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Old Yesterday, 12:09 AM
vapros vapros is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: baton rouge, la
Posts: 3,267
Default Tigers and Tide

You better believe there is joy in Mudville. Louisiana is in love. Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers have gone into Tuscaloosa and beaten Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the first time in eight years, and are now acknowledged as the best college football team in the country. To understand the magnitude of this win, you must know a bit about the history of these two programs. They are in the same division of the SEC and have played each other a great many times. Alabama has a comfortable edge in the long series. A pretty good coach with a healthy winning record, Charlie McClendon, lost his job at LSU many years ago, primarily because he couldn’t beat Bear Bryant. More recently another pretty good coach with a healthy winning record, Les Miles, had to give it all up – mostly because he couldn’t beat Nick Saban. Yep, it really counts that much around here.

Coach O has done the trick in front of the biggest TV audience in the past eight years. Game of the Century, or course. The previous record was in 2011, also Game of the Century, also LSU and Alabama and LSU won that one, too. I’m a football fan and a fan of the Tigers, but not at the level of a great many citizens of this state, for whom it is life and death. Most of all I am happy – really happy – for Ed Orgeron. He is a blue-collar coach in the strictest sense of the sobriquet and a Cajun to a like degree. There is nothing sophisticated about Bebe, as his wife calls him. He is from Cut Off, Louisiana, below which is the salt marsh, and not far below, either. He is big-eyed, hoarse voiced and speaks with the ultimate Cajun accent, and he is dedicated to the guys on this team – guys who would fight the Red Chinese Army with a Ginsu knife for him. Orgeron has knocked around in the coaching profession, going where he could find work, doing what needed doing, learning his trade. He was less than successful in the job at Ole Miss – he says he discovered you cannot handle the boys in the backfield the same as the down-linemen. He is humble, church-going each day, and most proud of bringing football success to his state. No matter where this all goes from here, it’s been fantastic and Bebe is loving it.

And the Heisman Trophy is Joe Burrow’s to lose and we are pulling for him to go on being the best quarterback in the country – what a tremendous gap he will leave in just a couple of months. I am recalling a season sixty years ago, when a stud ball carrier named Billy Cannon won the award as the only previous LSU Tiger. So much for football. As Coach O says (every time he is on camera) Go Tigahs!!

But it’s not all football here in Baton Rouge. There is rap, too – very possibly the rap center of the world, or that’s the way it appears. The rap culture is everything to an uncounted number of musicians (?!) and their fans and they are making videos to display on YouTube and the rest of the internet – videos with gold teeth, gold jewelry, guns, flashing hand signs, underwear, huge quantities of hard cash and a running commentary on who is king today and how he has journeyed from the hood. I’m not talking rap songs, but rather monologues about the state of the genre, delivered with mumbled authority. Candid comments are made about such topics as death, drugs, police and jail – who is slated to go in and who just got out. Violent death occurs not infrequently among them and with minimal shocking power.

I said possibly the rap center of the world because their performances and their troubles with the law follow each other to many other states and venues. Many lines are crossed in many ways. I thought about offering some links for the convenience of any of you who might be interested, but decided I would skip those. In case you are curious, search for the Baton Rouge Effect or Top Boy Gorilla affairs. My interest is not much different than that in La Cosa Nostra. Dynamic people who are closer than we think.

Watching a match video recently - not one-pocket - between Josh Filler and Marcel Price, I was mystified to see the way they racked the balls. If there was a template there, Magic Rack or Accu Rack, it was totally invisible on the video. No one seemed to ever adjust it, remove it or replace it. Wha’s up wi’ dat?

An item of note to me, at least. Last week this journal reached 25,000 views – proof of something or other. Thanks, folks. Later.
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