The Memphis Commercial Appeal's Kyle Veazey, a friend of SBN Atlanta, has an overlooked interview with Memphis A.D. R.C. Johnson over at the CA's "Memphis Edge" web site that's certain to take the wind out of all our satirical sails.
By now you're no doubt familiar with Johnson's claim that Memphis - whose football program has been called a dumpster fire three times in the national media in the last 24 hours - "deserved" to be a member of the SEC. GUFFAWS AND CHORTLES, AMIRITE? Indeed, but upon further examination of Johnson's exact quote while speaking to a local TV station, some of the fun wears off. Some, not all. He's still insane, but you know, probably just minced his words:
"We're being very active and aggressive. We want to try to get ourselves in the best possible place. Ultimately, we would like to be in the SEC. That's where we think we belong geographically. We think we deserve to be. But we're talking to commissioners, we're talking to chancellors, presidents. Andrew, we're turning over every stone possible because we want to make this a bright future for Tiger athletics and conference realignment, I think, is part of it."
See? It's more of a delusional aspiration to belong than a delusional sense of entitlement. He did in fact say "deserve," but after seeing the soundbite lead off the local news broadcast on Monday, he actually called Veazey back to apologize to Memphis fans for any confusion.
And folks, that's just sad. This is truly an era of hardship for the have-nots of college athletics. If it helps, view the Tigers through the prism of a childhood favorite, "An American Tail," if only to open your snarky, bitchy hearts:
For in this fable of realignment, the SEC is our glorious, late 1800s United States of America, the C-USA a ravaged, Cossack-controlled Russia, Johnson and the Memphis fan base the loveable family of Jewish mice, and the Big East that evil scam artist rat from Brooklyn.
And since we're talking about pre-Industrial immigration epics, that could make Nick Saban Bill The Butcher, but that's a different film entirely. Point is, Memphis' aspirations, however far-fetched, are nothing to be ridiculed. At least until basketball season when a bunch of their fans become insufferable dicks about a glorified D-League squad.
Man. You just know Nick Saban would've killed Fievel and his whole family. Dick.