Yeah, that’s right. There’s no missing apostrophe “t” in that headline.
The LSU Tigers finished the 2007 season as the National Champions for the second time in five years. In most years, I am chomping at the bit for the college season to start—but not this year.
Someone mentioned to me last week there were less than two months until football season, and my reaction was, “Already?”
In most years, people that know me would ask if I had taken any blows to the head recently. In fact, I’m one of those guys who watches the kickoff countdown ticker while salivating uncontrollably (and unattractively I might add).
Usually there are some fixes to help me get by. College basketball and football recruiting tides me over for the first few months. College baseball keeps my cravings at bay a little.
But then comes June. I have to wait a month for EA Sports' NCAA Football to come out and occupy my thoughts throughout the month of July.
But then comes August. Stupid never-ending August! August is the Christmas Eve to September’s Christmas morn. You have to relive your childhood all over again back when waiting for Christmas day felt like a slowly unfolding agony. There’s so much hype and so much buildup for both football season and the holidays.
Of course, I never had ESPN predicting what I’d get for Christmas or how they thought the turkey would turn out the next day—although it makes me chuckle to think back and set Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit on play by play for my gift opening.
Brent: And little Justin tears into another box. Uh oh, this gift looks a little soft. This one’s not going to be a toy.
Kirk: Oh no, it’s a sweater!
And it would replay over and over like a tailback tearing his ACL. And during slow motion the following exchange would take place:
Kirk: Wow, Brent, this couldn’t have turned out any worse for the little guy.
Brent: You thought this kid had all the adversity he could handle when he opened up that six-pack of tube socks from his Aunt Lucille.
Kirk: Well, it’s all in how he recovers from here. If he can get a G.I. Joe Hovercraft here and maybe a Castle Grayskull along with some other gifts he asked Santa for, he may be able to turn this thing around. He usually saves the biggest presents for last, so maybe there’s some hope for this kid to bounce back from this.
Brent: Let’s hope so, the young man’s parents are watching. For more on this, let’s go down to the sidelines with our own Jack Arute.
Jack: Things do not look good from down here, guys. This young man obviously made a carefully planned out list for Santa in which a sweater never had a remote chance of being included, but here it is plain as day. It appears to be a plaid turtleneck. Wow. You could see the disappointment and disgust on his face. This is last year’s footie pajamas and green corduroy pants incident all over again fellas.
But I digress.
My point is, this is the absolute worst time of year for a fanatic. It’s enough to make someone insert the ABC broadcast team into his holiday memories.
So this is where we get back to the beginning of this column and where I turn all of you against me.
I, a rabid LSU fan, am not waiting anxiously for all the preseason magazines. I’m not nervously counting down the minutes until the first “ESPN College Gameday.” Although I love football season, it will get here in due time.
I don’t need college football season to get here in a hurry because my team won it all.
Pause for jeers, boos, and insults.
Many teams try to do it, but only one can make it. The National Championship trophy can quell your football cravings for next season, I promise you. A beautiful crystal football sitting atop a black stand that proclaims the LSU Tigers were the best in 2007.
Gotta love the crystal.
It’s so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
When your team wins the National Championship, all is right with the world. The air smells sweeter, people seem nicer, and the little things that used to get you down don’t seem to matter much anymore.
Everything is enhanced when the fact that your team won it all probably ticked off people like Lou Holtz and Paul Finebaum.
That’s the cherry on top. If that doesn’t make you happy down deep in your purple and gold heart, I don’t know what will.
Living well is the best revenge.
But let’s not get crazy—it’s not like I’m a Boston fan or something. Don’t hate me that much. I’ve been a loyal New Orleans Saints fan for my entire 32 years. I was due some happiness.
LSU had some good runs in the '80s with two SEC titles in '86 and '88, both of those seasons ending with Sugar Bowl losses to Nebraska. But the early '90s were rough. The mid '90s put the program back on the map before suffering two terribly disappointing seasons in '98 and '99.
But then came our most recent decade, and someday Tiger fans will talk of Nick Saban and Les Miles like they spoke of Paul Dietzel and Charlie McClendon.
The '07 season will be one that’s hard to top.
Of course, with the number of starters that the Tigers have to replace, especially at quarterback, I know the chances to repeat are slim. I’m not delusional. That’s another reason why I’m so hesitant to jump feet first into next season. When you reach the mountaintop, there’s nowhere to go but down.
I felt the same way after the 2003 season after LSU beat Oklahoma. I was in no rush for 2004 to get there.
But you know what? It did. And for all you guys and gals waiting with bated breath for the '08 season, it’ll be here soon. I promise.
But it’ll probably be a little sooner for me than you.