BATON ROUGE, La. — Humor, like firefighting or plumbing, is best left in the hands of professionals. A caller to the Ed Orgeron Radio Show learned that the hard way Wednesday night when an attempted joke about Houston coach Tom Herman fell very flat.
The caller, mentioning how Herman kisses all his players on the cheek when they get off the bus heading into the stadium, asked Orgeron if defensive line coach Pete Jenkins will fill the same role for LSU.
Though it was presumably asked tongue-in-cheek, Orgeron failed to see the humor.
“I think that’s a stupid question,” Orgeron said before the call was disconnected.
It is the first time Orgeron has displayed any lack of patience with a fan or caller since taking over for Les Miles following the Auburn game. Even when asked fairly silly questions, like whether LSU is considering running the option, Orgeron has the patience to avoid making the caller feel foolish.
For example, when asked directly about a specific recruit (in this case, five-star running back Cam Akers), Orgeron pointed out that NCAA rules prohibit him from talking about specific recruits.
“I’m not allowed to comment, but we know who the best players in the country are and we are recruiting the best players in the country,” Orgeron said to let that particular caller down softly.
Using the 75-year-old Jenkins as part of a punchline was doomed to fail given that Orgeron considers him his biggest personal mentor. Jenkins was Orgeron’s personal guest on the show Wednesday night.
“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever been around,” Orgeron said. “He has a tremendous passion for football and the LSU Tigers.”
Furthermore, any mention of Herman is likely to be a sore subject for Orgeron.
The Houston coach is considered to be the hottest name in the country right now, and the LSU job is one his name is often associated with. Of course, Orgeron’s goal is to keep that job on a permanent basis if he can continue the success of his first two games as LSU’s interim leader through the final five games of the season.
Needless to say, a Tom Herman-related joke was a massive swing-and-a miss for that particular caller, who was probably happy to be on the other end of a phone line instead of staring directly at a displeased Ed Orgeron.