Good morning and Merry Christmas, LSU football fans. This will be the last edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing before Santa Claus slides down your chimney and leaves gifts under your tree, so I figured it’s best to make today’s column a festive one.
And since I’m no stranger to song parodies here in the Briefing, I figured the most festive thing I could do would be to rewrite famous Christmas carols as if they were about the LSU football team.
Let’s not waste time with prefacing. Links to the original songs will be available in case you don’t get the rewrite. I hope you love it as much as I do.
The Recruiting Song (Parody of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“)
He’s visiting homes
He’s making his trips
And trying to convince kids to commit
Orgeron is coming to town
If you’re on his list
He’ll come see you play
He’ll get you to Baton Rouge someday
Orgeron is coming to town
Myles and Lowell (Parody of “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth“)
All I want for Christmas is my two QBs
My two QBs, yeah, my two QBs
Gee, if the Tigers could get their two QBs
Then LSU could win some football games
The Jet Sweep Song (Parody of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing“)
Chark! The herald angels sing!
Hand it to the jet sweep king!
Around the edge and into space
From behind defenders chase.
Canada, the OC hire
D.J. Chark he will inspire.
With play-calling prowess true
Chark will score touchdowns anew.
Chark! The herald angels sing!
Hand it to the jet sweep king!
The Ballad of Joe and Les (Parody of “Last Christmas“)
Last Christmas, I gave you your job
But the very next year, you’re no longer here
Game four, we showed you the door
Replaced you with someone Cajun
Tre’ White’s Christmas (Parody of “White Christmas“)
Tre’s dreaming at the White’s Christmas
Of shutting down Lamar Jackson
He won’t run or throw, and then he’ll know
That Tre’ deserved his Heisman
The Running Backs Song (Parody of “The Christmas Song“)
Leonard’s resting on injured leg
Guice is nipping at his heels
Spins and jukes made by No. 5
And defenses jealous of his wheels
Everybody knows Leonard is a first-round pick
But Guice, he’s pretty good too
Defenses look on all amazed
As they’re trying to pursue
And those are my six songs. If you enjoyed this, please like and share this post. If we get enough likes and shares, I might record some of these songs and include a video in one of my Briefings next week. And you definitely want that.
Arbitrary Analysis, part 5
All week, I’ve been counting down my picks for my top 5 favorite sitcom Christmas episodes. And, fittingly, it all gears up an episode centered around Dec. 23. Hey, that’s today!
So here it is. My pick for the best TV Christmas episode of all-time.
No. 1: The Strike — Seinfeld
“The Strike” is the perfect “Seinfeld” episode. It’s a story told in four acts, all of which culminate in a fifth, interwoven storyline pertaining to the fictional holiday “Festivus.” To recap:
- Jerry dates a girl who looks attractive in some lights and ugly in others. She is deemed a “two face.”
- George gives out bogus charity donations to “The Human Fund” to coworkers as Christmas gifts.
- Kramer’s years-long strike from his job at H&H Bagels comes to an end.
- Elaine accidentally gives a fake number to Denim Vest on a punch card where she had almost earned a free sub.
Eventually, all of these stories backfire on the four leads, as they always seem to do, just as they all end up at Festivus dinner, where Frank Costanza follows tradition by airing his grievances, then challenging his son, George, to the “feats of strength.”
It’s my favorite Seinfeld episode. And it’s the greatest made-up holiday of them all. So instead of our regular “Today in made-up holidays” section at the end of the Briefing, we’re going to celebrate Dec. 23, today’s date and the annual date on which Festivus is celebrated, by tying every subhead throughout the rest of this story to Festivus.
It truly is a Festivus miracle.
The airing of grievances: LSU basketball edition
The LSU basketball team got rocked Thursday, losing to Wake Forest 110-76. It was one of the ugliest, most lopsided performances I’ve seen this season, and was living proof that LSU isn’t ready to contend with the top teams in the SEC quite yet, even in a down year for the SEC.
Here are three grievances I have with the way LSU played.
Grievance 1: Give Blakeney a break, Johnny.
LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones played leading scorer and sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney for 34 minutes in the blowout. This is after Blakeney played 36 minutes three days prior against College of Charleston. I know Blakeney is LSU’s best and most reliable scorer, but there’s no reason to wear him out in a game like this, especially when it was over so early.
Grievance 2: LSU couldn’t distribute the ball. At all.
The Tigers finished with 24 made field goals, but only eight assists. For those of you not proficient in elementary school arithmetic, that’s one-third. 24 field goals isn’t enough, but eight assists makes that even more dire of a situation.
Grievance 3: You have to make good on your opportunities.
LSU forced 14 turnovers vs. the Demon Deacons, which is a good number. But the Tigers scored only 12 points off those turnovers. When you have fewer points off turnovers than turnovers forced, that’s effectively saying you couldn’t convert on half of your opportunities to cut into a lead. And that’s a really bad sign.
