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The Song is Over

This is the debate that will not end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friends.

LSU v Wisconsin
Doesn’t that look like fun?
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Richard Pittman and I started this blog in 2008. We had been writing on our own personal blogs before then, but that’s when we first started writing for SB Nation. I’ll give you one guess what the biggest topic of conversation back in 2008 was.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Oh, sure. We talked about other stuff. Like deplorable fan behavior and the possibility of Miles losing the locker room or the fans. So, you know. Totally different than now.

What more is there to say after nine years of the same argument? What possible insight are we going to glean from this next round of accusations and recriminations? Is there any part of Miles’ tenure that we have not gone over with a fine-toothed comb?

Let’s be honest, people didn’t just start bad-mouthing Miles in 2008, right when we cranked out our first blog posts. No, the discontent started right around Miles’ first game. The voices grow louder every year, especially after a loss.

I told you so. It’s like I’ve always said. It’s been clear to me since. We need to change the play calling. It’s the quarterback’s fault.

This is the constant, unending refrain of the permanently aggrieved fan. This isn’t just opposing fans coming in to take shots at their rivals. No, this is a refrain that has always found its home right here in the LSU fanbase. It’s been going on, non-stop, for at least nine seasons now.

And I’m just exhausted. I honestly can’t do it anymore. If you want to marinate in your misery, and only celebrate when you have the chance to sneer that you could see this loss coming from a mile away, then nothing I say is going to stop you. You’ve been nursing this grudge for a decade, predicting doom and gloom at every turn, and now you have another chance to spread your toxic bile.

That’s what the internet is for, right? To complain, to yell, to soak our souls in all that is horrible. To tell everyone that we’re mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. Someone out there is enjoying something, and I need to tell them why they are enjoying it wrong.

We were this angry as a fanbase back in 2008, less than a year removed from a national title. Imagine how angry it is now. We’ve become humorless, enraged scolds, constantly flipping out at the barest sign of struggles. We’ve become Bama fans.

Actually, that’s not true. We’re openly yearning to be Bama fans, and will stomp our feet and hold our breath until we receive our birth right of as many wins as our heart’s desire. You know what we call wannabe Bama fans? That’s right, Auburn fans. That’s how low we’ve sunk as a fanbase. We’ve become the moral equivalent of Auburn fans.

If you think Les Miles has ruined your enjoyment of football, and you can no longer find any fun in LSU game days, then I’m going to kindly suggest you unplug and stop following the team. Maybe you’re right. Maybe Les Miles is a moron whose luck has finally run out after over a decade of running one of the most successful programs in the country. Hey, it’s possible.

You know what? You’re right. The team is awful. They have no heart. Miles is an idiot. The coaches can’t recruit, which is a good thing, because they can’t coach up the talent either. The players don’t care anyway. Everything you’ve ever said, and have been saying for nine damn years is completely right. We should have listened to you.

Now that you have the glorious satisfaction of declaring victory in your smug correctness, you can ride off into the sunset. It doesn’t get better from here. This is your pinnacle as a fan.

But I just can’t fight this fight anymore. Football is a game, and games are supposed to be fun. LSU football is even more fun than most games. You get to come together with friends and family, enjoy some great food and too much to drink, and then enjoy all of the trappings that go along with following the Tigers. Literally none of that has changed.

Like all games, there are winners and losers. There are stakes. No one is saying it doesn’t suck to lose. It sucked losing to Wisconsin, but one of the big reasons it sucked so much is not because it was the same old same old, but because the feeling was so different. LSU hadn’t lost a non-conference regular season game since 2002, and now one of the most talented rosters in school history laid an egg on opening day.

It’s not fair.

You’re right. It isn’t fair. But that’s how life goes sometimes. You can’t win every game, and as I try to teach my daughter, you have to learn how to lose, too. It’s part of life. Yes, aggrieved Tiger fan, you are the toddler in this scenario.

The season hasn’t been ruined. And I’ll bet you any amount of money that the players cared even more than you did. They were just as stunned, and just as crushed by losing that game. The difference is they didn’t keep crying about it. They got up, dusted themselves off, and got back to work. Because there’s another game this Saturday.

Believe it or not, we didn’t cancel the season. We’d love to have you at the party, but if all you’re going to do is complain about what a lousy time you’re having, maybe LSU football isn’t for you. Maybe it’s time to consider a new hobby. You’re still welcome here, but maybe it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate our priorities.

But I’m going to keep on cheering for the team if you don’t mind. I still proudly wear the purple and gold, and will offer my full-throated support to the team this weekend and the next. That’s the fun part of being a fan. There’s always another game.

Geaux Tigers.