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The Beginnings and Endings of Things

Don’t look back. Don’t look ahead.

Texas A&M v LSU Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The beginnings and endings of things are always where we linger. What was and what is to be. Looking ahead or looking behind. Beginnings and endings make wonderful stories. Every great “Once upon a time” always found “The end.”

In proper context, call those poles anxiety and regret. The tendency to always worry about what’s ahead: anxiety. The tendency to always fret repercussions of what previously occurred: regret. All the while we ignore where the sweetness truly lives; the tendency to always enjoy the very moment in which we live: presence.

Saturday marks the conclusion of LSU’s regular season. The journey’s been spectacular and profound, if not downright revelatory. Joe Burrow and the LSU offense redefined the LSU, SEC and National record books. LSU beat Alabama for the first time in eight years. No team like this ever stepped foot in Tiger Stadium. It’s not just that the team performed at historically great levels; it’s that the team altered the arc of LSU Football history, routing the program on an entirely new and different trajectory. Gone are the days of gritty, defense-first, grind-it-out LSU football. Gone are the days of LSU slowly catching up to the trends of the college football world just in time to match their insane talent discrepancy to philosophical advantages for a small sliver of history before receding back to the upper middle class. We are now the trendsetters. Not just in our football schematics, but in the way we practice, the way we strength train and the way we run our program. Past and future. Beginnings and endings.

LSU’s very likely punched their playoff ticket. They’ve simply been so good all year that it’s hard to envision a scenario where the committee shucks them aside, even in the event of a loss. But that’s future talk. Beginnings.

Saturday is far from meaningless. LSU’s won 11 conference titles in the 86 years of the SEC’s existence. Average life expectancy in the United States is around 78 years. So you’ll see about 10 of these before they put your ass in the dirt. But that’s past talk. Endings.

LSU’s defense looked absolutely helpless at moments this season. LSU’s offense perhaps never faced a challenge quite like Georgia’s defense. What was and what is to be.

Things are going to happen Saturday and Sunday and in the days to come. If we live too much in that dream, whether it be anxiety’s choke hold or regret’s strangle, either will suffocate away the joy of an unimaginably real season. Beginnings and endings.

Saturday is a beginning, but it is also an end.

Let us take a moment to revel. What happened before is over and what will happen Saturday is to come. But right now, today, in this moment… LSU is perfect. Joe Burrow is the greatest player in program history.

And we… we are merely spectators of the divine.