U.S. Open

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Let's Get Weird

Paul Finebaum, Lane Kiffin team up for strangest interview of 2021

There will be more watched interviews in 2021. There will be more important interviews in 2021. There will be more tense ones, too. But there won't be a stranger interview in 2021 than the one starring Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and legendary radio personality Paul Finebaum, which took place on Finebaum's show on Monday.

What made it particularly strange is that both Kiffin and Finebaum we're trying to be funny, and in a way, they both were. But their equally dry senses of humor made for such strange, awkward silences and looks that made it hard to tell if they actually were kidding around. 

The gist: after trading barbs, Kiffin reminded Finebaum that he was responsible for his firing at USC eight years ago. In September of 2013, Finebaum called Kiffin "The Miley Cyrus of college football," his point being that Kiffin had no talent but we couldn't keep our eyes off him (someone has never listened to "Wrecking Ball"). Less than 24 hours later, Kiffin was infamously fired before he could get on the team plane after his Trojans got walloped 62-41 against Arizona State. Kiffin has come a long way since in many respects, which is why he seemed comfortable bringing up Finebaum's past digs and joking about it. But, again, it just felt very strange (Zoom timing may have played a role here): 

Upon further review, the Zoom delay definitely was a factor in the awkwardness, but it's the matching, dry senses of humor that made it super strange. Both guys are making their dry digs, neither is letting out a big belly laugh, and they're both trying to return serve and ultimately talking over each other. To steal Finebaum's phrase, this is the Miley Cyrus of interviews, because we cannot look away.