Dr. Saturday

Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri gets emotional talking about difficulty in facing his son this week (VIDEO)

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

Mostly when a father coaches against his son, or two brothers are on opposing sides for a game, the reaction ranges from uncomfortable (which seems to be the case for Peyton and Eli Manning, for example) to enjoying the competition.

This week Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri will be on the other side from his son, Vinnie Sunseri, a defensive back at Alabama.

Sal Sunseri is as conflicted and bothered by the family matchup as anyone we've seen.

In a video posted by KnoxNews.com, when Sal Sunseri met with the media he was so uncomfortable with the idea of having to coach against his son's team that about a minute and a half into the group interview he started to get emotional.

A lot of Sunseri's message is that he simply misses seeing his son, which is understandable for any parent. Then there's the obvious emotional conflict about having to try to beat the team his son plays for. Because he coaches defense and his son plays on defense, there isn't any direct conflict. But Sal admitted if he had to scheme against Vinnie he might not be able to do it, saying, "I'd have to make a decision."

Vinnie, according to the Birmingham News, seemed bothered by facing his father's team as well:

"Very, very tough," Vinnie said. "A lot of mixed emotions. Hard. Hard, hard, hard. I'm getting a lot of calls from the family saying good luck to me, but I know they're just giving the same, exact advice to my dad. It's tough. It's really tough. But I'm excited to see my dad."

Sal's wife and Vinnie's mother Roxann is also having a difficult time with the game this week. Sal said he thinks she should stay home rather than deal with the conflicting emotions at the stadium, but that his wife will do whatever she thinks is right.

While the games featuring family members on opposite sides can be fun for some, it's positively miserable for the Sunseris.

"Emotionally for the family, it's been really, really, really tough," Sal Sunseri said. "I didn't think it would be this hard."

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