It is solidarity at its best. The result is one of the most astounding media moments I have seen in decades of covering football in the Southeastern Conference.
In the aftermath of the SEC’s decision to not play the Florida-LSU game – whether it is a postponement or a cancellation depends on what you read – the narrative coming out of the Bayou is so consistent, so similar, that it almost seems contrived. If you didn’t know better, you would think the LSU sports information director sent out a release and members of the media copied and pasted it.
In short: LSU media members have essentially said – in unison – that outgoing Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley purposely slow-played a recommendation to postpone the game in an effort to trick SEC commissioner Greg Sankey into not mandating that the game be played in Baton Rouge. The narrative was that sly, manipulative, conniving, Jeremy Foley outmaneuvered the naïve leader of the conference because he was afraid to go to Baton Rouge. And Sankey was too dumb to see through it.
In the face of perhaps the most frightening storm to hit this part of the state of Florida – his part, my part – in more than a century, the UF AD was mostly interested in deceiving the leader of the league? Are you kidding?
I live in Jacksonville, roughly five miles from the coast. As I write this, we are hunkered down, windows and doors secured as tightly as we could. We asked my 23-year-old daughter to “evacuate” her apartment, which is all of three miles away but in an evacuation zone, and to come here. I want to worry about Florida-LSU, but right now I’m more concerned about the fact that our dog doesn’t like her cat.
Meanwhile, esteemed members of the LSU media are more concerned that Florida’s AD was a better poker player than the SEC commish. And when I say media members, I’m not talking about the yahoo who left his job at the muffler shop to start IlovetheTigers.com. Every school has that guy. I’m talking about veteran, credible, esteemed members of the college football media.
Glenn Guilbeau, who covers LSU for Gannett newspapers. Ron Higgins, now with the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Our own Matt Moscona, who along with Randy Rosetta, does a magnificent job of covering LSU for Gridiron Now. All three are very good at the their jobs, very respected in our business. If there was an SEC football media hall of fame, Higgins would be a charter member.
These are not men who are easily swayed. These are not homers or shills. They are respected members of the media.
Yet in this instance, they have all written the same thing: that dastardly Foley got away with one. Talk about getting away with one – shoot, this might be LSU athletic director Joe Alleva’s finest moment.
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