We would all like to think of the Southeastern Conference football coaches as one big happy family. So, like all big happy families, they should be sharing a Thanksgiving feast today. Something like this…

“Ed, stop drinking out of the gravy boat!”

“Is everybody here? It seems like a small group this year. Where is Jim?”

“Jim’s not here. He’s on vacation.”

“Vacation? Where is he? Please don’t tell me he’s…”

“Yep, shark fishing again…”

“Oh no. You remember what happened the last time…”

“And Butch, where is Butch?”

“He’s not here either.”

“Butch isn’t here?!? Then who is bringing the trash can? You mean to tell me we are having Thanksgiving dinner and there’s nowhere to put the trash?”

Orgeron: “Ain’t going to be no trash.”

“That’s true. Between Ed and Bret, there won’t be an ungnawed turkey bone or discarded pumpkin rind left.”

“Speaking of Bret, is he still with us? Is he here?”

(Loud belching sound from back of room.)

“OK, Bret’s still with us, at least for today.”

(Lower-pitched angry belch.)

“Oh and Kevin? Is Kevin still here?”

(Sumlin raises hand, in which he is holding a suitcase and one-way bus ticket.)

“Well, that’s good, I guess.”

“I’m still coaching the Texas Aggies as of today. That’s all I know. Plus I will be car pooling with Bret on the way home. No need to give back all that buyout money by wasting it on Aggie gasoline.”

(General cheers and laughter at the phrase “buyout money.”)

“You know what I hate? I hate when stores just can’t wait to put up their Jimmy Sexton Day decorations until after Thanksgiving.”

“Yep, the Wal-Mart in Fayetteville put theirs up right after the Coastal Carolina game! And we won!”

“I don’t mind a traditional display. Just Sexton Claus in his yacht, pulled by eight tiny reindeer, bearing gifts whether you’ve been good…”

“Bowl bonuses!”

“…or bad…”


(Much general mirth and merriment.)

“All right, all right. So we’ve got no Butch, no Jim and no Hugh…”

“I don’t miss Hugh, talking on his cellphone right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner last year. Who was he talking to?”

“Ummm…let’s move on. Nick, as the defending conference champion — again — it is your turn to carve the turkey — again, so…”

“That’s not Nick. It’s Kirby.”

“Are you sure? He’s dressed just like Nick. He walks just like him. He talks just like him.”

“Yes, but there is a little tiny “G” on the band of his straw hat.”

“I see. So where is Nick?”

“He’s over at the buffet table, checking the dressing for rat poison.”


“Stop shouting, Will!”


“Look, if everyone will calm down, I will get started carving the turkey…”

“I don’t want turkey, Nick. I want Waffle House.”

“OK, Gus, if you win the league this year, we’ll have Waffle House next year. If not, you’re fired. (More laughter and mirth)

“Now if everyone will just settle down…”

(Orgeron rips both drumsticks off the turkey, eats one, throws the other one at Saban, misses and hits Mark Stoops in the head.)

“OK! That’s it. We’re going to say grace.”

“Lord, we’d like to thank you for our great league. We’d like to thank you for our great fans. We’d like to thank you for no more shark pictures and for Tom Rinaldi making us cry, And we’d especially like to thank you for all the multi-year deals and impatient billionaire boosters…”

“Yes, indeed…”

“Amen to that!”

“I’m coming for you, Nick. Just remember that. And how come there’s no crawfish in this dressing?”

“And next year we are inviting Lane back…”


Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or 205-722-0225.