Game Time: Saluting College Football's Greatest Liars
If you're into bending the truth, ignoring the truth, spitting on the truth...really any misdeed against the truth, then this has been a pretty good sports week for you. Hell, it's been a pretty good run ever since Thanksgiving when Elin either rescued Tiger from the fiery wreckage of his Escalade hitting that tree or smashed out the back windows in an adultery-infused rage, depending on whom you choose to believe.
This week alone we got Mark McGwire's outlining all of the medicinal reasons he used steroids back in the 1990s (complete with multiple references to his being a "walking MASH unit"); we got to re-live Tommy Tuberville's infamous "They'll have to carry me out of here in a pine box" quote from the time he left Ole Miss to go to Auburn; and in a stunner that still has a mushroom cloud hanging over Knoxville, we saw Lane Kiffin's undying love for the University of Tennessee die after a mere 14 months.
I figure now is a good time to stop and smell the fibbery. Let's go back and take a look at five of my favorite college football liars of the last ten years....
5. GEORGE O'LEARY'S RESUME FIASCO
Believe it or not, there once was a time when Notre Dame wasn't replacing football coaches every five years (or three years if your name is Tyrone Willingham). That time was back in the late `80's and throughout the `90's. When Notre Dame fired Bob Davie in 2001, it marked the first time in 16 years that they had to go find a replacement for a terminated coach (Davie had been somewhat hastily hand picked off Holtz's last staff to replace the resiging/retiring head coach).
Perhaps the school was not aware of how easy background checks had become to perform since 1985, because they took Davie's replacement George O'Leary's resume at face value. Big mistake. O'Leary embellished his actual playing/education profile of semi-educated bit player to regular starter with a Master's degree. Had the school realized what a disaster Willingham would be as a replacement, they'd have probably let O'Leary claim he invented the internet.
4. BOBBY PETRINO LEAVING A NOTE FOR THE FALCONS
There are many different ways to say goodbye to somebody. If you are merely leaving the office or departing a lunch with someone, a handshake or a wave is fine. If you're breaking up with someone, a face-to-face explanation is probably in order (unless he/she was a real asshole, then text message is fine....kidding).
I've never played in the NFL, but I'm pretty sure if you're leaving a team it makes sense to call a meeting to tell the players in person. A note in their lockers is probably not acceptable. Just ask the Atlanta Falcons about Bobby Petrino's leaving them in 2007. Even better, watch this video with wide receiver Roddy White....
3. NICK SABAN -- HE'S NOT GOING TO ALABAMA! OH WAIT...
I'm pretty sure that Nick Saban is just a robot that feels no remorse or pain, so when he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, lying about taking the Alabama job was not only easy for him, it was merely his following the protocol that was programmed into him by whatever evil scientist created this crimson menace. Along the way, his "I am not going to be the Alabama head coach" became the gold standard for nobody believing a word when any college coach denies interest in another job now.
2. KEVIN HART'S COMMITMENT...WHO?...EXACTLY.
You have to give Kevin Hart credit. Who is Kevin Hart? Well, he was a high school football player from Fernley, Nevada earlier this decade. You know, we all sit around and complain about coaches lying, and we don't do a damn thing about it. Kevin Hart actually turned the tables. He held a press conference at his high school to announce he was committing to play football for Cal-Berkeley, choosing them over Oregon. One problem -- neither school knew who the hell he was.
While many of you see Kevin Hart as a kid with some serious issues, I see him as a pioneer giving untruthful college coaches a taste of their own medicine. Bravo, Kevin!!
1. LANE KIFFIN, MASTER SLEAZE
One more time, for posterity's sake, let's go back and watch Kiffin's Tennessee intro presser. Seriously, how can any parent let their kid believe this guy's bullshit?
Listen to Sean Pendergast from 3-7 PM weekdays on 1560 The Game on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.