The List: Kiffin remembers his roots   

Updated: December 3, 2008, 3:40 PM ET

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Lane Kiffin

AP Photo/Wade Payne

Hopefully life in Tennessee won't be as dysfunctional.

So, you're Al Davis, and you happened to be flipping channels late Monday afternoon when you stumbled upon the news conference for new University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin. You weren't sure why a local cable channel chose to broadcast the proceedings, but you decided to give it a few minutes to see where it might go.

So, just out of curiosity: How happy were you to be included in the list of those Kiffin gave credit for his quick rise up the coaching ranks?

This Week's List

No, it's fine, we'll wait -- after all, that 17-yard kickoff return is worth the trouble: The best moments of every NFL game come when an extra point is followed by a stream of commercials, followed by a kickoff and another stream of commercials.

This is why, right now, there's no one within 15 points of the Tar Heels: Pre-conference college basketball so far this season has been one unending stretch of bad games featuring poor fundamentals, terrible free-throw shooting and senseless turnovers.

And to think: You thought Billy Packer got fired.

The good part is, preseason college basketball tournaments save a lot of money on wages for concession-stand workers: If you take away the players, coaches and media, I swear there were more people watching the Old Spice Challenge in my house than there were in the arena.

And when you get down to it, there's a point to be made there, and it's this: It's far more important that people watch on television than in person.

You and your buddies can sit around devising reality-show formats all you want, but there's only one reality-related gimmick that could get me to turn on the TV: A full-length recording of Lions coach Rod Marinelli's headset conversations from Thursday's embarrassing -- even for them -- loss to the Titans.

Just for the heck of it: Les Josephson.

Keown in one minute

Tim talks about the repercussions of the BCS on college football. ESPN Radio Extra Point

For Tom Cable's next trick, he's going to have Shane Lechler run from the Wildcat formation, fake the Statue of Liberty, drop-kick it from 45 yards and then act surprised when it doesn't work: Before you call on Sebastian Janikowski to be the featured attraction on a fake field goal that calls for him to run 7 yards to the line of scrimmage and then 10 more to get the first down, you might want to make sure Janikowski can run 17 yards.

This is about all you can say about the blown fake field goal the Raiders ran to give the Chiefs a touchdown: If you think you have to rely on goofy tricks to beat Kansas City, you simply have zero faith in your team.

In other news, it was revealed that Stephon Marbury has hired Kellen Winslow Jr. to be his lead speechwriter: In response to the Knicks' desire to rid themselves of him and his teammates' desire to see it happen, Marbury said, "They left me out for dead. It's like we're in a foxhole and I'm facing the other way. If I got shot in the head, at least you want to get shot by the enemy. I got shot in the head by my own guys in my foxhole. And they didn't even give me an honorable death."

From the afterworld, we have late word: Even Gen. Patton thinks Marbury's speech was over the top.

It very well could be the wave of the future -- hey, I was wrong about televised poker -- but for the most part, it just makes me want to find a quiet place to close my eyes and think: Speed pool.

One guy who sometimes needs to find his own quiet place, if only for sanity's sake: Philip Rivers, the most wildly emotional quarterback.

Apparently, this is the new football phrase from those in the know: Run behind your pads.

One question you're not supposed to ask: Tell me, Mr. Wizard, what exactly does it mean to run behind your pads?

Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer?: No.

Now: Wasn't that easy?

In trying times like these, it's comforting to know there's a sane solution to the world's problems: At a bookstore near you -- "Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream."

As always, it's your call: As an alternative to JTP's book, there's always the magicJack.

And finally, a punishment that fits the crime: Plaxico Burress, Detroit Lion.

ESPN The Magazine senior writer Tim Keown co-wrote Josh Hamilton's autobiography, "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back," which is available now on Sound off to Tim here.


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