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ATVS Roundtable: A Festivus for the Rest of Us

The gang gets together to air our grievances

Today is December 23, better known as Festivus the fake holiday made up by George Costanza’s father, Frank.

WE’VE GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE, AND NOW YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT THEM

Ben

I have decided for the sake of not popping a blood vessel that I will limit my grievances regarding Matt House to the following: seek employment elsewhere, you have ruined the number 706 for the rest of my life.

Matt McMahon, what the heck have you done to the men’s basketball program? I remember you at Murray State and it was amazing. You were unbelievable. You got Ja Morant, a name I will not say more about as a Pelicans fan. You led one of the most dominant mid-major programs in the country. What the heck happened when you got to LSU? That team played Pete Carmichael-esque offensive basketball with a distinct inability to execute anything. It looked like everyone stopped once they hit the arc and forgot how basketball worked. This year, you lost to Nicholls. I don’t want to dislike you, but you aren’t coaching your team very successfully and it doesn’t help that Will Wade is looking extremely rehirable down in Lake Charles. Turn it around before you’re run out of town.

Let me also talk about my gymnastics grievances because that’s my bread and butter. NCAA, please give some effort in the way you do anything with the sport. Your selection show is a testament to how little you care with the low production value, terrible time slot and inability to get basic names right. I think it’s utterly insulting that I had to be the one to make sure the P.A. announcer at nationals got Elena Arenas’ name pronounced correctly after I got her pronunciation corrected on the list provided to them. It took me a few seconds to figure it out, it shouldn’t have been that hard for you. Judges, get your act together. You guys have a tough job, and anybody who thinks otherwise is a fool. That said, are you just giving up with how you score routines? Are hops or steps not deductions anymore, because I certainly saw my fair share of those get 10s. I will call out bad judging again because it’s how you legitimize the sport and create accountability, something the NAWGJ seems to be incapable or unwilling to do themselves.

Oh yeah, the Purple and Gold Podium Challenge in 2023 deserves a paragraph of its own. The ticket prices were, to put it mildly, highway robbery. A first-time event with sale prices of $30 at the start and $50 at the end, each including fees, is doomed to have low attendance, especially when you have teams from the west coast and D.C. The teams did training in the building the day prior and the equipment wasn’t set up. Why? The only reason people could follow along with the meet was thanks to the Cal student newspaper writers who decided to stream the meet. How does the live scoring fail in the year 2023? How do people not even at the meet get final scores before those get announced in the arena? Worse, how did they get the scores wrong? Why did it take so long to get all the scores in at the end, anyway? How the heck did traffic delay the meet 30 minutes? Some of the judges were stuck in traffic, I kid you not. They’re doing the meet again this upcoming season and I expect them to have learned from their mistakes, but that’s embarrassing.

I can go on a lot longer, but I’ll leave it there for now so I can prepare for the Feats of Strength.

Dee

Definitely echoing all of LSU Twitter: Fire Matt House! We should have left him in Oxford and I cannot understand why he still has a job today. We would be better off using ChatGPT to call coverages.

Shout out to Ryan Leaf for being so loudly wrong about Jayden’s talent! Tempted to send him a clipboard with the Times Square Heisman photo printed on it.

Still annoyed at the people (including some self proclaimed LSU fans) who think it’s okay to trash a young woman like Angel Reese, who is still learning about life, just because she makes more money than they do. And Glenn Gilbeau for thinking Coach Mulkey owes him answers about anything that happens off the court.

Very upset with my own body, which has betrayed me this year by realizing that it is no longer in its 20s. I blame all the Jell-O shots during the CWS.

Evan

I don’t think I’ve ever held more contempt for a coach of one of my favorite teams than I do for Matt House. If he’s bad, whatever, but the fact his agent was floating his name for head coaching jobs back in September has me livid. Who do you think you are?

But since that man will be heavily aired by others, I’m going to introduce a different grievance. I don’t mind the men’s basketball struggles. My life is much more peaceful since cutting that sport out of my diet. I have enough on my plate being a diehard Pelicans fan.

