FEINSWOG: Must be football season

The signs are all around us. For starters, it's hot as hell.

Speaking of which, one of my favorite restaurants has a board at the entrance where the highlights of the fall are outlined, from the first LSU football game to some special events relating to food and drink to the matchup with Alabama and the S in Saban had devil's horns and a tail with a point.


Get it, Saban, devil, hell, oh, well …


Anyway, websites have time tickers, showing exactly how many hours and seconds till the Tigers kick off at Mississippi State on August 30.


Businesses around town have on their billboards the numbers of days till that game.

Baton Rouge's two radio sports-talk-show hosts are no longer bored.


And, at this writing, there's a hurricane coming.


Yup, must be football season.


People ask all the time, "Are you ready for football season?" Well, no, because I didn't do two-a-days. But come August 30, I'll have the La-Z-Boy primed and be in rare viewing form as I park my butt in front of the HD and watch LSU open the college season.


My days of going to Starkville ended in 1999. The day before the game, I stayed in Tuscaloosa, where my daughter was a multi-injury soccer player for the University of Alabama.


It should have been an easy drive to Starkville, but I didn't consider all the maroon-and-white decorated clunkers going well below the speed limit on the two-lane roads.


So I got to campus suppressing road rage – and driving around any campus on game day is dicey – and finally found the right lot.


Parked the car, got out, stretched and went around to the trunk. Reached in for my gear and was startled by a short person.


The car next to mine was filled with State fans and one, a little girl dressed in a cheerleader's outfit, walked over toward me. As I looked down, she looked up and rattled a cowbell in my face.


She laughed.


I, rather, held back the instinct to take the cowbell, and, well, you can guess …


I declared right then that was my last trip to Starkville unless I lost a bet or a major media outlet begged for a story there.


Truth is, in many, many trips there, I was always treated great and State is a wonderful host for sporting events. But the cowbell just put me over the edge.


For the record, State won the game, 17-16, on what I recall was a really nice, October evening. Except now I'm having Josh Booty flashbacks … deep breaths … OK … Whew … Back to writing.


Speaking of Booty, his little brother has turned out to be quite a good quarterback for Southern Cal, which now seems linked at the hip with LSU.


The two schools are 1-2 in both major polls and, combined with Les Miles' comments this summer about USC's theoretical easier road to the BCS title game January 7 in New Orleans, a great story.


LSU fans still hold this silly grudge about USC winning the AP poll and its mythical national championship when LSU won the BCS national championship and has the trophy to prove it.


As if it was USC's fault it was good that year and members of the media thought so, too.

But enough about that. Mentioning USC and Starkville in the same column means we've already run off the tracks. And the odds of the preseason 1-2 finishing postseason 1-2 are probably off the charts.


Speaking of odds, I remember one time last year when a hurricane expert was asked about the chances of another storm like Katrina hitting Louisiana. One-hundred percent, he said. He just couldn't say when.


With that in mind, we'll start preparing for the worst but always hoping for the best in weather and football.




Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show Sports Monday. He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book HoopDaddy is available at www.HoopDaddy.net. Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com or (225) 926-3256.

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