I wouldn't know. I was with my
fiancée, Beth, attending a six-hour, pre-marital seminar at our church in
(I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. Just kidding Beth.)
At any rate, when the seminar ended
shortly before 3 p.m., we rushed down to the
It was a pivotal game for coach
John Brady and the Tigers. Since losing to UConn two weeks earlier, LSU had
rattled off three straight victories, including a pair of impressive road wins
at always-tough-at-home teams
It was a defining game for Brady's
young team. JP Sports color analyst and former
The LSU faithful must have heard
Fogler loud and clear and turned out in droves, totaling more than 10,000
(10,231 to be exact, even though it looked like more). So Brady in the Tigers
found themselves in a familiar spot. Coming home after a big win with momentum
and lots of butts in the seats. LSU didn't take advantage of an earlier
opportunity when they lost to
Seldom in life do you get a second chance to redeem yourself, but Brady's bunch did just that playing at home, playing well, a large crowd on hand and a television audience tuning in from around the SEC.
Like I said earlier though, things didn't start so well for the Bayou Bengals. LSU connected on just three of its first 19 shots from the field (a whopping 18-percent) and trailed the Tide 19-8 with just over eight minutes left to play in the first half.
Uh-oh, not again.
But things turned around as a hot-handed Darrel Mitchell found his stroke and the Tigers mounted a comeback and led 33-29 at the half.
Upon arriving at the Maravich Center (which coincided with the beginning of LSU's run), there was no room on press row for me to sit so Beth and I found two empty seats two rows directly behind the LSU bench. To whomever those seats belong, thanks they were great.
Getting a rare view from a different angle, Beth and I took in the game, my first from a fan perspective in quite some time. It was very interesting to be that close to the bench and see Brady and the players interact during timeouts. Talk about intense!
I wrote a column during football season after I watched my first game from the stands in Tiger Stadium in over seven years. This had a similar feeling. The game was enjoyable and it was fun to actually get to watch the players do their thing instead of staring at a computer screen or shifting through stat sheets.
I'm going to tell you what you might have already known. If you haven't noticed previously, this team is REALLY good. With arguably one of the nation's best frontcourts consisting of Glen Davis, Tyrus Thomas, Magnum Rolle and Darnell Lazare, the Tigers dominate the paint. Toss in oh so good Tasmin Mitchell, the cool as ice Darrel Mitchell and the ever-improving Garrett Temple; this is growing into one of college basketball's most complete teams.
The Tigers manhandled an
ultra-talented Bama team bringing (as my colleague
While LSU did win by double digits,
In the midst of the beginning of a raucous celebration, I observed something troubling.
Thomas banged in a layup with 5:49 left to play raising the Tiger advantage to nine points, 53-44. Almost immediately, fans all around me began springing from their seats and, in almost full trot, began bolting to the doors.
This has become commonplace around LSU, especially when the Tigers are losing. But that wasn't the case on this day. LSU was up, almost by double figures, and on their way to the program's first 4-0 start in SEC play since the 1981 Tigers went 17-1 in the league and reached the Final Four.
Here's my question: WHERE ARE YOU
What can be so important that you
need to bolt for the door before the game is over. I mean, has Saturday
afternoon traffic in
It is such a popular topic among fans how disappointing Brady is as a coach and how his team is mediocre and such blight on the landscape of LSU athletics. Fans love to bash Brady any chance they get and almost look forward to home losses where they scamper for the exits at the first sign of adversity.
But this team is good, actually first place and undefeated in the SEC and is poised to make a run at the conference title. These Tigers deserve more from the fans than what they get. You boo and jeer when they lose and elect to walk away when times are tough, one would think when the tables are turned it might be different. But for some reason, it is not?
I know fans in Baton Rouge aren't fond of Texas football coach Mack Brown, but the coach of the 2005 national champions coined a phrase when he arrived in Austin challenging a once come late, leave early fan base:
"Come early, be loud and stay late."
Anyway, as I climb off the sop box
I will say congratulations to this team for this victory, it was a win by a team
truly LSU, truly
Folks talked about the Tiger
football team being
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.