Motivation has never been the issue for Edward Jim Orgeron Jr, Head Coach and CEO of the LSU Fightin' Tigers Football Program. Whether it be recruitin':
"Find some strong, aggressive, rotund boys and turn 'em into men. Whatever it takes. Geaux Tigers"
"If everyone in the state of Mississippi drove a Hummer we could have Monster Mash everyday and ain't nobody ever gonna die"
And preparing for job interviews:
"If I get these pages laminated and bundled together without no staples or fishin' wire, ain't no one gonna say nothin' bout no Tom Herman. Like dey say on da bayou, printin' a resume means you overqualified. Here come the Tigers"
But while getting jacked up to attack any and all obstacles like an over caffeinated rhino or hippo or really any animal that charges - EXCEPT FOR AN ELEPHANT BECAUSE THEY SERVE AS A COP-OUT VISUAL REPRESENTATION FOR A TEAM WHOSE REAL MASCOT IS THE OCEAN* - may be Coach O's forte, he's promised to reel it in a bit. No more challenging players to wrestling matches. No more ripping his shirt off at halftime in the never ceasing pursuit of pigskin glory. That's right, Coach O has found a new way to motivate and inspire his team to untapped levels of competitive aggression.
*It’s now only a matter of time before some Bama poster swoops in with a hearty "You know nothing but the good grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because, you sir, should be too STUPID to live..." which is Alabamian (?) for "Well, actually..." and explains the complicated history of Alabama mascots. I’m on pins and needles.
Honored to have Marcus Luttrell speak to The Tigers before we watch Lone Survivor tonight. pic.twitter.com/n7slf6cqaB— Coach Ed Orgeron (@Coach_EdOrgeron) November 5, 2016
THAT'S RIGHT, MOVIE NIGHTS
COACH O NOW MOTIVATES BY PROXY, AND THAT PROXY IS MARK WAHLBERG.
Notwithstanding the innate grossness of comparing a very fun, very tiring game to military experiences where most everyone died; I am 100% on board, full throttle on the airboat of Cajun fury that is weekly Coach O motivational movie nights. So on board, in fact, that I've gone ahead and anticipated each week's movie in advance.
Now, obviously, Coach O doesn't stream movies. Matt Canada is too busy finding ways for the center to score a touchdown, and Dave Aranda insists on watching The Thin Red Line Criterion edit and leading a group discussion afterwards about the beauty and horror of chaos that nobody is down for. What I'm trying to say is, you can bet your ass Coach O is getting these from Redbox.
Week 1 - BYU
Before running headlong into what is, in terms of collective vibe, the absolute dumbest power 5 matchup possible, Coach O's gonna sit these boys down and watch another Mark Wahlberg gem. Only instead of using actual war as a metaphor for why you should "play for your brotha," Invincible teaches a much more valuable lesson: that good athletes, when left to marinate a few years in the cold vinegar of adulthood, making mortgage payments and biking around the Philippines and waking up at 3 AM every morning to the cries of your triplets who are all named some version of "Sam," transform into a force that's not to be trifled with.
Coach O says: "If there any 28 year old bartenders who still got college eligibility and a thirst for playin' football [half of Louisiana's population stands up], we're offerin' walk-ons and gray shirts. Hold that Tiger."
Week 2 - Chattanooga
[Credits roll, Coach O steps to the podium]
"Now picture," Coach's voice gets low as he leans into the mike, "an entire team of Rudy's."
Week 3 - @ Mississippi State
300: Rise of an Empire
Games in Starkville demand pure, visceral excitement delivered with an unfortunate color palate, which is exactly the movie we have here. I would also like to note that I do not trust Dan Mullen, especially when he has experienced, duel threat quarterbacks making life stressful for opposing teams. On the other hand, I do trust Trip Advisor, which lists dining at The Pita Pit as the number two thing to do in Starkville, narrowly beating out a trip to a clock museum and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library. God bless all who attend.
Coach O says: "Best movie I ever seen."
Week 4 - Syracuse
300: Rise of an Empire
The motivation here is simple: lose to Syracuse, and every SEC and ACC team is going to make fun of you. It won't matter that Dino Babers is a good coach in his second year, ready to unleash his scorched earth offensive philosophy and go 7-5 with an upset at Miami and at least one "oh shit, Syracuse and Clemson/Louisville/FSU are tied 35-35 to start the 4th quarter!" moral victory games. Right now, it's only week four, and you lost to Syracuse aka Yankee Mississippi State. This game stresses Coach O out so much he forgets to return the movie from last week, so they watch it again.
Coach O says: "Even better the second time."
Week 5 - Troy
Troy: The Movie!
The duel themes of powerful forces being defeated by some bullshit and terrible scheduling are probably bad juju, but coach found a genre he likes and is going to stick with it.
Coach O says: "I liked the fighting."
