By REED NELSON
The Coach’s Diary series takes us past the interviews, the fake smiles and the rehearsed responses, and delves deep into the things Pac-12 coaches don’t say to the media.
USC coach, Lane Kiffin, has had himself a brutal week. After his team’s frustrating loss to Oregon on Saturday, the coach blamed the loss on just about every factor he could in the whole entire world short of Hurricane Sandy. Then, on Thursday, the nation found out that during the second half of the Oregon-USC game, a USC student-manager had deflated five footballs in order to provide the Trojans with an edge in the air. Here is what Lane really thinks about all of this.
Sunday, November 4th: Reconciliation
I can’t sleep. And I can’t believe we lost. Sure, Oregon might have outplayed in us in every facet of the game, but I really thought we had a shot, especially after last year. Damn. I should have talked about last year a little bit more in the post game press conference. Maybe people would have forgotten about this year…
But this year has just been so hard. Sure, this season’s disappointment is on me and the staff, but not all the way. I won’t point fingers here, but take Saturday, for instance: There was no great defense, as I said in my press conference, on Barkley’s pick in the end zone, Lee was held. Point, me. We should have done better on offense. Point, me. And hey, I didn’t turn the friggin’ ball over, either. Point, ME.
So, Saturday had nothing to do with Oregon’s 730 yards of offense. If we hadn’t shot ourselves in the foot, if Mariota threw us the ball again, things would have been better. They would have been different.
And am I the only one who notices the effort???? Robert Woods was trying the whole entire game!
We got in a shootout, and we should have won. My guys didn’t play perfect. I copped to not being perfect either, but we all know that I am.
I’m like perforated line, a protractor-aided circle and Bo Derek all wrapped into one, massive Perfect Burrito.
When I look into the mirror, the most gorgeous Manning in the world stares back at me.
But it’s late, 2 a.m. by my count (which may or may not be accurate. No, it is. Because I’m perfect.), so I’m going to grab some Teddy Grams, a glass of milk and maybe I’ll sneak a cat treat or two.
Tuesday, November 6th: Trouble on the horizon
I’m not sure how long we can keep this a secret, but to avoid a paper trail I’ll just say this: We got caught again, and I’m wriggling like a sonofabitch to work my way out of it.
Just know, Thursday might not be so cheery.
Wednesday, November 7th: The calm before the scorn
I ate a giant bowl of Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries this morning. I even mixed in some extra Berries from the stash of Only Berries that I keep under the sink. I’m naughty.
But I’m also worried. This whole “deflated football” thing might actually have some legs. I might blame it on some student-manager, however, and that could solve things.
Right now, though, things don’t look good. A deflated football helps receivers catch the ball, and mine caught the ball downfield a lot during the second half of Saturday’s game.
Pray for me Diary.
Thursday, November 8th: We beat it!
8:32 a.m.: They found five deflated footballs following the first half of the Oregon-USC game, which we deflated. My first reaction: Just five, huh? My second reaction: Oh shit. But it took a few days for them to make it public, so I’ve got a plan. First, I’ll get rid of all the flat footballs, except the five they’ve mentioned. Secondly, I’m going to call up athletic director Pat Haden and ask him to play Jack Ruby and fire the kid. Just work with me on this one. Then, once the kid is fired, I’m going to claim I knew nothing and that the little punk went rogue.
It sounds like it might work. I’ll let you know.
11:32 a.m.: Sing it with me: I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy, ooh ooh ooh!
They bought that whole “rogue student-manager” thing, hook, line and sinker. God this is fun. I can switch jerseys, close practices, deflate footballs. Hell, I might even give Belichick a call to see how not to get caught filming the oppositions play signals. He’s pragmatic, right?
After all, I’m out of the woods on this one. Our very own Lee Harvey Oswald played along, and I’m perfect anyway. It’s a good thing they didn’t find the entire warehouse I keep stocked with deflated footballs. My patsy held strong.
Note to self: Change the locks on the warehouse, switch the title over to Todd Marinovic to avoid suspicion.