I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t want to write this. But the people apparently demand it, so here we are.
Monday, Devin White spoke to the media about LSU’s relationship with Alabama at LSU’s player availability. Here is what he said, in full:
"I see it as a big game that's going to get a lot of exposure that we have to go out and win.”
"When I said that, it's like having that big older brother that you can never beat up. I feel like we haven't beat Alabama, well, it's proved we haven't beat them in six years. But you know when you get old enough and you get big enough and you can beat your older brother up, so I feel now is the time for us to beat them up, beat them on the field.
“For me, a rivalry game is that somebody wins and it goes back and forth. That's how it was in the past before six years ago because LSU used to beat Alabama. That's when it used to be a big rivalry. But now since we haven't been winning, I know they don't look at it like that's our rival, (more) like 'we're fixing to go beat them like we do every year."
Let’s play a game called “spot the lie”. Can you find one? Because I can’t.
But a certain Alabama media group (you can probably guess which one) decided to pick just a part of that quote and run it like this:
"It's like having that older brother that you haven't been able to beat up," White told the media Monday. "We're bigger, stronger, and it's time to beat them up."
I’m not going to link to it, because that kind of journalism doesn’t deserve the pageviews it gets. I know this site isn’t exactly the center of “fair and balanced”, but as somebody who knows when it’s time to pull for his alma mater in athletic contests (as in the Tiger Tracklist) and when it’s time to be objective and fair (as in my baseball coverage), it makes me wonder what we’re doing here. The site that butchered and ran the quote is quite large in reach, and several Alabama players responded to the quote on Twitter, providing the proverbial bulletin board material that they bent over backwards to manufacture.
If any team noticed that anytime we play them we speak highly of them because we respect every team we play.. we don't throw any signs of trash talk.. we just lock them gates on Saturday #Bizzzznessss— Maserati Mack (@iam__mw3o) October 31, 2017
One thing bout bama we dont talk trash we just play ball‼️‼️‼️— Isaiah D. Buggs (@BigPooh_91) October 31, 2017
Job well done, boys. Cheers.
My question is, why?
Alabama is undefeated and has the inside track to the college football playoff if they can survive Atlanta, why is this the quote that motivates the Tide to power on through?
Why do Alabama fans and players need this extra motivation after putting on the air that LSU is “obsessed” with them and definitely not the other way around? If you really believe that LSU is nothing more than a blip on Alabama’s road to a perfect regular season, why is this needed?
Let’s not pretend like it actually has any bearing on Saturday’s outcome. If Alabama beats LSU by 21, it will have nothing to do with White’s quote. No Alabama player is going to go off on LSU and then attribute White’s misquote as the extra motivation they needed for doing so. If the Tide beat the Tigers on a last second field goal, White’s condensed quote isn’t going to be what pushed the crimson shirts into field goal range.
You have beaten LSU six years in a row. Why do you have to pretend like you’re setting a personal record on squat? If it’s as easy as you say, then just do it. We really don’t disbelieve that the Alabama Crimson Tide are a better football team than the LSU Tigers in the year of our Lord 2017. If there is anybody who should be grasping at straws in hopes of grabbing something that we can put a push pin through, it’s the losers of six straight. But yet, here we are.
So from here we can reach one of two conclusions, or maybe even both:
1) Despite their best efforts to have you believe the opposite, Alabama cares as much about LSU as LSU does with them. They wouldn’t drum it up the way they did if say, an Arkansas, Texas A&M or Mississippi State player said the quote (just like LSU, the senior classes at those schools have never beaten Alabama).
2) Despite their best efforts to have you believe the opposite, Alabama is worried about this game, much more so than LSU fans. Why does it matter what the loser of six straight says if beating them is so easy?
Which is it guys?