I’ve been unable to watch football since that game. Life has gone on, and it’s not like I’m balled up in the fetal position in my bedroom or anything, but I have been completely and totally unable to watch even a moment of football since Alabama-LSU went final.
I know who won the Texas Tech game, but I didn’t watch one second of it. I skipped all of the highlight shows. I didn’t watch one snap of the NFL on Sunday. Instead I went to church, prayed to God and made no mention of football except maybe a small prayer for Jarrett Lee not have to deal with a bunch of internet jackasses giving him too much grief. It was a beautiful day and I walked in the park, read a pulp book, and then went to the movies. Anything to avoid football.
I’ve peaked in on our site here, and Pittman’s been carrying the load, but I’ve been unable to post anything, because that would mean playing the game over in my head. I’ve avoided the message boards and the football columnists. And not just LSU, all football. I’ve been in a total media blackout. That’s how much this loss hurt.
It’s time to make an admission: this season hasn’t been much fun. Pittman’s right that if we win out, LSU will be 9-3 and headed to the Cotton Bowl (Right down the street! Tailgate at my place!). That is, by any objective measure, a successful year. And as far as it goes for State of the Program, that is completely true. This has been a successful year.
But sports are entertainment. We care too much about it sometimes (and some people care way too much about it – if you know anyone who has tried to contact Lee and leave him a nasty message, do me a favor and kick that guy in the nuts for me). And the games this year have not been entertaining. Which is fair, considering 2007 might have been the most exciting season for fans of any team, ever. 2007 was nail-biter after nail-biter, capped with the euphoria of a title. So I’m a little spoiled. This year has been blowout after blowout, capped so far with a dismal and depressing loss to Alabama. Not every year is a winner.
I guess I’m gonna have to talk about Lee. He played terrible. If he even plays a merely below average game, we win. It was the worst display I’ve seen from an LSU quarterback since Melvin Hill and the purple pants game. Lee’s body language just looks terrible. It’s not that he doesn’t have the physical tools, the kid has been mentally beaten down. He’s just in psychic hell right now. Every time he touches the football, you can almost hear him thinking “what is about to go wrong?” I feel so bad for him because so many of his problems are in his head, and it’s hard to work through the bad vibes when half the fanbase is calling for your blood.
I remember when Jamie Howard was getting the same abuse heaped upon him. He said something along the lines of, “I love LSU, but apparently LSU doesn’t love me.” And Howard, for all of his faults, was a pretty good quarterback who will always be remembered as the guy who threw 6 picks against Auburn. Which is a shame. He deserves better than that. Lee is walking the same kind of career path.
I’m not enjoying this because not only are the games not close this year, I don’t enjoy watching Lee sink deeper into this pit of helplessness. It’s like watching a guy’s career go up in smoke in front of your eyes. It’s painful to watch. I hope he can turn it around. I hope he goes on to win the Heisman as an upperclassman. I hope he goes down as an LSU great and this year will be part of his legend as he put it all together. That would be nice. But watching it right now, it’s no fun for me. And I’m sure it’s even less fun for Lee.
Which is why I’m not watching football. Last night, I sat on my patio and listened to music and looked at the stars. It was a gorgeous night, and football didn’t even cross my mind.