Thanksgiving Blessings

At the risk of using a major cliché, it is the time of the year when people ponder their existence and give thanks for their many blessings. I'm a bit of a traditionalist myself, so I'll take a few moments here to give some thanks.

-Obviously, I'm thankful for the most dominating, athletic LSU team in my lifetime. This team is big, it's fast, and it's deep. There is no doubt that they are the most talented team in the SEC. It's been breathtaking to watch this team maul through opponents, and no matter how this season ends, it's been one wild ride.


-While we're at it, how about some thanks to some of the unsung heroes of this team. Sure everybody knows about Matt Mauck and Michael Clayton and Chad Lavalais, but here are some guys that have been just as important.


-Cornerback Randall Gay. "Blue" has been the secondary's tutor from the start of fall practice. He roomed with Daniel Francis during camp and has been every bit as instrumental in prepping LSU's young DBs like LaRon Landry and Jesse Daniels as any member of the coaching staff. This year might be Gay's last shot at football, and rest assured he's enjoying this season.


-Tight ends Eric Edwards and David Jones. Lost in all the production and fireworks of LSU's offense has been the play of these two. Both have been stalwart blockers, especially Jones as an H-back. Edwards has even managed to sneak in an occasional reception. Both players have been excellent at kicking out linebackers, and have helped to spring some of Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard's best runs this year.


-Linebacker Adrian Mayes. Mayes might have lost his starting Will linebacker spot, but LSU's special teams are definitely better for it. Auburn's Tre Smith and Ole Miss' Mike Espy are probably still having nightmares.


-LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt. He's unquestionably the unsung hero of LSU's coaching staff, and I think Nick Saban will back me up on this. Moffitt is a big part of why LSU is one of the best-conditioned teams in the country. If you've ever been to an LSU practice, you'd understand just how motivating Moffitt is, as he's the spark plug that gets the whole engine running on the field. Not to mention the fact that he helps with every other sports team at LSU as well as football. I'm sure John Brady, Smoke Laval, Sue Gunter, Yvette Girouard, and Pat Henry are all very thankful for Coach Moffitt's expertise.


This college football season has yielded us a bountiful harvest of things to be thankful for:


-The BCS… That's right I said it! You can knock it all you want, but think about it: would you be talking about college football half as much without it?


-The New York Times computer poll. Give the folks in NYC credit for letting bygones be bygones and rehiring Jayson Blair. Who else could rank Texas number two after a 65-13 slaughtering at the hands of Oklahoma while holding a 10-1 LSU team at ninth?


-EA Sports NCAA Football 2003. Otherwise I would never have known I could stare at a TV screen for thirty minutes straight without blinking. Without a doubt one of the best sports games in history.


-Miami Hurricane tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. In an age when few young people are willing to answer Uncle Sam's call, it's nice to see him fighting so bravely overseas to ensure America's safety. Wait a minute…


-Deposed Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett. It's so nice to see a great player who's grounded and really out to get an education. Oops, missed again.


-Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen. It's so nice of him to send Val Kilmer royalties for stealing his look from Top Gun.


-Kentucky QB Jared Lorenzen. Thanks for the memories J-Load. You've given every kid who gets relegated to the offensive line in Pee Wee football hope.


-Alabama QB Brodie Croyle, for showing the world the wonders of masochism. Why else would he continue to subject himself to the pounding he takes behind ‘Bama's awful offensive line?


-The Arizona Wildcats, for forcing us all to ask ourselves, if a football team collapses and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?


-ESPN's Trev Alberts. Without him, people might actually think LSU had a good team.


-Northern Illinois, Cal, Oregon, Wake Forest, and every other team that's pulled a big upset this year. Who needs a playoff? The regular season is a playoff, with teams like these playing the roll of the Cinderella team, a la basketball's March Madness.


-Fried turkey. Not really a football related thought, but it's darn tasty.


-For the great readers of Tiger Rag, who hopefully have enjoyed my jokes half as much as they've enjoyed LSU's great 2003 season.

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