an exhibition in China. This, right here, is the future of jams: