We wonder how long Lane Kiffin spent thinking about whether he should bring a golf ball to a baseball game between Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Probably about two seconds. That was just long enough for his brain synapses to fire and remember how a golf ball nearly hit him when his football team took on the Vols at Neyland Stadium last fall.
So when asked to throw out the first pitch between Ole Miss and Tennessee baseball Friday night, why not sub out the ball? Seemed like the right thing to do when playing the Vols, although the stunt probably backfired on the baseball team.
We’re Not Sure If Lane Kiffin Used Same Golf Ball From Fall
Kiffin kept the golf ball from the football game as a souvenir. Maybe it was the same neon yellow golf ball an irate Tennessee fan tossed his way last fall.
So it’s late March. What’s all this golf ball talk about and why was Lane Kiffin, the football coach, throwing a baseball?
We’ll give the details. Let’s go back to the Mississippi-Tennessee football game last October. It was the first time Kiffin, as a head coach, had been back to the Tennessee stadium since he coached the Vols in 2009. There’s no love lost between the two programs.
The game, played October 17, was a wild one, emphasis on wild. Also add rowdy and boisterous to the description. With about a minute to go, officials ruled that Tennessee only gained 23 yards on a fourth-and-24 pass play. The Tennessee faithful were irate at the spot of the ball. Then fans began throwing bottles towards the field. The situation became so tense that the band, cheerleaders and dance team needed to leave the field. Police cleared the student section and action was delayed for almost 20 minutes.
The SEC fined Tennessee $250,000 for the collective bad sportsmanship.
Fans threw more than just water bottles. Someone tossed a bottle of mustard. Then a yellow golf ball whizzed past Kiffin. The coach picked it up and brought it with him to the post-game press conference.
“I don’t know if I’m more excited that we found a way to win or that I didn’t get hit with the golf balls that they were throwing at me,” Kiffin told the SEC Network.
“I still have my souvenir golf ball,” he said. (And) “I also got hit with bottles with some brown stuff in them. I don’t think those fans would waste moonshine. You’ve got one of the most passionate fan bases in America. A call didn’t go their way.”
But Lane Kiffin and his golf ball troll backfired Friday night. Ole Miss carried a No. 1 ranking into Friday’s game. Tennessee, meanwhile, ranked fifth. The Vols overwhelmed early, scoring six runs in the second inning. Tennessee hitting and pitching continued to roll with the Vols winning 12-1.
Ouch, Ole Miss. Don’t bring a golf ball to a baseball game, especially when it’s all about football, anyway.