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Lane Kiffin denies using 'Joey Freshwater' alias but says he's used a different one

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“Jimmy Chestnut” doesn’t sound nearly as cool.

NCAA Football: FAU Press Conference Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

For a few years, there’s been a rumor about Lane Kiffin. The rumor is that Kiffin has gone to bars using an alias to conceal his identity as a high-profile football coach, calling himself “Joey Freshwater” instead of his real name. The rumor has never come close to being confirmed, but it’s caught on as a Fun Internet Thing.

The Kiffin-Freshwater rumor first appeared on a message board a few years ago (probably this one) in the form of this passage:

My friend was in a Tuscaloosa bar about six moths ago and saw Kiffin there. Kiffins proceeded to hit on one of his friends under the alias "Joey Freshwater". My friend knew it was Kiffin though and called him out on it, but he kept claiming "he gets that a lot." "Freshwater" ended up getting shutdown by the girl (I guess she wasn't in to guys twice her age) and goes to try his luck somewhere else. I have been waiting a long time to tell the legend of "Joey Freshwater" and now seemed like the perfect time since he was found cheating.

In an interview this week, the FAU head coach denied he’d used Freshwater as an alias.

"No, I have not," Kiffin told Fox’s Clay Travis in a radio interview flagged down by AL.com. "I've used Jimmy Chestnut but not Joey Freshwater."

"Someone told me, ‘Joey Freshwater is the best thing I've ever heard,’" Kiffin said, “and I said, 'Well, his friend is Jimmy Chestnut and is just as good.’”

I’d argue “Joey Freshwater” is a much hipper-sounding name than “Jimmy Chestnut” and would make Kiffin seem cooler to more people than the Chestnut alias. “Jimmy Chestnut” sounds more like that fraternity brother who could shotgun beers faster than anybody but transferred closer to home after his sophomore year. Jimmy Chestnut also sounds like a football coach’s name, which defeats the purpose.