Visit any Walmart in Tennessee and you will find two sports colors; orange and blue. No, it is not the latest crazy of Gator fever, it is the Tennessee Volunteers and Indianapolis Colts. Why the Colts, you ask, it is because of one man: Peyton Manning.
I bring him up to prove a point that Lane Kiffin had forgot to look over when he decided to leave the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Fans of Tennessee are the most devoted of fans. Every fall Saturday night, 100,000+ fans will be in Neyland Stadium cheering on the men in orange. Every Sunday afternoon 22,000+ fans will be in Thomson-Boling Arena cheering on a #16th ranked Vols againts a #1 Kansas. I grew up with classmates that have uttered VOLS as their first word. I have worked with the most devoted (redneck) fans to sit around at a grocery store just to get free tickets.
My point is, Kiffin could have been a hero. Peyton Manning was a Volunteer in this past decade and we still haven’t forgot him. It is like he never left, he is just wearing a different number (both of which still sell out #16 & #18) Kiffin could have had his face plastered on every billboard in Tennessee and upon every Dish Network Satellite Dish across this great state. But he had to go, 14 months after he was welcomed with shirtless students painted up with his name across their chests in 30 degree weather, he had to go.
Just as we have never let Peyton Manning really leave we will never let Lane Kiffin go as well.
Lane Kiffin, congratulations you will never be forgotten of forgiven.