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NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

In GOTTA HEAR BOTH SIDES today, we hear different perspectives on the Bama/LSU game. In particular, we focus on the issue of intimidation in the face of such a dominant football team as Alabama, and whether this intimidation will affect the psychology of the LSU Tigers going into the game.

The first perspective? That of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

“I’m not scared of this game,” Burrow said Monday. “I don’t think any of our guys are scared of this game. This is the reason you play football. This is why you grow up working so hard for moments like this. If you’re timid, then don’t come out that locker room because we’re going to be ready to go.”

The second perspective comes from an LSU player we’ll call Morris. Morris asked for anonymity because he fears punishment from coaches for stating his feelings honestly.

I would like to first state that I am not a timid person. I think of myself as brave. As a child, I sat with the lights off in my room to train myself not to be afraid of the dark. I play football, a game that requires great physical courage.

Still. I am brave, but I am also sensible. I respect Joe Burrow so much as a leader on our team, and for what he has done for LSU. He is a great teammate and a better person. He is also faster than people realize! Don’t test Joe in the street or he will show you his taillights.

But I must disagree with Joe on this for one reason. I believe the timid are not alone. I believe that the better decision for all of us on the LSU football team would be to stay in the locker room during the game against Alabama.

There are may advantages to this plan.

Staying in the locker room is first of all very comfortable. The good people in the Tiger Athletic Foundation have built the team a truly modern and impressive facility. Each locker is individually climate-controlled. There are USB plugs for your devices, and an amazing amount of storage space for each player.

In comparison, the field offers none of this. There are no USB plugs, and no air-conditioning. In fact, the climate on the field can be quite extreme. There will be Alabama football players out there and they will be trying to hit us. I am not afraid of Alabama players hitting me. I would just prefer it not happen.

The locker room has several televisions to watch other football games. We could also use them to keep an eye on whatever Alabama is doing on the field without us. I don’t know what they will do with an empty field and a full Tiger Stadium for three and a half hours, but that is not my problem. Alabama has always been a prepared team. I believe they, more than any other college football team, will have a plan for this.

I know the team enjoys dancing after victories in the locker room. My proposal is simple: Skip directly to the dancing.

This is one of the best moments a team can have. I believe it will be better if we are not extremely sore from the football, and can instead focus on the dancing.

For these reasons and more, I believe the locker room is a much better place to spend four hours than the field on Saturday.

Go Tigers,


He still plans on playing hard and doing his best, Morris says, despite his obvious ambivalence.