On this day I am proposing a new campaign with a specific time and a specific place for my proposed action.
WHAT: I propose we free Mike the Tiger, having withheld food the previous week.
WHEN: November 8, 2008 at 2:00 PM
WHERE: Visitor's Locker Room, Death Valley
MIKE’S FIRST SNACK: Nick Saban
Now don’t you laugh. Don’t you dare laugh. This is serious business.
If I can get this idea onto the streets of Baton Rouge, it will get more signatures than a proposal for a free crab boil, courtesy of the Huey P. Long Foundation (if there is such a thing).
Nick’s bodyguards—and I suspect he will double up for that trip—would not stick around long when Mike lets out that ferocious roar. Old Nick would have to fend for himself thusly: “Mike! Mike! Don’t you remember me? We were buds back in 2003.” Mike roars even more loudly. For sure, he remembers.
“Mike, I got on my best duds here. I could never get the blood out.” A cat’s grin from Mike halts that approach. “What if I leave now and promise never to come back?” Mike walks to the door and swats it with a huge paw, sending it flying. Nick hurries to the concession area in search of a men's room.
You cannot imagine how deep the feelings run for Nick Saban in Baton Rouge, and I’m not talking about the good kind. If you had polled LSU fans before the Georgia/Alabama game, the Dawgs would have been the favorite of 99.9 percent of the poll-ees, and I wouldn’t want to be in that .1 percent if my name got out.
Given the same circumstances, would I take the money and run? Probably.
But LSU fans don’t ask themselves that question unless they have room for a lie at their next little conference with the priest. All they know is they gave him everything he asked for, he said that he would love them forever, and then he left them.
I’m not so sure LSU didn’t come out better on the deal. Win, lose, or draw, they now have the most entertaining team in the land (East of LA).
The Tigers have always been popular all over the South, primarily because WWL, which broadcasts Tiger games, was one of the few super radio stations in the country.
I remember my younger days in Memphis on Saturday nights. The Ole Miss, Arkansas, Memphis State, and Tennessee games were long over, and now it was time for LSU. We all listened. Southern Louisiana was a mythical land to us, with visions of dew dripping from Spanish moss and tigers roaring in the deep, dark swamps.
Hey, we were young. Why not tigers in Louisiana?
These days you see the Mardi Gras Gold (and you thought they were yellow) helmets everywhere on the tube (LCD now), and a penchant for white jerseys that is so cool the Saints finally picked up on it (sidebar: I saw a headline this morning—BUSH PUSHES BAILOUT—and I wondered why Reggie Bush would want to bail out).
Defense is basically a flying sport in Tiger Stadium, and who would not want to watch? ESPN has fallen in love with the Tigers. USC wants to play them so bad it hurts, and so does everybody else. But these boys are reserved for the SEC.
Florida, come get you some—Alabama, your number is coming up—Georgia, you haven’t seen the worst yet—Spurrier, in your face—Ole Miss, you should have saved some of what you spent on Florida—Fulmer, as bad as it is, it could have been so much worse if LSU was on your plate this year—Auburn and Miss State, well, better luck next year.
So LSU fans, lighten up! Forget about Nick Saban! The man went out and made a ton of money. More power to him.
We got us a Les Miles, and if Saban had stayed we would still have that dapper stuffed shirt instead of a guy who will bring us smiles, surprises, and some fantastic football—win, lose, or draw.