The Poseur Clan only makes it to one LSU game a year. We live in Texas, and it's a long car drive, particularly with a toddler. If you've ever been trapped in a small box with a two year old, you know that you don't want to do that for seven hours, with no means of escape.
Well, we made the rather poor decision to go to the Mississippi State game as our annual pilgrimage to Baton Rouge. We almost never made it out of Dallas, as I got a call from our vet right as I was packing the car: my dog has hookworms, and we therefore could not board him in a kennel. After some frantic phone calls, we found a good friend who was willing to puppysit all weekend on no notice. Crisis averted, and now we were ready for our fun weekend trip.
Until we arrived in Baton Rouge, that is, when it turned out Hotels.com, Official Website Poseur Is Never Gonna Use Again and Recommends You Don't Either, never sent our reservation to the actual hotel. That means I arrived at 7 PM on a Friday of game week without a hotel to stay in. I also had a cranky wife and hungry toddler in tow, so the good people at the Doubletree, Official Hotel That Poseur Will Be Using Again, found us a room for the night despite the lack of a reservation, and plied us with food and drink almost immediately. However, they couldn't find us a room for Saturday, so hotels.com, the website from hell, eventually found us another hotel that didn't have wi fi. Or clean sheets or a faucet that worked. But it did have a deadbolt, and I used the hell out of that.
The tailgate went off without a hitch, and thanks to the TDT guys for having me. We left to go see the band walk down the hill, as my wife is a big band nerd, and my daughter is a blossoming one. That's when my mom passed out from heat exhaustion. The EMS staff were very helpful and we got her some water and ice, and she was no worse for wear an hour later.
Let's review: dog has worms, I had no hotel until I got a new one that would terrify any right-thinking adult, and my mom got heat stroke. Oh, and after the game, I returned to the tailgate, which had already been packed up, and someone took my cooler. This was, without a doubt, the single worst trip I've ever had to Baton Rouge. And we haven't even gotten to the football game.
I bring this up, because this game was a whole lot our trip. This was a terrible football game, and quite possibly the worst game of Les Miles' tenure. This was a home loss at night to an unranked team that we hadn't lost to this century. There's no way to sugarcoat it: this was an awful, near inexcusable loss.
But boy, was it a lot of fun at the end there, wasn't it?
A lot of people are going to lie about staying the very end, but I actually was there to the end and y'all are a bunch of liars. I'm not claiming any virtue here, we only stayed because we waited too long to leave and then realized that leaving early wouldn't help us beat traffic, so we might as well stay anyway. And then we caught the most improbable, furious rally to close out what had been an awful game.
Mississippi State built a 24-point lead and let's be honest, it should have been worse. Nothing about the score was misleading at all. State dominated the game every which way a team can dominate the game. It was so bad that we actually had a discussion in the stands on whether State should kneel on the ball with five minutes on the clock.
Then, Anthony Jennings got hurt on a blindside sack, Brandon Harris came into the game, and we came dangerously close to a miracle. Harris made some big passes against admittedly a slightly disinterested defense, and suddenly LSU had a shot. It speaks to Les Miles' crazy tenure that there wasn't a person left in attendance, particularly those wearing maroon, that did not believe that LSU could drive down the field and score a game-winning touchdown with only 20 seconds left on the clock.
LSU had no business winning that game. LSU had no business to that game coming down to the final play, yet it did. It was a terrible, awful game, until it wasn't. For a few minutes, we thought we were watching a miracle. Most will say that miracle was denied.
I'm sitting on the couch right now. I finally got home, where I have wi fi, and the ability to finally talk about the game. My dog is on the couch next to me, and he's feeling fine. I have a warm place to sleep, and the Lil Poseur is already conked out. My mom is feeling no ill effects, and I'm sure one of the TDT guys has my cooler, which I willing donate to their good cause.
Everything turned out fine. It was the worst weekend I've ever had in Baton Rouge, and it was wonderful. This was the worst game of Les Miles tenure, and it still, in its own way, was memorable and wonderful.
Well, except for that whole losing for the first time to Mississippi State this century thing.