New perspective for editor

As the editor of Tiger Rag I am required to remain objective when covering LSU sports. The sign of a true journalist is his or her ability to remain impartial at all times.<br><br>However, there are sometimes when you are allowed to let your hair down and enjoy a game from a different perspective.

Being a professional sports writer and a person who loves sports, athletics can sometimes become stale as games are usually viewed from the confines of a cramped press box or in a folding metal chair on press row.

But two weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to spend a few hours watching a football game from a unique position.

Giving thanks to LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette and head football coach Nick Saban, I was chosen to serve as a media coach for one team in the annual spring game in Tiger Stadium.

Let's just say, it was an experience I will not soon forget.

I was one of six media coaches chosen. Other coaches included radio talk show host Buddy Songy, TigerBait.com webmaster Mike Scarborough, WBRZ sports reporter Michael Cauble, WAFB sports director Steve Schneider and Daily Reveille sports writer Dave Theard.

I was teamed with Songy and Scarborough as coaches of the White team, while Cauble, Schneider and Theard led the {urple team. Through no fault of our own, the White fell a bit short as the Purple eeked out a 24-21 victory.

The unique thing about the spring game is the winner gets a catered meal of steak served on china with linen tablecloths. The loser gets to eat beans on paper plates.

Needless to say, if I were a vegetarian, I would have it made.

Anyhow, what I was able to see behind the scenes provided for a pretty neat experience.

Upon arrival, we were escorted into the equipment managers' office where we dressed into our coaching garb. We were then led to our team meeting room where both squads were assembled for a quick message and pep talk from Saban.

After the rules were discussed and guidelines drawn, the Purple was dispatched to the visitor's locker room in the southeast corner of Tiger Stadium.

Following pregame talks from White coaches Jimbo Fisher and Will Muschamp, the specialists took the field for stretching and warm-ups. As coaches we were able to interact with the players as they went through the motions leading up to kickoff.

Once pre-kickoff activities were completed, our team again retired to the locker room. A few moments later, we were huddled back into the chute leading to the tunnel heading into the north end zone.

Although there was a smallish crowd of 8,002 in attendance, running though the tunnel, reaching up to slap the "Goal Post of the Double Standard," then trotting though Tiger Stadium's H-style goal posts to the sideline with "Fight for LSU" ringing in the air was enough to give even the most impartial journalist goosebumps.

From the opening kickoff, things looked good for the white team.

On the first possession of the game, Purple quarterback Matt Mauck threw an interception. Ronnie Prude picked off the errant pass giving the white squad good field position.

On the second play from scrimmage, tailback Joseph Addai ripped off an impressive 42-yard scoring run. Unfortunately, it was the only points our offense could muster in the first half of play. The Purple found the end zone twice and chipped in an Andre Boagni field goal taking a 17-7 into the locker room at the half.

Our team had a chance to tack on a 32-yard field at the end of the first half, but Corey Gaudet's offering banged off the left upright. Our team fell three points shy of a tie in the end, which of course I shouldered the blame for since Songy named me the special teams coordinator for our team.

Behind a brilliant second half showing, quarterback Marcus Randall led a furious White rally closing the gap to 24-21, but time expired shortly after a failed onside kick attempt.

In all, the experience was a memorable one. Except for the fact I now have to chow down on a meal consisting of beans with several hefty offensive linemen. YIKES!


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