FOR HURRICANE IDA RELIEF
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
It's time to get real about our head coach....
If LSU's 2020 season was supposed to be a fluke, a pandemic aberration, how come we are seeing this 2020 de ja vu? How is an elite squad of future NFL players languishing next to a millionaire coaching staff?
How is our elite level program stuck in this cycle of bad actions, ill-advised decisions and even worse headlines after such stunning greatness?
We were led to believe Bo Pelini, Bill Busch, and the absence of 21+ NFL bound athletes were the problem last year...but now, when the song remains the same vs UCLA, who's left to play scapegoat, now?
From 2019's G.O.A.T perfect season full of unbelievable, unstoppable dream-like wonder so surreal you can barely find the words....to this unthinkable crossroads...HOW???
Since Orgeron's LSU walked off the Superdome field as true Kings of the Sporting World, with cigars, OBJ money and title rings in hand, Coach O has presided over 9 of the most humiliating performances in LSU Tigers' history, all against a backdrop of bizarre antics:
There's been rock star / celebrity behavior off the field, the press conferences full of "he said what?" quotes littered with dirty laundry or bizarre non-sequiters calling out players by name; there's a complete disrespect & distrust of the local LSU media machine which has done everything to wave the purple & gold flag, all following a year-long national scandal involving rape & domestic abuse allegations against former Orgeron-era players Derrius Guice, Drake Davis, Ray Parker, among others, now it has all come crashing down on Coach Ed Orgeron after yet another big defeat, this time preceded by the eternal "sissy blue shirt" line and a challenge to a middle aged UCLA fan to "get your ass on the field"....followed by flexing snorts and grunts of pride as he descended into the cavernous Rose Bowl.....
In 2021's public relations high-wire act, that's how this all starts to go down hill...
The arrogance within Orgeron's "sissy blue shirt" line started a mudslide.
Beating your chest and challenging some random fan to an ass-whooping is all fine and good if you're joking....and if you can back it up.... Coach O wasn't joking, nor was his staff, players and least of all himself ready to back up the tough talk vs UCLA's sissy blue uniforms.
All he had to offer were stoic, last action hero glares while his team were beaten senseless....our team.
Remember when LSU said they "already made the rings" for the National Championship game, almost a week in advance?
Remember when LSU Tigers such as Patrick Queen talked about the 2019 CFB Peach Bowl Semifinal as if it were a mere formality, days before the game, and during a time of intensive awards season distraction for nearly ever single big player on the team?
That uber-confidence bordered on unbelievable arrogance....until LSU dragged Oklahoma's flailing carcass around like a trophy after only 15 minutes of action....by halftime, the game wasn't only over, we seriously wondered if the referees would blow it dead out of mercy for the Sooners.
But when your title-winning Head Coach is so wrapped up in a single fan shouting at him from 20 yards above, sheepishly bellowing "we'll beat you down, Coach O", and the face of LSU's program ends up losing his mind before the world, appearing like a villain in the first season of True Detective, followed by his team going out on to the "Sissy Powder Blue" field and getting their asses deleted by a Pac-12 team, something is inherently wrong....
If you're making $7,000,000 a year coaching your dream team, you should be so at ease you'd just laugh at heckling, right?
I don't have Orgeron's kind of money, but even without that kind of security, outside of death to family & friends or catastrophic world events, no heckler or message board loser can get to me...
Why then is a man of Coach Ed Orgeron's experience, prestige and pedigree losing his mind at a fan???
Was he insecure heading back to California, back to his old stomping grounds, outside of his insulated comfort zone?
Did Coach O feel this was the manner in which he had to pump his team up?
No...it was designed so he could, to quote the Beach Boys, "hang on to his ego".
Once challenged, did Coach Ed Orgeron immediately go into the phone booth and come back out transformed into his Coach O persona, a "take no shit, ass-kicking Cajun" mentality? Headstrong, bullish, forceful, not intense but just angry....snorting up snot during his press conferences instead of just blowing his nose....he doesn't have to answer any question he doesn't like....he can't be touched...
My bigger question:
If LSU's 2020 season was supposed to be a fluke, an aberration, a one-time never-to-be-seen-again debacle of epic proportions all caused by the pandemic, if 2020 was all on Bo Pelini, Bill Busch and Scott Linehan, well then how in god's name is last year's disgrace happening again in exactly the same way, shape, form & fashion?
And now, LSU are losing to weaker opponents than ever before....
Just keep this in perspective:
Chip Kelly had never beaten LSU, in fact he had his pants pulled down in front of the world in 2011 by Tyrann Mathieu's Tigers; LSU had never lost to a Pac 12 team since the 1970s....a 12 game winning streak; until Saturday, UCLA never enjoyed a winning season under Chip Kelly; they'd also lost all 6 non-conference games scheduled under Kelly.....
