I wasn’t going to do it.
I was ready to move on, because it’s long been time to. I was willing to let the results stand for themselves, because they tell the story more than words do. And I was working on writing preview articles looking ahead to the 2017 football season, because that’s what a modicum of common sense says it’s time to do.
But then last week, the LSU blog AndTheValleyShook went and crossed the line from stupidity into the land of downright delusion nine months after a particularly ugly chain of events took place. Somehow, this LSU fan seems to think that his Tigers “bent over backward to help Florida, and that the Gators screwed them over at every turn.” Or in other words, barely two weeks after the University of Florida had finished administering a program-wide, all sports included collective beatdown on LSU that was as good a sign of karma as you’ll ever find on this earth, somebody decided to go shopping for sympathy.
Let’s momentarily hold off on the fact that this article I linked above is written by somebody pen-named Poseur who resides in- or perhaps presides over?- the land of make believe, where truth is dictated by a desire for something to be true rather than facts and logic proving it to be. We can come back to that soon. The mere fact that an LSU fan would even care to write about this subject, period, in July tells you all you need to know about how badly Florida has crushed LSU souls.
Before we go any further, though, it’s worth one final look back at the mess that caused this. For those of you who aren’t aware of the details, I published two separate tell-alls of the events that took place behind closed doors that week, narrated in part by people who were listening to them.
(Disclaimer: it wouldn’t be responsible of me to not to acknowledge that there are a lot of good hearted, intelligent LSU fans out there. If you’re one of them, and can at least see how LSU is at fault for this mess, you are not targeted by anything beyond this point. And to you: I am sorry that I have to pander to the dumbest portion of your fan base. You’re preaching to the choir if you want to say every fan base has them. The problem is that yours is growing at an alarming rate, and has now spread to the blogosphere, which was my last straw.)
There are countless public statements that back my version of the events, plus the tones of anger clearly discernible in the voices of Gator players and coaches when asked about the matter. There was Jeremy Foley’s press conference on the matter, during which he labeled LSU staff difficult to work with four different times and used the word difficult fifteen additional times. There’s also SEC commissioner Greg Sankey going out of his way to praise Florida’s handling of the situation. And last but not least, there was Joe Alleva’s email calling the matter a joke.
Now that’s funny.
You would think that LSU fans and administrators would be more sympathetic to Florida’s situation given that their town once looked like Hiroshima right after Little Boy went off. Of all schools, they should know how serious a matter a hurricane is, right? And not just in the midst and immediate aftermath of it, either- that’s bad enough- but eight months after the proverbial “heat of the moment” died down and logic and reason had a chance to seep back in?
Evidently not. Unfortunately, the article I’m responding to got published, and we’ve now reached the point in the article in which I’m responding to that article where I respond to that article. So here we go. In case you ever wondered what being a psychiatrist would be like, but didn’t want to go to school for it, consider this your real life opportunity to observe the behavior a legally insane human being.
My initial thought bears repeating here: I have no idea why this guy picked now to drop his garbage on our heads. The article is subtitled, “Because what else are we gonna do in July?” …but that isn’t as much an excuse to whine about nine month old spilled milk as much as it is an admittance that there’s nothing to do in Baton Rouge. That was Poseur’s first mistake.
But the far more egregious tactical error was actually publishing this article in the first place. I almost want to believe that an agitated chimpanzee spent 30 seconds pounding away at the keyboard and this was the result after autocorrect worked its magic. A line by line takedown of this lunacy would take too long, but here are some of the dumbest pieces of one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read.
Regarding a tweet from Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee that (correctly) states that LSU mishandled the situation:
By mishandling, he means that LSU offered to play the games at a neutral site or at Tiger Stadium, going so far as to do the legwork to secure those sites to be ready for the weekend. Or offering to play the game on Sunday in Gainesville.
What an offer. Thank you so much, LSU, for “offering” to give up a Florida home game so you could generate money off of it. And for the record: no, LSU did not “offer to play the game on a neutral field,” while Florida had previously stated they would not play on Sunday due to concerns about players’ families. Which again, is something LSU of all schools should understand.
The very next paragraph:
Of course, LSU couldn’t mishandle the situation because LSU had no control over the game. Foley refused to consider alternate sites or moving the game back a day, standing on his now infamous line, “the game will not be moved from Gainesville.”
LSU had so much control over the game that they point blank told Jeremy Foley that his team would either come to Baton Rouge to play the game or it would be declared a no-contest, thus eliminating the Gators from the SEC East race. With no other choice, Foley reluctantly agreed. As for Foley refusing to consider alternative sites? A simple “not true” would be letting this guy off the hook too easily, but there’s even more mind-numbing idiocy to get to, so it’ll have to suffice for now.
Then there was this:
“Get this, hurricanes are serious and should be treated as such. But after a week of denying this basic fact, Florida and their fans then turned around and started blaming LSU.”
