BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 08: Fans of the Louisiana State University Tigers cheer during the game against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
And now, the yearly tradition of telling stupid people to keep Florida and LSU on the schedule. Stop being all stupid, stupid people.
Dear Louisiana State University, (all of you, including Mike,)
We understand. Your leaders have failed you because that is what leaders in Louisiana do: they fail you, then they steal your trailer with your barbecue and tailgating rig on it, and there you are again, running from the cops because Bobby Jindal, Edwin Edwards, or some horrible lizard-person from the New Iberia Mafia says it was you doing the stealin'. It's dark, your brother the sheriff is handing you beers through the open window of his squad car as you race down a dirt road somewhere, and you're thinking: not again, dammit.
This literally happens to every Louisianan at least once in a lifetime. The governor comes to your house, takes something off your lawn, and just walks away. if they're in office there is next to nothing you can do, even if you do have pictures of them in delicto flagrante with a paid escort. This will only boost their popularity given the quality of the picture. Don't try it, especially if the politicians in question appears to be having a lot of fun.
If they're out of office, you can just beat the shit out of them. There are no police in Louisiana, and you will be allowed to settle it as Napoleonic code dictates: with swords, or the closest thing resembling them in your yard.*
*We recommend a shovel, preferably sharpened along one side. Failing that, grab a gun. Guns are considered swords under Louisiana law. It's a weird place, but you already knew that.
Metaphorically speaking, this happens to the people of Louisiana no fewer than three or four times a year. You have to pay twenty bucks to the guy with the pothole machine in New Orleans, or you have to wangle a few free meals out of a friend to cancel a speeding ticket. Heaven have mercy on those of you attempting to open a business or do something with government. Farting cash is not a real skill, and that is a shame because it would come in handy mightily when doing business in Louisiana.
Add in the proud lack of common sense, and the prospects for getting anything done are minimal. We understand this for good reason: we lived in Florida and went to school there, and get that in a way no one else in the SEC does. Florida's the only state where more sheer wasteful nothingness happens in the name of state greatness. In fact, we hope nothing continues to happen, because that means we get to play you for the rest of eternity on the SEC schedule, Louisiana State University.
This will happen against the wishes of your leaders, a degenerate mafia of post-humping idiots bent on cancelling the Florida/LSU rivalry. They got where they did the old fashioned way: through idiocy, the possession of "a job," and the ability to drink heavily without any dimming of an already low-wattage intellect. If you're just as stupid drunk as you are sober, this gift will get you elected to state office in almost every state in the union.
The exception to this is Montana, which is run by feuding parties of bears and bighorn sheep. It is the best-run state in the country for a reason. On a historical note, the finest governor Louisiana ever had was a desk chair that assumed the post of governor from 1935 to 1937. He ruled for two years while Louisiana held Huey Long's wake, and after that two year span was replaced by an alcoholic pelican of little character and less intelligence.
We get all that. We love playing LSU for so many reasons. We love the fans, whose drunken menace could yield an invitation to a family wedding or your own murder depending on how many drinks you've had (catch them on the even-numbered drinks, and not on the odds). We love the teams, stacked with weird ancestral French names and athletes of shocking talent and equally amazing inconsistency. We love that you, like us, actually have a live, roaring carnivore living on your campus representing your university. We also like that you have a tiger, too.
More importantly we love that you understand living in the republic of hot, colorful squalor. Other states only joke about active malaria cases and voodoo curses being placed on state officials, but for Florida and Louisiana these are actual concerns. Both states frequently hold unsanctioned barfights against tropical weather, and usually lose these in horrendous fashion. Both understand that in many public restaurants a gun is a utensil. Both have large numbers of emergency room visit records containing the quotes "I thought you could eat that," and "Please don't call my husband/wife, and boy that really is up there, isn't it?"
But most of all, the matchup has produced raucous football: the 1997 stunner in Baton Rouge, the Zookening in Baton Rouge in 2003, the rollicking 2007 game what was the best game we've ever attended in person. Joe Alleva said playing Florida regularly put LSU at a competitive disadvantage. In the 20th century that competitive disadvantage is split evenly: six wins for LSU, and six wins for Florida. A statement like that is at a competitive disadvantage against math and Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and appears to be losing badly to both.
This is a rivalry worth keeping, and not just for the football. It's worth keeping because it's fun. We can't have fun with Alabama, since football is and never has been fun for anyone in Alabama. Auburn doesn't even really care, since you're just practice for their weird obsession with Alabama. Georgia's been too compliant lately, Tennessee has some kind of weird wasting disease, Kentucky just watches the clock the whole time and thinks of England, and Vanderbilt, while game, is Vanderbilt.
South Carolina and Arkansas are the bad, unentertaining kind of weird. Miss State are the worst hosts, while Ole Miss are the worst guests imaginable, since they either pass out on your couch or get drunk and beat the daylights out of you in your own home.
We don't even know the new neighbors from Mizzou yet. We hear they like the spread offense and methamphetamine. This probably means they'll be running the spread option through our living room with our flatscreen in hand while we're out running errands. The guys from Texas evidently belong to a cult and plan on keeping livestock in their yard against city code. This neighborhood, hell in a handbasket, etc.
More than ever, we need you, LSU, to keep some semblance of entertainment on the menu. The best hope for this, oddly enough, is the determination of your leaders to end the rivalry. Being incompetent, their feverish efforts to take it off the schedule will probably result in us playing twice through some trick of poorly filed paperwork. This is fine with us as long as it's home-and-home, and we get one visit to NOLA in along the way.
However, if Les Miles objects, just tell him he's needed at home. He should be gone for four to five hours, though his body will walk around like he is still there. When he gets back from Gemini X-829, he'll just have to deal with it, just like he did after getting back just after the national title game. (Nick Saban's tricks are endless, and his imitation of Miles' secretary's voice is flawless.)