Choking to an SEC opponent on the final possession is one thing, that can happen in football......a field goal doinking the post from 45 yards at triple 0's....fine, but earning that kind of money, leading the 2019 G.O.A.T team, equipped with the players on our 2020 & 2021 rosters, there's no way Coach Ed Orgeron should be serially out-coached by Missouri's Eli Drinkwitz, Mississippi State's Mike Leach, or UCLA's Chip Kelly....there's no way the 4 & 5 star players he recruits should be getting mauled at the point of attack like they are....
What the hell is going on at LSU to create such a daily distraction machine that it grinds down even the sharpest mentalities under the wheels of its cacophany?
Why were certain players absent from the lineup for the most ridiculous of infractions, John Emery Jr for academics, some unknown and bizarre absences from Jontre Kirklin, Clemson transfer Mike Jones Jr....hopefully that reasoning will be revealed during Coach O's Tuesday press conference, but I doubt we'll get more than the typical coachspeak; "OL gotta play better", "we gotta get off our blocks", "gotta play better"; regardless, when I watch or listen to him now, nowhere is the energy, enthusiasm or hunger this man once had for his job.
I am convinced by his current state of withdrawn recognition....content with LSU's mediocrity, satisfied with our particular brand of embarrassing, humiliating, pathetic mediocrity at that....
Since Joe Burrow got roasted and toasted during a long, wild last weekend in Baton Rouge, and the 2019 team split up, LSU has gone 5-6......
In reality, LSU are a sub .500 team now under Coach Ed Orgeron, whether we wanted to congratulate him for the two final wins of 2020 or not (that credit goes to Max Johnson and Kayshon Boutte), it couldn't paint over the cracks of a staff who were unwilling to ever admit they were wrong...a head coach who was still enamored with his own mythology...a mythology this very website perpetuated with one photo edit after another of Coach O looking bad ass, looking tough, like a Tiger....a fighter....because that's all well and good between the lines, but when you're wanting to fight or blacklist everyone from the local media to the opposing team's prepubescent-sounding middle-aged fan, it's not what we're about here at LSU Odyssey.
I love Coach O's mentality before the title victory, but after LSU won the National Championship, it was as if he took the victory, the first time he'd really been crowned or accepted as a great head coach, and he turned on the bad rock star mode, embraced his celebrity persona to its fullest, becoming more of a cookie cutter shadow recruiter than an actual worker in the trenches who would pursue young men with every fiber of his being....now there's a vibe of "kiss the ring before you enter".....and it's rubbing many the wrong way.
I'm not making this all up on the spot because of one loss, this 11 point in-your-face disgraceful reprise of 2020's disgusting pitiful attempt at football is now the culmination and characterization of everything that is currently wrong with LSU football at its core:
Hype, arrogance, a bloated, blind satisfaction & devotion to the achievements of 2019, a political favoritism that works its way throughout the depth chart....leaving some guys on the field due to their jersey number, veteran status or popularity more than their achievements.
I've heard accusations of this shady, political stuff for two years, now....from current and former Tigers and their families...people, like me, who have loved and respected Orgeron through Troy or the interim days, when I started this site at the beginning of 2018's uncertain promise clear to 2019's mountaintop....
Coach O took LSU where we've never gone before and maybe will never again, the single greatest team ever & true contenders to take Saban's throne; but when given numerous chances to prove he cares more about his people or the University than the game, he chose neither, opting out for his own mythology.
I can't stand the arrogant nature of what he's doing and the manner in which it is tarnishing LSU's reputation, and many from LSU Tigers themselves, LSU Tiger parents and family members, former title-winning or legendary Tigers (even some he coached) such as Tyrann Mathieu, Will Blackwell, Ryan Clark, or national names like Kirk Herbstreit, Lane Kiffin, Desmond Howard, 247's Josh Pate, UCLA's Chip Kelly.....they're all questioning LSU's future with Coach O.
If you didn't notice, UCLA's recruiting videographers are now using the footage of Coach O's challenge to the fan, followed by their PAC-12 talent smashing the living hell out of our elite-level SEC squad, turning our Tigers into grade school defenders and Scott Linehan-imitating offensive amateurists.
Unlike most who are now done with Orgeron, he has one last straw for me....I'm on my last strike with our head coach: still, when his back is against the wall, we tend to witness his best....but how much longer can desperation paint over the cracks?
Of course he can right the ship and I hope he can immediately, however....will he see the multiple icebergs in the water coming LSU's way? And how long before he'll realize he could actually be LSU's most dangerous obstacle?
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
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