Can't Tame the Tigers: "LSU Envy" Irks Paul Finebaum

Corey GautreauxSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2008

Paul, Paul, Paul.  I believe you are all confused my friend!  You see, this IS an absolutely wonderful time for LSU football fans.  These ARE the golden ages of LSU football my friend.  These are the days that LSU fans once dreamt about.  These are the days LSU football fans have that warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside.  You remember that feeling Paul?

You may have to go back sometime to understand that feeling I am referring to. Let’s see if we can go there together.  Think back to those glory days of Alabama.  You know…all those national championships.  Remember how it felt when you just had to win over the local VFW Bingo League to get crowned a national champion?  Remember how great it felt when the “Bear Bryant School of Journalism” awarded Alabama one of those twelve national championships?  Remember how great it felt that you were crowned a national champion while a team that beat you finished second in their poll?  Remember that feeling?  That is the feeling I am talking about Paul.  That warm and tingling feeling you get when you know you are on top of the world.

Well now that you know the feeling I am referring to, I think we can move on and discuss your recent article. 

You claim that:


“It's been downhill ever since the Tigers put the beat down on Ohio State in

the Sugar Bowl. A pitiful crowd of 25,000 (Florida had 50,000 the year before)

gathered to celebrate LSU's national championship. By most math accounts,

even in Louisiana, that's a cool 67,000 fewer people than showed up for  

Alabama's spring football scrimmage. And they call their program big-time.”   


You are right Paul, Tiger fans should be ashamed for thinking that winning national championships is more important than filling your stadium for a spring football scrimmage.  We all know this is what makes a big time program, not actually winning on the field.  It makes no sense that only 25,000 people showed up in the rainy 30 degree weather to watch the Tigers collect their second crystal football.  Shame on those Tiger fans!  We know one thing though, IF Alabama WOULD win a BCS crystal football, we can guess that 100,000 would show up for the celebration.  I guess it is a lot easier to speculate when your trophy case doesn’t contain anything in it with less than 15 years of dust on it, than it would be to actually win one and prove it.  You went on to quote many Louisiana newspapers articles about the raise Les Miles received from LSU.   


But the story that came out over the weekend further cemented any doubt

that LSU  fans simply can't enjoy their own success. Apparently, they still have

"Nick Envy."  Instead of giving Les Miles the expected raise he is entitled to

receive, they gave him $3.75 million. What's remarkable about that? It's

$1,000 more than Saban. Of course, it's in his contract that he becomes the

highest-paid SEC coach. By giving him the $1,000 on the nose (what's wrong

with a few more pennies to look more legit?), LSU comes off looking petty,

which shouldn't really be that surprising considering the history of the school.”   


This sounds to me like Mr. Finebaum has “LSU Envy”.  The contract Coach Miles signed states that he must become the highest paid coach in the SEC.  I don’t understand the confusion.  It is no secret that Nick Saban is the highest paid coach in the SEC, therefore by contract LSU must pay Les more.  Even by Alabama math, $3.751 million is more than $3.75 million.  So if Florida’s Urban Meyer was the highest paid coach in the SEC, I guess LSU would have “Meyer Envy”?  Well actually, that would be more fitting considering he has won a national title and doesn’t just talk about the one Steve Spurrier won.

 “My question is why should anyone in Louisiana continue to be obsessed with Nick Saban in relation to Les Miles? Why can't they embrace Miles? Perhaps the fact he desperately wanted out to leave for Michigan -- that is until the story blew up on ESPN -- might have something to do with the uneasiness and insecurity. Since taking over Saban's recruits, Miles is 34-6 and has finished No. 5, 3 and 1 in the final AP poll. Understandably, LSU fans are still obsessed with Saban and queasy with Miles. LSU fans may still yearn for the day when Saban roamed the sidelines. They remain embarrassed about Miles -- even with the national title -- like family members regard  the crazy uncle stowed away in the attic.” Don't forget people: Les Miles makes $1,000 more than Saban. Ain't it great to be on top? Nick Saban has been gone nearly four years. When will LSU fans get a life?

 My question is when will Paul Finebaum get a life? What is so hard to understand that LSU fans like that crazed man in the big white hat?  Is it because he doesn’t use “relative” every other sentence?  Is it because he doesn’t wear a visor?  Is it because he didn’t have gastric by-pass go wrong?  Is it because he doesn’t cry after a loss?  Is it because he doesn’t smoke cigars after a win on the road while still on the field?  Why don’t people understand that LSU fans like their coach?  I guess it’s just a lot easier for the national media to say LSU fans don’t like him, than it would be to explain why they like him.  After all he is a crazy, lucky, goofy man that just happens to win football games.  Wow, that wasn’t so hard to explain after all.  

It must be a slow day in the newsroom right Paul, although I find it hard to believe that an Alabama player wasn’t arrested last night.  I would have figured you would have been busy since they moved you up to write police briefs, since you DO know the Alabama football team better than anyone else.  I know it has to be frustrating seeing all those Louisiana sportswriters cover the big game while you were in Shreveport, but don’t worry, Saban may bring you a national championship and you can once and for all let go of that “LSU Envy”.