Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Post-LSU Hangover

Before the season started, I posted a column about drinking one or two beers for each Auburn game, with the exception of LSU. LSU, I commented, was a four-beer game.

Last Saturday night, I watched the Auburn-LSU game and didn’t chug one beer.

Two days later, however, I still feel like I have a hangover.

I spent most of the game on an even keel, with the traditional up and downs that accompany any Auburn game. I was happy through most of the first half. I worried through the third quarter as LSU ran all over us. When we took the lead with just over three minutes left, I prayed that we would hold on.

The thing troubling me most though wasn’t our defense. It was those #$%& squib kicks. I had watched them all game. I know LSU has dangerous return men, but I felt we were giving up way too much yardage. LSU’s kicker, despite his supposed problems, was already 3 for 3 on the evening.

And then they called that stupid play that resulted in a TD. I couldn’t believe it. My stomach dropped and my even keel was upended. No one in his or her RIGHT mind would call a play like that. And when they scored…I haven’t felt that bad since Georgia hit a TD pass from 4th and goal at the 10 to beat us in 2002.

Aside from that, we still have a lot to be proud of. Auburn played a great game. We were a road underdog for the third time this season. The team played their hearts out. We can argue bad calls by the refs. The illegal formation that was waived off to allow LSU to take a 20-17 lead and one of the worst spots in the world on LSU’s final drive, a spot that turned a 4th and 1 play into a 1st and ten play come to mind. (We need to check the rulebooks. I didn’t realize it was possible to gain yardage by bouncing on the ground.)

With respect to the LSU team, they got it done in the end. We like to think we get over bad calls, though we know we never do. LSU apparently doesn’t either. GameDay visited LSU for the LSU – Virginia Tech this year. There were signs in the crowd complaining about the refs in last year’s Auburn-LSU game.

I could have dealt with losing to LSU if they had hit a game winning field goal, but that play will add another chapter to an annual clash known for the nicknames of its games.

The title of the chapter for this one should be “The Night Stupidity Reigned Supreme.”

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