I've been wanting to write this post for awhile. But I needed some time and perspective to sink in before I dove in. Because it's an emotional issue for many folks and I didn't want to overstate my case.
Simply put, my case is this.
Many LSU fans need to grow up.
What do I mean by grow up? I mean, stop acting like spoiled children who aren't getting the exact shade of red bike that Daddy promised them for their birthday. Stop acting as if there is no other team in the SEC who could possibly win a football game when LSU is on the field. Stop acting like you actually know more about football, particularly coaching football, than one of the most successful coaches in the country and in LSU football history.
You can boo college student athletes if it makes you feel better about yourself, I guess. But it's embarrassing and all the sane people around you think you're an asshole. Because you are an asshole.
You can leave in the middle of a hotly contested SEC football game because you think you deserve an easy blowout victory over Arkansas. You bought the tickets. You drove to the stadium. You had to park in East Bejeezus. But don't give us the lame excuse that it was cold. Cold is 38 degrees in the rain on a windy Friday night watching Boise State with a stadium full of fans that didn't leave. You didn't leave because it was cold. At least most of you didn't. Many, many of you left because you imagine you deserve better than an exciting 33-30 win over a well-coached, talented Arkansas team with a lot of skilled players on offense.
Time to grow up as fans, folks. Every few seasons or so, we're gonna see LSU underperform. Because it's a sport, played by kids and coached by humans. And, conversely, every few seasons or so we're gonna see LSU get very close to getting into the big post-season bowl games. They may even win another crystal football in the next few years.
But - news flash - there are, what, 119 teams in Div 1A? Of those, there are somewhere around 15 teams that have the talent and the program and the coaches to hope to win it all? Only two of them are going to have the kind of season, including lots of LUCK (remember 2007?), to get to the big game.
It ain't gonna be LSU every year.
It just pains me to see LSU's fan base drive itself down the road of irrational entitlement so quickly. The Tigers have had a great decade. It's not over (unless the recruiting violation rumors are true and significant...). There's a lot of talent on the team.
Last season and this season were never going to be championship seasons. The team just didn't have the experienced personnel in the right places.
But, for some people, any loss is a good enough excuse to hate on the coaches. It happened last year. It's happening this year. And if LSU doesn't win the SEC-West, it's gonna happen next year in spades.
Fortunately, Les Miles is classier and more mature than his critics. He took care of Peveto, Mallory and Earl Lane instead of throwing them under the bus. This year, he's going to treat Larry Porter the same way, and I seriously doubt he'll be in the business of laying blame on Gary Crowton (you remember the Wizard, don't you) for an offense with a weak line and an unpolished, still green QB.
Of course, many folks disagree. And that's fine. But it's the same group that calls for Les Miles' scalp that will make fun of Bama fans for talking about Bear Bryant and claiming all those championships. It's the same group that obsesses about USC and the 2003 championship.
NegaTigers. Fans that don't recall the decade that preceded Dinardo's rebound into Saban and Miles' championship teams. Maybe they're too young to remember.
Or, maybe they're just spoiled adults that need to grow up.