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Delusional Optimism is Back, Baby!

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Jaws shames us into action

Jaws speaks. We listen.
Jaws speaks. We listen.
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Adams is already one of my favorite players on the LSU football team. He already patrols the secondary like a man-eating predator, looking to destroy anyone who comes into his territory. We've already jokingly referred to him as Jaws, because we like goofy nicknames here at ATVS.

Well, now he's living up to the nickname by running his mouth as well. After LSU basketball's lackluster performance against Tennessee, Jaws took to twitter with some #HOTTAKES

First off, good for him. It's one thing for an athlete to complain about booing or fan treatment when they are trying to deflect criticism from themselves, but right now, everyone loves Adams. He's almost immune from criticism right now. So he's going out there and using that goodwill as a sword to help his fellow athletes instead of a shield to cover himself.

ATVS has a pretty long-standing anti-booing stance. It's not that you don't have the right to boo, because of course you do. You have the right to be a jerk, too. But just because you have a right, you shouldn't always exercise it. Booing is counterproductive, and it hurts the team you claim to love. You can do it, but it would be better for LSU and probably yourself if you didn't.

As for leaving early? I get it. I used to never leave games early, but that was before I had kids, and now I don't even see the end of games that are close. When a toddler is done, everybody is done and it's time to go. So I'm not going to say that no one should ever leave early. It happens.

It's also hard to blame those filing out with LSU down 10 with a minute to play. Let's be honest, it's pretty much over at that point. But the exodus started long before then, and it's not like this behavior is limited to hoops fans (who I'm willing to cut a lot more slack given that hoops ranks about third or fourth on the LSU hierarchy right now - thanks for your support!). Remember Mississippi State? That stadium was more than half empty during the comeback. And that's not an isolated phenomenon. Tiger Stadium during an LSU football fourth quarter is emptier than the women's bathroom at a Rush concert.

LSU fans pride themselves on our passion and enthusiasm. Part of that is simply showing up, which is easy for the guy in Dallas to say. But an even bigger part of that is staying to the end. We should support LSU athletes because they put in a bunch of time and effort for our entertainment, and it's our way of saying thanks.

But also, staying late and cheering loudly is who we are. It doesn't just reflect well on the athletes, it reflects well on us. We want all of our home venues to be the toughest damn places for opposing teams to play. We want them to be so rattled by the crazies in Baton Rouge that they still remember it so vividly, they tell their grandkids about it. I want them to remember us for the rest of their lives.

What really struck a chord with me, though, is when Adams talked about how fans turn their backs on players. He's since taken the tweet down, probably due to some blowback, which is fine. He really doesn't need to be mixing it up with dunderheads on twitter.

However, he's 100% right. Look at the way LSU fans treat Jordan Jefferson or even JaMarcus Russell, who was downright awesome in an LSU uniform before imploding as an NFL player. We demand so much from these players, and then when they have the temerity to disappoint us, we throw them away and move on to the next batch of kids.

While I know you can't cling to the past forever, and our affection is always going to move towards the guys currently wearing the purple and gold, I wish fans would spare a moment for the players who did err.

You know what? I'm thinking it meant more to them than it did to you. Am I upset that LSU didn't win the national title? Sure. But I've largely moved on with my life. Jefferson has to live with that disappointment for longer, and it's far more personal to him than it was to me. I was just a spectator.

So much of the internet is devoted to being mean-spirited. One of my favorite things about this community is that we largely try and stay positive. We kid around and we get that these are games played by kids. We want them to win, and it upsets me when they lose, but it will never be as personal to us fans as it is to those players in the games themselves.

It's time to let everyone out of the penalty box. If Dale Brown can forgive Lester Earl, so can the rest of us. It's time to accept Jordan Jefferson back into the fold of the LSU family. He gave us four years, and he played his ass off for us.

It's far easier to destroy than to build. Sitting back and throwing shade is easy. Actually genuinely caring and trying to be positive is hard. Believing in things means that sometimes hope goes unfulfilled. It carries the risk of a broken heart. But what fun is life without fully emotionally engaging in the things we love.

LSU basketball has one regular season game left, a must win at Arkansas. Instead of dreading the inevitable loss to protect ourselves from disappointment, let's all go all in on this team. This hoops team comes up with big wins when it needs it, and they've never needed a win more. It's time to make the tournament. The women's team is on the bubble as well, and they've turned their season around after a rough start.

Gym is gearing up for a postseason run. Oklahoma is the #1 team and the monster everyone is afraid of, but you know what? Monster movies end with the hero beating the unbeatable monster. This is our best team ever and it's our best shot to win a national title.

Softball is undefeated. Baseball has only one loss. Both are ranked in the top ten. Let's start looking up hotel reservations in Omaha and Oklahoma City, just in case.

Sure, some teams are going to lose. They are going to be heartbreaks on the way. But it's more fun to believe. It's more fun to have hope. This is the year. This is the time. Instead of turning our backs, let's stand on our feet and cheer from the depths of heart: "GEAUX TIGERS!"

Let's hear it for Jamal Adams, Rheagan Courville, Alex Bregman, Raigyn Moncrief, Jordan Mickey, and Sahvanna Jaquish. Let's hear it for Les Miles, DD Breaux, Johnny Jones, Paul Maineri, Beth Torina, and Nikki Caldwell. Let's hear it for it everyone who is wearing or who has ever worn the purple and gold...

Except John Chavis. Screw that guy.