Coach Aranda says: "Excessive runtimes, questionable defense, and the guy in charge uses government resources to get laid? Who directed this, Hugh Freeze?!"
Week 6 - @ Florida
Because this game is about more than football. It's about who can best handle Gulf Coast related environmental disasters. That it stars Mark Wahlberg is just that extra side of hushpuppies.
Coach O Says: "What I found inspirin' 'bout those brave men and women is that they didn't try to cancel nothin'. They said, 'we gotta plan in place, but if things go bad we can make adjustments.' See, when disaster happens you gotta be flexible and make decisions. Can't be draggin' yo feet out here all week. You do that and someone gonna lose a home game in da future and it'll fuck up dere schedule."
Week 7 - Auburn
A visual representation of what it's like playing Auburn when they have a good quarterback. You can still survive, but goodness gracious it is not ideal.
Coach O Says: "Reminds me of when my paw paw got his arm stuck gator trappin' and we had ta grease that sucka up and yank till his shoulder pop. I been suppressin' that memory for some time now, and dis movie brought it back. Two thumbs down."
Week 8 - @ Ole Miss
The Blind Side
Cheers erupt every time Coach O appears on screen, followed by the realization that, despite the vast richness of his coaching ineptitude while at Ole Miss, by virtue of his:
a) recruiting ability
b) non-involvement in any severe NCAA violations
c) not calling Tampa area escort services on his state government issued phone
d) not initiating a lawsuit that revealed said "pattern of behavior" involving the dirty, dirty doings of a simple Christian man just try'ina sort through these here earthly temptations
You can easily - nay - CORRECTLY make the case that Coach O did the least damage to Ole Miss of any coach in the last twelve years. That's right, at long last Coach O can finally update his Wikipedia intro! Just goes to show how time is an unstoppable force and destiny is undefeated. If that's not motivation enough, I don't know what is.
Coach O says: [Laughs harder and longer than any of us ever thought possible to the point where tears are shed]
Week 9 - Bye
The Shawshank Redemption
This week is all about remembering that, while you are unjustly trapped in a cage of anguish and misery and the forces of the universe are immune to your cries for help, the only path to freedom is believing in yourself. That and RPOs and shovel passes and stupidly fun formations and lineman touchdowns. THIS IS WHAT WE HIRED YOU FOR MATT CANADA. SABAN IS THE WARDEN AND YOU ARE OUR RAQUEL WELCH POSTER.
Week 10 - @ Alabama
Braveheart, with the last 30 minutes edited out
[Freedom speech wraps up]
Coach O - "Alright men, this movie too long and we gonna bed. Great day to be a Tiger."
Week 11 - Arkansas
You just went to Alabama. You're tired. You're confused. You just pushed it to 11 and now you're on the comedown. And what's that on the horizon? Is that a fat guy in overalls chomping on a semi-cooked deer leg emerging from the woods with madness in his eyes? That's right y'all, you've got Arkansas next!
Coach O says: "Those country folk need to learn civility."
Quick aside - We are now firmly in the "Coach So-And-So has been fired, effective immediately" post game breaking news part of the schedule. We here at LSU know the feeling. If anyone in Arkansas is looking for a coach, I hear tell that Houston Nutt's available.
Week 12 - @ Tennessee
Look, they just played Alabama and Arkansas. Sometimes it's nice to chill out a little bit and watch Babe before playing the eventual 7-5, SEC East co-champion Tennessee Volunteers. And if there's anyone who can take the undercurrent of "Babe is going to die unless he can herd some goddamn sheep" and spin it into a motivational tactic, it's Coach O.
Coach O says - "This is my new favorite movie."
Week 13 - Texas A&M
One day, the sun is going to engulf the Earth and everyone is going to die. I know this for a fact, and yet I'm still going to be super pissed when it happens. Likewise, one day Texas A&M is going to beat LSU in the holy game of pigskin, and by God I would rather be shot into orbit on a fucking oil rig designed to launch a nuclear warhead into an asteroid then be around when it happens.
But who knows? Maybe by this point they've got an interim coach. Maybe their alumni base, in VERY A&M fashion, decides they need to get back to their roots on offense. A little more traditional. A little less razzle dazzle. Instill some toughness. Get a few more Matthews boys in there to compete. Greg Schriano's a name. Mike Tice coached at the NFL level. Hell, Bret Bielema might be available. I'm just throwing names out there, no way I'm trying to will it into existence.
Coach O says - “This game is about sacrifice. If you need’ta take on a block; if you gotta run through a wall for your brotha, you do it without hesitation. Like Mr. Bruce Willis. If someone gotta stay behind to blow up an astroid, and your daughter’s boyfriend is gonna do it, you say “Hold it right there, space cowboy. You gotta marry my daughter. I’ll blow myself up.” Zero hesitation. Everybody pullin’ the same rope.