I am writing this letter as one of many who represent Tiger Nation. Those of us who faithfully follow our beloved LSU in most every sport. But like most, the football program holds a very special place in our heart.
Since toddlers, we began our maturation in the cool shadows of the grand stately oaks, the clock tower, and Tiger Stadium. The LSU campus became like a second home. I can not recollect the countless occasions my grandmother would take my sister and me down to the lakes to feed the ducks. And never did we leave without seeing Mike the Tiger, or do a toss and tumble down the Indian Hills. A hair full of grass, and the itch on my legs and arms that came along was always welcomed. Keep in mind, however, rowdy play was never without caution, so as to not stain my LSU T-shirt or jersey. These garments were sacred—blue jeans and shorts weren’t, and often brought many under the breath comments made by maw maw.
I can remember as a child, these times of play and splendor would dance in my dreams at night, and I could see the little boy who looked like me, stare up at the great stadium wall, peeking through the gates to get a glimpse of the field…with hopes of playing there one day. Tiger Stadium was so grand and mesmerizing.
I’m sure like most fans, growing up around a major university and its program can manifest itself in many forms of love, passion, and warmth. I don’t know anyone close to me who hasn’t made some sort of change in plans, or life deciding events around the fall football season. How dare anyone schedule a wedding, or a birthday party on a home game…it’s almost sacrilegious—Not to mention tacky.
I know you’re familiar with all of this, and I’m sure you have the same passion for your beloved Michigan team, and have a story of your own. I know also that you love LSU equally; maybe even more so now that you have led us to many victories since coming to Baton Rouge. You have been adopted into the Tiger Family with a zeal and love from us all. Well, most true Tiger Fans anyway. Those who are "Johnny come lately", boo-birds, and over-all haters, don’t count as true fans.
I wanted to write this letter to encourage you and your staff to continue in earnest. Football is such a great teacher of life lessons. Hopes and dreams often don’t materialize the way we always would like. The pain of failure and sacrifice are all too common in our journey of becoming the man or woman God has placed in our hearts to be through gifts, potential, and talents unfulfilled, or yet unrecognized.
The loss to Florida was painful to watch. I am perplexed as to how our offense is struggling so greatly. Even with last year’s challenges at the quarterback position, we still managed to score an average of close to 30 points a game. Obviously, not knowing the changes, or the game-plan going into each game, I can not comment intelligently on the difference of last year compared to now. It would seem as though the offense is too difficult to run. Can we have last year’s offense back?
The defense is doing so much better, and I am thankful. Coach Chavis and the rest of the coaches are doing such a great job. I feel confident that they will continue to jell and get better.
Coach, I’ve never had the opportunity to meet you, and most likely never will in person, but I want to end by thanking you for your commitment, sacrifice, and love you give to our love—the LSU Tigers. You are a leader, mentor, and teacher of young men of not just football schemes, drills, and objectives, but values, ethics, and morality that will far exceed in the hearts of these young men, and the lives they touch as God places them in whatever venue and capacity He so chooses.
I tip my cap to you coach. Keep up the good work—keep the faith. Only through failure is success possible. As severe heat is needed to burn the dross from fine metals...so is adversity for the hearts of man, to reveal what's true, precious, and pure; Character, Long Suffering, Wisdom, Resolve, Compassion, Mercy, Humility, Sacrifice, Grace, Love.
As the late great Winston Churchill once was quoted as saying; “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Geaux Tigers!
Sincerely, Dale Weaver