As a graduate of the University of Tennessee and as an East Tennessean who, 14 years ago, moved on to bigger things beyond Knoxville, I have continued to follow many of the happenings and events in and around my native home. Knoxville, especially it's local politicians, provided me over these years with a number of head-shaking, eye-rolling stories. I've been especially amused these past few months at the circus atmosphere and national attention that surrounded UT's controversial head football coach, an atmosphere and level of attention that reached its pinnacle with his departure.
I have to say, though, that I think I have a different perspective on Lane Kiffin than most of you who have been beating your chests and are hopping mad over the matter. From my perspective as an East Tennessean on the outside looking in, it seems to me there are bigger and more important concerns to be spending your time on than spewing your anger over getting jilted by Kiffin. It strikes me how many times, in recent history, Knoxville has seen this exact same storyline before. You know the story, the one where the charlatan, carpet bagger, or outright fraud swoops in and takes the town by storm; the town falls for it hook, line and sinker only later to find out that its "prize" possession or catch was far less than what everyone thought or had made it out to be. For especially high profile examples on this subject please see C.H. Butcher Sr., C.H. Butcher Jr., Jake Butcher, Alex Haley, Chris Whittle, J. Wade Gilley, John Shumaker, and now, Lane Kiffin, just to name a few.
So Knoxville, why do you keep doing this to yourself? How come you keep falling for these characters?
Anthony R. Howard