One thing in the world of LSU sports has really bothered me this year. It’s nobody’s fault really, it’s just a bummer. This is a real down year for NFLSU.

The three biggest stars- Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase - have been hampered by injury. The whole league is experiencing one of its worst years injury-wise, but our beloved boys getting caught up in it is a real shame. Things haven’t been stellar for some of the other 2019 guys. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is now definitively third string in KC. K’Lavon Chaisson gets maybe one tackle a game. Patrick Queen is still solid, but ever since Baltimore acquired Roquan Smith the spotlight has been there instead. Kristian Fulton has been hurt. Terrace Marshall never plays. Grant Delpit was playing great but got hurt. Derek Stingley Jr. finally living up to the hype has been a bright spot.

But in addition to that, Father Time is catching up to the 2010-17 Era guys who defined NFLSU for so long. Jarvis Landry, Leonard Fournette and Michael Brockers aren’t on active rosters anymore. Tre’Davious White, Jamal Adams and Kwon Alexander are always hurt. Devin White is burning bridges and on his way out of Tampa. DJ Chark, Deion Jones and Donte Jackson are on the Panthers, a fate worse than injured reserve. The only veterans remaining are Odell Beckham, Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, all of whom are still way past their respective peaks.

The only LSU guy who has had a great 2023 season without missing major time is Danielle Hunter, who, respectfully, most LSU fans forget even played here. Everyone else who’s played every snap is an offensive linemen or a Ferguson.

I’m sure things will course correct next year. We will more than likely have two LSU quarterbacks starting in the NFL for the first time since... ever? Gotta be the first time ever right? And two dynamic receivers will make someone’s offense really fun to watch. It just sucks that in another year where watching the Saints has been mostly a chore, I haven’t had a Tiger-laden team to bandwagon down the stretch.

So to whom am I airing this grievance? Roger Goodell, because everything bad about the NFL is his fault. Always has been

Kyle

Im sure Matt House will be a favorite among the responses here, so I’ll go in a different direction. My biggest grievances from LSU Football’s season will go to the lack of respect given to the star players. Although winning the Heisman, Jayden Daniels has received lots of back lash and is being regarded as the “worst Heisman ever” from certain fans. Daniels had a legendary college football season that was let down from a failing defense.

Wide receiver Malik Nabers was snubbed from the Biletnikoff Award. Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison is a very talented player and the clear best NFL prospect going into the draft, but Nabers put up the best numbers in college football and had his own highlights to show for it. The Biletnikoff Award felt like it was Harrison’s before the season started due to the hype around his name, and although putting up good numbers and Gavin a great season on his own, Harrison was outperformed by Nabers.

Max

I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about it.

1: LSU needs to decide what it is in the modern landscape of CFB. The old ways are dead, gone, nothing that happened before 2021 even counts. NIL and the portal have changed a lot, it killed Clemson’s program in the blink of an eye, it turned Texas into a superpower. It isn’t EVERYTHING, but this is an arms race and if you aren’t doing everything the best programs are doing you can’t keep up.

I have a huge issue with how LSU views the portal. The beauty of the portal is that it allows (ostensible) heavyweight programs to fill their immediate needs with high-end sure things. LSU has used the portal mainly to take lapsed high recruits who couldn’t see the field, reclamation projects (Harris) or simply okay starters (ie Speights/Chestnut). I don’t object to doing this, but they can’t be your only transfers. Daniels is what you can get out of a reclamation project, but it’s not a reliable way to fill needs. After all, how are projection players any different than the HS recruits you always need to stack up on anyway? LSU has not added a single player in the portal who, AT THE TIME OF THEIR ACQUISITION, was an established star at the CFB level.

