What happens to a dream deferred? It explodes.
The LSU-Florida rivalry usually has been marked more by the quality of the games rather than the depth of its hatred. When LSU fans pull out their long, long villains list, it’s hard to find too many Gators on it. Heck, even Tim Tebow, who absolutely tormented the Tigers during his career, should at least get a respectful head nod for his quality cellphone trash talk.
My mother, a proud LSU alum, won’t let me step foot on Tennessee’s campus because she is still angry about the ending of the 1959 game. I, on the other hand, still enjoy the Swamp and think of Gainesville as my favorite SEC road trip.
Sure, we want to beat each other, but we don’t stare at the calendar, waiting for the opportunity to bash each other’s brains in. It’s been a great game over the years, but it’s been missing something to be a true dyed-in-the-wool rivalry.
Enter one hurricane, and add a Jeremey Foley power play. I don’t want to drag out the details again of how this game got moved to LSU, but it was mainly because Foley is an untrustworthy SOB trying to screw everyone else over, and acts like everyone is therefore trying to do the same to him. His bullheaded refusal to bow to reasonableness as a hurricane drew down on Florida ironically led to the one result he was trying to avoid: a game in Tiger Stadium.
So here we are, and the game doesn’t seem quite as big from a national perspective as it did in October. LSU is out of the SEC race, though two more wins almost certainly would secure a Sugar Bowl berth. Florida, on the other hand, can win the East with either a won this weekend or a Tennessee loss to either Missouri or Vanderbilt.
There are still things at stake in this game, but no one is thinking about a national title or even potential greatness. No, all we have left here is a mountain of grudges and good old fashioned hatred. There’s enough bad blood between these two schools right now that even Middle East dictators are asking for us to calm down a little bit.
We even have reporters going to twitter to complain about their press credentials…
We’re talking new levels of petty right here. We have professional journalists complaining about the print job on their press credentials. When we have real things to complain about, like the way we are screwing up the seating arrangements for the visitors. I’m sure the students will play nice.
And frankly, this is great. This is a series that desperately needs some bad blood and a villain, and here came Jeremy Foley, ready to order. OK, the outgoing Florida AD won’t be on the field, but he did take public shots at Joe Alleva and let’s be clear, only LSU fans are allowed to do that.
Sure, the players have been fighting over the #DBU mantle for the last few years, but that’s such a silly argument I don’t even deign it with a response. I just kneel before Zod and go about my day. But it means something to the players, and they will put in that extra 10% in order to prove they own the mantle.
This game doesn’t mean much to anyone outside the two participants, but it means everything to us. I care more about this game than any other game this season. A win won’t do it. I want a blowout. I want to crush our enemies, to see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentations of their women.
Sowing their fields with salt is optional.