Saying he just “got caught up in emotions” before his team’s game on Saturday, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin apologized Monday for cutting short an interview with a sideline reporter by urging the audience to “get your popcorn ready.”
The incident happened moments before the Rebels took the field against top-rated Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kiffin was being interviewed by CBS’ Jamie Erdahl when he blurted out the popcorn comment, perhaps hinting at a high-scoring game to come, and then tossed the headset he had been wearing toward a cameraman and headed for the Ole Miss sideline.
Kiffin, who is in his second season coaching Ole Miss, said it didn’t take long for him to realize that he “said something really stupid,” and remarked to his offensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby, who calls plays for the Rebels, “You better score a lot of points.”
Erdahl was about to ask another question when the incident occurred, and Kiffin said he didn’t realize until later how “rude” the scene came off.
“They were calling for kickoff return, there’s 30 seconds on the clock and the refs are calling for us. I didn’t know there was another question,” Kiffin said.
“When I found out afterwards that it looked rude, which it did, I contacted Jamie and made sure that she knew that was not on purpose,” he said. “I apologize for that. It was not done on purpose at all. Looked like it, though. I saw it.”
Kiffen said he actually referred to the comment again at halftime, when his team was down 28-0. He jokingly told Lebby that the Rebels apparently “didn’t plug the microwave in.”
Last season, Ole Miss put up 48 points and gained 647 yards against Alabama in a 63-48 loss, the most points and yards the Crimson Tide allowed all season.
The Rebels (3-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) lost 42-21 to Alabama in their league opener. They return home to face No. 13 Arkansas on Saturday.
–Field Level Media