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Keeping the Fires Burning

Maintaining a healthy hatred of your rivals during the long offseason takes work, but it's worth it

Hey, bro. Own it.
Hey, bro. Own it.
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

A quick word of advice to anyone who is contemplating moving: don't. Unless you are living in a crackhouse or in a toxic waste dump, it's just not worth the hassle. Moving is a soul crushing experience on par with re-watching the 2009 LSU football highlight video. Everything about the experience will either injure you, cost you a ton of money, or anger you. It's a good thing that only does one of the three.

After LSU's sports season came to a crushing end in Omaha, I started the process of moving Poseur HQ to a new top secret location somewhere in the suburbs of Dallas. The move caused me to have inconsistent access to the internet, and not a whole lot of time to keep up with the news anyway. See, this is why you move in the summer, so it cannot possibly conflict with LSU sporting events. I went dark at a pretty good time.

We are now in the worst part of the offseason. There is no LSU sporting event on the calendar until the soccer team kicks off their season on August 16th. Fall practice is a long way off, and the SEC Media Armageddon is around the corner, in which we will all pretend that news is happening.

This is the time of year we engage in silly slap fights over scheduling, recruiting, and whose head coach is a bigger scumbag. Today's tempest in a teapot is that Urban Meyer turned in his old team for a recruiting violation. Now, this meets all of the criteria for high comedy,* but that's about it. People will bitch and moan about it for a few days and then we'll move on to the next pseudo-controversy.

*Really, there's only one: it does not involve the school you root for.

So let's be honest with each other: nothing is really happening right now. Nothing is going to be happening for the next month or so, unless an LSU player decides to go to Shady's. These are the times that try a college football fan's soul.

That said, I rather like the summer silly season. It's the time college football fans start revving up their pretty hate machines and start generating heat for the season. We work on narratives, goose some rivals, and nurse old grudges. This is the time to walk down to the office of your Auburn grad co-worker and remind her that her Tigers were winless in the SEC in football, finished dead last in basketball, and were last in the SEC West in baseball. You only get a few months of enjoyment out of that, so please take advantage.

It's the fact that we take these months to memorize the two-deep depth chart of our rivals, just to be prepared, that makes us the wonderfully unhinged fans that we are. No, this stuff isn't as good as the actual games, but there's something to be said for this time where we hang out and make fun of each other like the siblings we are.

Yes, I hate Alabama, but I know them as well. I know their program almost as well as our own, because that's the kind of nexus we live in. Our path to the title goes through them, sometimes twice. I may hate Ohio St., but that hate is conceptual. That is the hate of a far off thing or a concept. Like the way I hate terrorism or reality shows. My hatred of Alabama is intimate, personal, and therefore more meaningful. I need that hatred to get me through these months.

This is the time of year to truly loathe your rivals. It's what makes this fun because it's a fun kind of hatred. No one, except for the rare Bama fan, is going to break any laws or anything. This is the kind of hatred where no one honestly gets hurt, and it makes the thing more fun. It is the time for gently trash talking each other, but also to remember that we are one big dysfunctional family.

Nothing says you care like a perfectly timed Tiger Bait. This time of year doesn't really matter, but in a way, it makes this time mean everything.