Florida and their fans couldn’t have possibly denied this. They were too busy making sure their families were safe to spend the 15 seconds it would have taken to come up with a denial of a flat out falsehood. And I’m sincerely glad to see one LSU fan come out and say he doesn’t think that hurricanes are a joke. We know their AD and their fans do.
But this author’s loss of touch with reality was best epitomized by this passage:
Now, after offering multiple sites and days, LSU was really in no hurry to reschedule. The situation was caused almost entirely by Florida dragging their feet and denying the severity of the situation, and now they needed LSU to cancel one of its home games in order for Florida to reschedule. A few days later, Joe Alleva caved and agreed to play Florida at home, given that Baton Rouge was hit by its own natural disaster that same year, and local businesses needed the home game to help recover.
LSU offered to play the game in a grand total of one location: Baton Rouge. The situation was caused by a f*cking hurricane, not anybody’s denial. Florida did not need LSU to cancel a home game; LSU was required to do it by conference ordinance- but then again, they were much more willing to face the punishment of disobeying. Now, those three sentences would all typically be enraging to read if it wasn’t the average level of delusion in this article, but save your energy for the last line:
“Joe Alleva caved and agreed to play Florida at home…”
Oh, no, you really didn’t just say that. Here we go…
The only way you can accurately use the word “caved” to describe Joe Alleva is by illustrating what the Gators did to his football team. For example, “The LSU Tigers got their heads caved in by speeding orange Mack trucks at the shadow of the goal line.” Or, if you take the last letter off the word, you could use it to describe his newfound habitat in a sentence like, “After the Florida Gators humiliated his football team, dropped 106 points dropped on his basketball team, blew out his softball team in the WCWS and swept his baseball team in the CWS national championship series, Joe Alleva now lives in a cave so he doesn’t have to see the light of day.”
And in a sentence that probably should’ve been the article’s title, so we knew what we were getting into:
LSU bent over backwards to help Florida and tried to plan ahead, only to have Florida screw them over at every turn.
To my knowledge, the only person who accepted this version of events was outspoken Tennessee fan and professional troublemaker Clay Travis. And of course he did, because his lone life goal is to have the single dumbest opinion a human being can possibly have on anything. Travis, who somehow has a job covering sports despite possessing all the likeability and knowledge of a waterlogged piece of paper, even hosted a now-viral Periscope in which he called the Gators “p*ssies” multiple times the week after the game was supposed to take place. Yet even Travis, the king of factually incorrect, insensitive and downright insane statements, backed off the narrative after Florida won the game. Oh, he was bitter, but he backed off the narrative.
Yes. Even Clay Travis realized it sounded stupid.
Florida screwed LSU over? Why, because the Gators refused to play along with their secret agenda to steal a win they didn’t deserve and instead turned their extra home game into a funeral? Did Florida cause a high saline monsoon in Baton Rouge from all the tears shed by LSU fans once it dawned on them that they lost their precious home game and now have to go to the Swamp in each of the next two years? To the former, I present you with this, and to the latter, well, hey, now you know how we felt dealing with Matthew.
It’s at this point that I implore you to take one final moment to recall how much fun LSU fans had with this topic (because again, hurricanes are awesome) from the week before the game was supposed to be played on October 8th to the day it was actually played on November 19. Constant taunts about how Florida was scared to play, mixed in with efforts to reach the moral high ground like the one we just saw above. Fans tweeting their blather @players in waves. Incorrigible human beings who truly believed the drivel they were fed from their school officials and the sources their school officials spoke to. This all made them that much more ready for the game, which was supposed to culminate in a huge win that their school had more than earned for dealing with Florida’s nonsense.
But it didn’t happen that way. Instead, the Gators walked into Death Valley and took a big chomp out of LSU’s pride. Maybe it was karma. Maybe the excess of lies and rumors pissed off the Gators players and prodded them to play better than they were normally capable. Maybe LSU players just got too hot again. Whatever you want to attribute it to, LSU didn’t win, and thus, weeks of preparing for an ultra emotional victory abruptly morphed into shock, disbelief, nausea and heartbreak.
And by any objective measure, that’s what LSU fans deserve. I’ll make no bones about it; watching LSU fans suffer that day and on social media ever since elicits the kind of speechless joy that you hear athletes unsuccessfully try to describe when they win a championship. Weeks of taunting a school that just dealt with a hurricane in the name of a football game deserves a devastating loss in that football game.
And a 106-71 loss in basketball to that same school in which they set the school record for made threes against you on your home floor.
And a 7-0 beatdown in softball to that same school at the Women’s College World Series.
And a two games to none sweep at the hands of that same school in the College World Series Championship Series, which inevitably ends with you staring at the players jumping on each other to celebrate winning the ultimate prize.
Let this be a lesson to you, LSU fans, bloggers and especially Joe Alleva. Karma does exist. So the next time you’re willing to put down your corndogs and lose yourself in the paranoid wormhole that sucks you into the alternate universe you so clearly hail from, I ask you to keep one very important thing in mind.