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Adjusting Expectations

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This team is what it is. How are we gonna handle it?

Mississippi State vs LSU Photo by Gus Stark/Collegiate Images/ Getty Images

Yesterday we witnessed probably the worst defensive performance in the history of LSU football. There are three reasons I hesitate to definitively call it the worst:

  1. I am only 22 years old and not enough of an LSU Football historian to make such a claim. Ask Poseur.
  2. It’s only been one game and maybe Mississippi State will drop 44 points on every team they play this year.
  3. The defense still racked up five sacks and forced four turnovers. (Although you could argue that this makes their performance even worse, I’m open to hearing that argument)

I was at the game socially distanced, wearing a mask, and burning alive. It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve had at a sporting event, and it happened while witnessing a historically terrible performance.

And you know what the weirdest part was? I was barely mad or frustrate the whole time.

I talked all offseason about how after the 2019 season I’ll forever be happy because it was perfect. I said whatever happens this year, it won’t matter in the end. It was more true than I realized. I thought I’d have to constantly remind myself to not worry and let it go, but I never had to.

Obviously a big part of this mindset was that this season is just a whirlwind of bullshit that doesn’t really count. If I was sitting among 102, 320 others watching this team, it would have felt a little more disastrous. But yesterday it was just like... whatever!

I don’t want to tell anyone how to be a fan. You have every right to root for your team however you want, so long as you aren’t being an asshole to other people or to 20-year-olds. But what I think every LSU fan should do is remind themselves of the reality this season is in.

-Some of our players have opted out

-Our dominant home-field advantage doesn’t exist

-Last year we had the greatest team in college football history

As we saw yesterday, it’s hard to envision this team competing for a National Championship this year. Theoretically they could win the rest of their games and make the Playoff, but that seems like a longshot. If that happens then we should give Ed Orgeron that lifetime contract Joe Burrow talked about.

If you accept in your mind and heart that this team’s aspirations are lower than last year, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of distress. You can root for LSU to win every game and hope to see significant development from our slew of young players. Since this is a wacky bullshit season, you could argue the latter is more important the former.

For me, it’s just not worth it to get emotionally over invested in this team this year. That’s setting yourself up for disappointment. You can still watch every game and root for them, but don’t make it an exercise in torture. Sports are supposed to be fun, don’t make them miserable for you.

Again, you’re free to watch these games however you please. I’m just sharing my thoughts on how to survive what will probably be a tough season because we will need all the help we can get. There was an older gentleman several rows down from me at the game yesterday who was jumping and stomping with incredible fury. Bo Pelini’s insistence on playing man coverage was frustrating for sure, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

But if we beat Bama or Florida, I’m still talking all of the shit.