And when a sports writer takes a stance on an issue, it never comes without criticism or support – and lately, there have been plenty of both.
Whether it is the e-mail or the post office box, I receive various forms of response from our readers and this is something I invite. It is always good to hear what you the reader likes or dislikes.
Recently, a number of the viewpoints here have garnered plenty of feedback. Some of the responses I would like to share with you.
In December, the issue of the rights of the LSU Sports Network was debated here and with it brought an outcry of support from readers across the state and their disapproval of LSU awarding those rights to an out of state firm. An obviously sensitive issue, Tiger Rag received the following e-mail from a concerned reader:
"I was most disturbed to learn
today through Matt's article of the university's decision to end their
relationship with LN. As a
"We have seen this state and its
politicians push the importance of doing business at home to support our
economies. It also hurts to know that the same powers that be will be back in
session year in and year out poor mouthing about the lack of support of higher
education and the need to promote
- Charles Evans, Jr.
Thanks you Mr. Evans for your response.
On a lighter note, one of the more comical responses I have received pertaining to a recent editorial came on the heels of the hiring of Les Miles as the 32nd football coach at LSU.
When I receive e-mails from readers, not everyone feels the need to sign their name assuming responsibility for their rebuttal. However, some folks respond under an assumed, which can be quite funny from time to time.
Obviously a disgruntled
"Massive rationalization on your part. Good luck with Miles"
- Barry Sanders
Wow! Thanks Barry. By the way, could you send me an autographed jersey or something?
One of the newer features in Tiger Rag has been our viewpoint, labeled simply "Where Do We Stand?" This feature is typically found on page 5. In this weekly piece, we take the liberty of offering our opinion on a various array of weekly topics, on which we give quick hitters expressing our view. While some are positive in the form of congratulatory remarks, we typically use this as an open forum to climb up on the soap box and rant about the happenings of the week.
Recently I received a letter from a
long time subscriber, who asked that we not publish his response. However, I
would like to address his criticism of our opinion on USC quarterback Matt Leinart's decision to return to the Trojans for his senior season. While we felt
Leinart should have left for the NFL instead of coming back for his last year at
While I do not always agree with players leaving early for pro sports, in this case I felt he would be better served moving onto the NFL. In the response I received, the reader states "it was distressing that a criticism was published of a college athlete because that athlete wants to stay in school rather than take the money of pro sports."
In retrospect, I agree with the reader and can see the issue of sending positive message to athletes to stay and complete the commitment he made to play football at USC. However, we also feel Leinart has accomplished all anyone might dream of wanting to accomplish in the college ranks and would be jeopardizing draft status with the potential of having a bad senior season – that's all. Maybe Leinart could finish his degree (if he hasn't already in these days of accelerated learning at the college ranks i.e. Collis Temple III at LSU)? Whatever Leinart does as a senior at USC, the risk of an injury on the playing field affecting his draft status has been lessened considerably, considering the fact the Heisman Trophy winner took out a $15 million insurance policy. This guy has his bases covered.
One of my most recent editorials
concerned the fan turnout for LSU basketball games. In a move which I rarely
make, I criticized the fans for not supporting the team despite the outcry for
the removal of John Brady as head coach. Fans are soured on Brady and are
growing restless as the Tigers flirt with mediocrity year in and year out in the
SEC. The opinion stated was support the team despite your feelings about the
coach, which brought about the following response from a
The following are excerpts of an e-mail received that is too long to be published in its entirety"
"Starting in the late 70's, when the Tigers became not only competitive but were regularly in contention for the SEC crown and NCAA Tournament berths, Mitchell, Macklin, Martin, Carter, the Cookie Man and Sims filled the "Deaf Dome" every night.
"The common ingredients: Quality play and, most of all, wins.
"Everyone supports a winner. Not many support mediocre play with few wins. Ask the Saints. Ask any team that is consistently mediocre. Even Tiger Stadium had many vacancies during the Hallman era.
"I am a fan. I lived in
With the most recent debacle at
LSU battled valiantly throughout
the first half and the opening minutes of the second stanza, but fell hard down
the stretch for the third-worst loss in the John Brady era. The only two defeats
worse that Saturday's were a 35-point defeat at
While it will take the Tigers winning more games at home to rebuild its credibility after such a debilitating defeat, with it being a down year in the SEC, the Tigers still have a chance to win enough games to possibly turn this thing around.
From the looks of teams like Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee, if LSU can win the games they should against the above listed teams and possibly pull off an upset against either Florida, Mississippi State or Alabama and you never know what may transpire come March.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger rag Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.