One punch away: Odell Beckham’s night on Thursday Night Football
As per usual, former LSU football player and New York Giants superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. lit up the world last night, catching 11 passes for 150 yards. Still, his Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, an in-division rival, thanks to two turnovers (one on downs) in Eagles territory in the final two minutes.
So here’s a gripe. On the Giants’ first fourth-down attempt, the G-Men ran Beckham on an underneath route, a drag over the middle of the field. Beckham didn’t even make it to the first-down marker, and quarterback Eli Manning threw the ball to rookie receiver Sterling Shepard instead.
Beckham was obviously a decoy route on the play. Which begs the question: Why are you using your best player as a decoy route in a must-win game two weeks before the playoffs with a win on the line? I know Beckham is going to draw double coverage. He might draw triple coverage.
But I’ll take Odell in two- or three-man lockdown over any other receiver on the Giants in single coverage. He’s the team’s best playmaker. He might be the NFC’s best playmaker. And when the game is on the line, the ball should be in his hands.
The feats of strength: This semester in non-revenue LSU sports
I don’t think you’ll be shocked to learn that every team in the LSU athletics department is taking the weekend off for the Christmas holiday. So before the LSU football team heads off for Orlando to play in the Citrus Bowl, let’s recap the semester that was for all of LSU’s fall sports.
- Men’s basketball: 8-3, 0-0 SEC
- Women’s basketball: 10-2, 0-0 SEC
- Men’s cross country: Finished 11th out of 12 in the SEC championships
- Women’s cross country: Finished 12th out of 14 in the SEC championships
- Football: 7-4, 5-3 SEC
- Men’s golf: Overall record of 64-15, ranked No. 4 nationally
- Women’s golf: Overall record of 7-31-3
- Soccer: 7-11-1, 2-8-1 SEC
- Men’s swimming and diving: 1-1, 0-1 SEC
- Women’s swimming and diving: 2-1, 1-1 SEC
- Volleyball: 9-20, 4-14 SEC
The aluminum pole (with a basket): LSU in the NBA
LSU has seven players in the NBA this season. Here’s a quick statistical recap of how they’ve done this season.
|Player||Games Played||Minutes Per Game||PPG||RPG||APG||PER|
|Garrett Temple (SAC)||29||23.8||7.1||2.6||2.1||12.3|
|Justin Hamilton (BKN)||23||21.3||6.5||4.4||1.0||10.7|
|Marcus Thornton (WAS)||27||17.7||7.0||2.3||1.2||11.9|
|Jarell Martin (MEM)||30||15.1||4.7||4.3||0.2||8.5|
|Brandon Bass (LAC)||15||9.5||3.7||1.7||0.5||14.7|
|Jordan Mickey (BOS)||9||7.6||2.4||1.9||0.3||10.1|
|Tim Quarterman (POR)||10||3.5||1.6||0.5||0.4||24.5|
The strike: LSU football and Leonard Fournette
I’ll end this Briefing with the story of the week, Leonard Fournette and his choice not to play in LSU football’s Citrus Bowl versus Louisville.
I’ve touched on this topic a couple of times this week, and I don’t think this story is going to go away through the offseason. Though it’s not the way his teammates or his fans see it, there will always be a perception among outside groups that Fournette is a quitter. I don’t think it’s true. And I know you don’t think it’s true. But that’s not going anywhere.
And why is that the case? Maybe I’m being cynical, but I think this narrative has a lot to do with coaches, athletic directors and the NCAA itself trying to save the brand. If we as football fans realize just how meaningless bowl games are outside of the College Football Playoff, both revenue and goal incentives will dwindle.
I’m not saying players won’t be psyched to play in bowl games. If you’re at a mid-major school and you earn the right to play in a mediocre bowl that you’ve been working for your entire life, that might just be the best and most memorable moment of your football life.
But if you’re an LSU senior who has been to three bowl games already and isn’t energized to play in yet another non-New Year’s Six game, what’s the motivation? There’s nothing on the line. Those seniors already brought bowl victories back to Baton Rouge before. They’ve already gotten Ed Orgeron a job. And they’ve already achieved everything they can. Not everything they wanted. But everything they can.
Winning a Citrus Bowl is on nobody’s wish list.
And I don’t think the powers that be want us to think that way. Again, I know I’m coming off as cynical, but there’s a reason that the national narrative isn’t “Leonard Fournette nurses injury, chooses not to play in inconsequential game.” The narrative is “Is Leonard Fournette being selfish and letting his team down?”
I hate to break it to you, but letting your team down is letting your team play in the Citrus Bowl in the first place. That’s the letdown. No one wanted to play in the Citrus Bowl back in August. No one wanted to play in the Citrus Bowl game in November.
So why should anyone want to play in the Citrus Bowl in December? And how can anyone be letting anyone down when those players are already let down in the first place?
You go, Leonard. Do you and make your daughter proud. And don’t let the narrative fool you. Because this was never about you.