Last night, LSU played the best game of the season. It was a gutty, emotional win that will go into school lore and reach mythic proportions in its multiple re-tellings. It was everything you could ask for in an LSU game: tough, tense, exciting, and decided in the waning moments.
And you probably didn't watch it.
The women's basketball team played a game for the ages last night. Jeanne Kenney, the starting point guard, missed the game due to a head injury suffered in the previous game and Nikki Caldwell could only suit up seven players for the game. That's some Hoosiers level stuff. The Seven Samurai were enough, as Bianca Lutley drained the biggest shot of her LSU career to put LSU up for good with 40 seconds left to play.
In the Seven Samurai, when the titular heroes arrive at the village they have been contracted to protect, the peasants all hide from them. They enter a seemingly empty town to little fanfare. The women's basketball team, and all women athletes, know the feeling. Kikuchiyo needs to sound the alarm to bring the villagers out to properly greet the samurai.
We give short shrift to the women athletes not just here at ATVS, but as an LSU community. I'm not going to pretend I watched the whole game, I only stopped down for the dramatic conclusion. The remarkable turnaround of this team has been almost completely ignored by us, and we haven't received one complaint about our complete lack of coverage.
The women's track team won the SEC title and finished third in the nation a little over a week ago. The LSU softball team has been kicking ass and taking names, helmed by the best current Tiger in any sport, Rachelle Fico. She's a senior, so this is your last chance to go see her. The women's gymnastics finished third in the SEC Championships last weekend with the third highest score in school history, and the highest LSU has ever scored at the SEC Championship meet. Oh, and the team won five individual titles. Lloimincia Hall and Jessica Savona tied for the Floor title, while Rheagan Courville won the SEC title in Vault, Beam, and All-Around. That means LSU has the defending SEC champion at every apparatus save one, including the All-Around Champion.
We made no note of it.
This is a total failure on our part because, get this, titles are fun. The LSU gym team is outstanding, and enjoying one of their best seasons ever. The women's hoops team just played a game for the ages that made me proud to be a Tiger. It was the single best win in any sport LSU athletics has achieved this year. It was a close, tense win in an important game over a large amount of adversity. It is precisely the kind of game that is why I watch sports.
It is my commitment to stop treating the women athletes like second class citizens. Sure, football is always going to move the needle more than anything else, but there's no reason for us to outright ignore LSU teams that are not only exciting, but really, really good. We are robbing ourselves of some real enjoyment because these teams are simply fun to watch, and they are representing our school.
You might have missed the incredible, heart-pounding win by the women's hoops teams last night. That's okay. The gymnastics team starts their march to the Super Six on April 6 at the Columbus Regional. Who doesn't like watching LSU beat up on the Big Ten, no matter what the sport? And UCLA is somehow the 1-seed, and we need to exact some revenge for the baseball team losing out in LA a few years back. The softball team is ranked 13th in the country and currently 7-2 in SEC play. You also never know when Rachelle Fico is going to throw another no-hitter or break another record.
There's no reason to miss the next great sporting moment in LSU history. The baseball team is doing their part to get back to Omaha, but they aren't the only great team on campus playing this spring. You can ignore women's sports if you want, but you really missing out on some great games.
Saturday night, the LSU Tigers will be on ESPN2 to pull off another shocker, this time against 2nd seeded Cal. This is Kikuchiyo sounding the alarm. Get your ass out there to cheer on our samurai beating the odds again.
Delusional Optimism doesn't take the spring off.