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The Loop

It Just Means More

The mid-inning entertainment at this Tennessee Double-A game was children throwing bottles of mustard at Lane Kiffin’s head

August 29, 2022

What’s the easiest way tell it’s college football season? It’s not by watching the foliage maps. It’s not by listening for Kirk Herbstreit’s voice on your television set or taking a look at the sad state of your FanDuel balance after a tough Week 0. It’s this video right here.

That was the mid-inning entertainment at the Tennessee Smokies game this weekend. The Smokies are a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They claim to have “America’s friendliest ballpark” in their Twitter bio. But when Rocky Top starts rockin’, all that southern hospitality goes right out the window … especially if your name is Lane Kiffin.

Nevermind the fact that Kiffin coaches in an entirely different sport, doesn’t face the Vols this year, and was last employed by the University of Tennessee during Obama’s first term. When September hits, the Smokies—and the great state of Tennessee as a whole—pick up the mustard and get a-hurlin’. You think this kid just happens to decapitate Kiffin’s smirking face on the first try? No sir. This takes years of practice. This is generational wells of angst finally coming good. This isn’t some viral stunt. It’s tradition.

Kiffin has spoken before about being asked to wear a bulletproof vest when he returned to Neyland Stadium as a member of the Alabama coaching staff in 2014. Now we know why. Flying condiments are considerably less hazardous when you have a layer of Kevlar between you and the thousand island. So here’s hoping when the dust settles and the French’s is cleared, we get Rebels-Vols in the SEC Championship Game, because there ain't no sauce hotter than pure hatred.