If you wanna keep up, you need to BOTH recruit HS at an elite level, and poach stars off of other people’s rosters, that’s what Bama’s doing, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, even Notre Dame and Oklahoma (I can’t believe we let Deion Burks go somewhere else). If you wanna keep up nowadays, you need to be able to go grab an Evan Stewart, because that’s what the heavyweights are doing. You cannot run back that DB room and bank your entire passing game on total question marks at WR, despite being talented. Texas went 12-1, but had weaknesses in the DB room and added a potential Day 1-2 pick in Andrew Mukuba. LSU has more need than anyone and added a middle tier starter from A&M because he was from Louisiana. Why would you let a Deion Burks to Oklahoma or a Kobe Savage to Oregon? If you want to achieve what you hired Kelly to achieve, consistent title contention, you need to throw weight (and money) around in the transfer portal as well as HS recruiting. Go get Evan Stewart, are you a heavyweight or not? If you’re not willing to do things like that, stop firing people for 9-3. The best programs now have two sources of elite talent, two cracks at it. The draft and FA. You gotta do both.

In the feats of strength, are you Frank Costanza or George?

2: The defense, you can’t run this back, DB room and DC. I H A T E calling for people’s jobs but you just can’t. Without Daniels, Nabers, and Thomas, you are looking right at 7-5 if you do. Learn from USC. Writing about that unit was the least fun I’ve ever had breaking down film including the Pelini year and I’m just not doing it again.

A huge turning point for this program as a new order is forged. What you establish now may ripple through your entire history. An age of wonder and terror is upon us. Powers will be forged, powers will fall, and how you handle turning points can make or break your program for a long time. Get it together

Zach

As much as I would like to, I don’t want to kick Matt House while he’s down. He knows what he did, we know what he did. The less we say the better.

My grievances are aired toward the powers that preside over college football and what they’ve turned our favorite sport into. Realignment isn’t a new concept but as Adam wrote about this round feels different, worse, and irrevocable.

College football is turning into Diet NFL and I hate it. Slowly but surely the SEC and B1G are going to be their version of the AFC and NFC and the national title game may as well be the Super Bowl. And while I’m sure the expanded playoff will rule and seeing playoff games on campus is gonna be awesome, I’m sad at the route we took to get there. I’m sad the Pac 12 is gone. I hate the USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington are in the same conference as Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Cal and Stanford are about to be in the ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE. What the fuck are we doing?

Brad

My first grievance is with the playoff committee. FSU was a massive miss as well as a forced realization that the sport we love is going under the knife for some massive cosmetic surgery. And we are gonna look at if a few years from now and realize they botched it and can’t repair it. They took away the meaning of the regular season with their decision to leave FSU out. They earned it. They deserved it. And over a 13 game season they were one of the best team. A couple of major paradigm shifts occurred right under our noses. The CFB is playing hedges and majorly shorted FSU. They solely went with futures, placed all their prospectus on that. And exorcised the soul of the sport, which is the value of the regular season. They also widely moved rankings around. Bama was 8th. 8th!! and moved to 4th. UGA was first all year and moved out of the top 4 after a quality loss. A year from now, this LSU squad would have been in consideration for the playoff, and we are gnashing our teeth about the defense. Because we are not ready for our conversations 3 years from now being glad we don’t have to play in the SEC championship and how it favors us getting our squad healthy in time for the playoff run we are about to make. Folks, I’m gonna hate talking about the SEC standings like I talk about the NFC south standings. I really am.

My second grievance is aimed at the University Presidents, TV contracts, consolidation and tectonic ripping of regions out of the sport. If we are sticking to medical terms this is malpractice. Did nobody see what happened to NASCAR? They isolated their core consumers to chase national dollars and priced regionalism out of the sport. CFP attendance is down for teams that commonly make the playoff because it is expensive to fly to every game. Do they not see this is also what will happen to conference games?? The primary imprint for college sports is attending the university, you cannot attend the Pittsburg Steelers but you sure can attend Pitt. The second highest aspect that draws affinity is rivalries and experiences by physically attending games. We are making that disappear like Marty McFly in Back to the future. Continued games over long periods of time within a certain proximity is what forms true rivalries. Give these new entries time to grow, stop expanding so quickly! Diluting those natural rivalries in order to expand is diluting a foundational core of the sport. Loading up on Brands is excellent for TV, but they are going to isolate that 35-50 year old demographic, which I can tell you is bad for business because that demo is the king of discretionary income. And you can’t bring in new consumers if they can’t afford your sport.