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Delusional Optimism is Ready for What’s Next

After happily ever after...

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU
Mission accomplished
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Last season was the greatest season in LSU history. It wasn’t just the records, the awards, or even the unbeaten season… it was what it meant for a team that amassed a legion of doubters and second guessers who had been around so long they were moving on to their third or fourth guesses.

We will never have a season like it again.

On the precipice of a new season, that sounds like a negative, but it isn’t. You can never live up to 2019, so there’s no reason to even try. This team is blessedly unburdened by expectations. It also no longer has to carry the sins of teams past, as 2019 not only got the monkey off its back, it hit that bugger in the face with a wrench repeatedly. The past is dead, long live the future.

So before we finally close the door on last year’s title team, let’s say one final thank you to Joey Heisman and his merry band of Tigers. This year’s team returns just 5 starters from last year, as the NFL seemingly drafted our entire roster. Hey, go get paid, y’all. Godspeed. They made our dreams come true, so let them go off and fulfill their own.

That doesn’t mean we’re writing off this year. There’s a whole new crop of Tigers who are here to set on crafting their own legacy and building their own legends. No one gets to ride on anyone’s coattails here. That’s the way it should be.

Myles Brennan has waited three years to start. That’s a career. If he were an ordinary college player, he would have already transferred. Twice. Instead, he learned from Danny Etling, who really was a good quarterback, and then hit pause on his career as hit sat behind Joey Bags ‘o Touchdowns. What are you gonna do? Sometimes you get stuck on the depth chart behind the greatest quarterback in college football history, and there’s not much you can do but take notes and get ready for your turn. Well, Myles… it’s your turn.

You think a guy like Myles Brennan was going to let a little thing like a worldwide pandemic slow him down? Myles is all out of waiting. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Answer the damn bell.

In his tenure here, that is what Ed Orgeron has stressed above all else. No whining. Next man up. What? You don’t trust your teammates? You don’t trust the people Ed has recruited? Why the hell not?

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is gone? Well, tough noogies. Who the hell is CEH anyway? Last year, none of y’all even wanted CEH to be the starter, so sure we are of a brilliant freshman class. Well, CEH turned in to the most dyed in the wool Tiger in the history of the program, and a guy with skills rivaling any player who has walked under the Win bar. Shows what you know. Or, um… me.

But remember those highly touted freshmen running backs? Yeah, their sophomores now. They didn’t get worse, they just spent a year in the weight room and backing up the second coming of Steve van Buren.

We still have a secondary that is unrivaled. DBU didn’t stop being DBU in January. We have the best player in college football back there in Derek Stingley, and he is surrounded by just as many studs as last year.

There’s new faces, to be sure. Jabril Cox said no to the NFL so he could transfer to Baton Rouge. He is going to be in the middle of one of the best linebacking corps this town has seen since the days of Michael Brooks and Eric Hill. And it’s not like the units we’ve had the last few years have been mediocre or anything. Just ask the NFL.

There are new stories to be told. New heroes to be made. Now that we’ve cast aside the overwhelming burden of the narrative of the last decade. Can’t throw the ball. Can’t beat Bama. Can’t get over the hump.

That’s all past now. It’s all laid to rest and now anything is possible. What could be more exciting than limitless possibility?

What do you do after you’ve fed the narrator to the giants? What comes after the happily ever after?

What do you do after you’ve finally climbed the mountain?

Easy, you find another mountain to climb.