FEINSWOG: Tigers Provide Entertainment

LSU provides entertainment of highest value in time of distress.

After nearly two weeks when it seemed nothing good was happening, especially not for the LSU football team, finally came 14 minutes and 47 seconds of pure fun with a positive outcome.

Entertainment.

Entertainment of the highest value in a place where football is king.

That's what you heard all along, wasn't it, that LSU had to play because the state of Louisiana needed a few hours break from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, that a football game would mean so much to a state that had its ass kicked by Mother Nature.

It was an unfair burden to put on a bunch of college kids, that they had to not only win the game, but also be an uplifting force in times of need.

Somehow, some way, they won the game. And few would argue that the 35-31 comeback victory at Arizona State was exciting, inspirational and fun to watch.

And certainly there were people who were charged up by the event, but the odds are they're Tigers fans to begin with and wanted LSU to win, hurricane or not.

The rest of the nation simply got to see a football game that was relatively uneventful for the first three quarters.

Most of us here watched the game on ESPN, because LSU wasn't ready to put 92,000 on a campus where life and death overruled football.

The broadcast was not ESPN's finest moment. It might have been possible for play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough to remind us more that it was "an emotional game," but it would be hard to imagine. The one-camera shot at Tiger Stadium where a group of students watched on a big screen was fuzzy, boring and even though there was a reporter there, she conducted no interviews.

And ESPN was getting no help from a game that was 17-7 in favor of ASU through three quarters.

But what a fourth quarter it was. Just your basic six-touchdown period, four by LSU. Unpredictable, exciting plays. And for LSU, which seemed to have so many disadvantages going in, a season-opening victory.

The ramifications are huge. The Tigers will move up at least one spot in the polls past Ohio State to No. 4. Now they have a week off to prepare for Tennessee, which becomes not the third game of the season in Tiger Stadium but the home opener.

Those of who live in Baton Rouge are overwhelmed by the influx of people and the quagmire we call traffic. If you don't live here, well, it's a mess. Just imagine what it will be like the day of the Tennessee game.

But that's OK, because our problems are nothing compared to what's happening 70 miles down the road.

New Orleans is still flooded. So many lives were lost and others are still filled with uncertainty and fear. Here in the capital city, life is so different and will never be the same again.

A football game couldn't change all that and no matter how it ended, it was unfair to expect it to.

But for one quarter, it was as much fun to watch as any LSU fan or hurricane evacuee could have asked for.

That's entertainment.

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Lee Feinswog is the author of "Tales From The LSU Sidelines," a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the television show Sports Monday. Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or lee@sportsbatonrouge.com.

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