Tigers for title: Louisiana is watching
LSU will play for the national college football championship Monday night in New Orleans at the beginning of Mardi Gras season.
Is there any way things won’t get crazy?
LSU, undefeated this year, will play defending national champion Clemson, undefeated for two years, at 7:15 p.m. Monday at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The game will be carried live by ESPN.
That’s if you stay in the relative sanity of your home. Down at the Superdome, the experience is likely to exceed the ordinary.
—President Donald J. Trump will be among the spectators at the Superdome.
As a result, the Secret Service has imposed added restrictions on what spectators may carry into the game.
You’re not allowed to bring ammunition. That shouldn’t be a hardship, because you’re not allowed to bring firearms or other weapons, either.
Drone aircraft, explosives, Mace and pepper spray, laser pointers, toy guns, bicycles, balloons, selfie sticks, unspecified “structures,” and “recreational motorized mobility devices” are on the forbidden list.
A word to the wise.
—To keep things fair and balanced: LSU Manship School student journalists have been touring Iowa ahead of the upcoming presidential caucuses.
The students have extracted “Geaux Tigers” cheers on video from former Vice President Joe Biden, who said he’d be in trouble because his daughter attended Tulane; Andrew Yang; Amy Klobuchar; and Cory Booker.
—One great to another: Saints quarterback Drew Brees paid a weekend visit to the Tigers and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
Brees, who played at Purdue, has been a big booster of the Tigers during their championship run. Burrow is a refugee from Purdue’s Big 10 competitor, Ohio State.
“Brees and Burrow were able to share a moment on the practice field, where Burrow told the NFL’s all-time leading passer how much he idolized him growing up,” reported the Saturday Down South website.
—Coach Ed Orgeron, who has piled up kudos for transforming LSU’s plodding offense, offered his congratulations to another noted coach: Jimmy Johnson, who will enter the NFL Hall of Fame after making Dallas a Super Bowl fixture in the 1990s.
“Congratulations to Coach Jimmy Johnson one of the all time greats on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Orgeron tweeted.
Orgeron’s honors have included at least four Coach of the Year trophies, including the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, named for the late Grambling great — one Ed to another.
—LSU was greeted by a brass band and cheering crowds when the team arrived in New Orleans.
But Coach O says the team isn’t distracted by the hoopla.
He said the team is “staying focused, stay working on football and fundamentals. We still have a lot of work to do. This is a great football team we are playing. We are going to prepare all the way until game time.”
—-Like it or not, we live in the era of the hype video, and LSU and its supporters have been cranking them out.
The Advocate reported on the latest, this one featuring an inspirational valediction from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
"The closer I get to the finish line, the more I think about where I started," said The Rock.
Other celebrities who helped LSU hype the hype are John Goodman, Tim McGraw, and former LSU legend Glenn Dorsey.
—ESPN is billing its coverage of the title game as “MegaCast,” which will capture the action with more than 100 cameras and a variety of views online .
The coverage will be made available to viewers in 160 countries.
The play-by-play and analysis for the traditional coverage will be provided by Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Tom Rinaldi and Maria Taylor.
—What’s a poor Alabama fan to do on Monday? Bama, coached by the same Nick Saban who abandoned LSU after leading the Tigers to a national championship, is at home for a college football playoff tournament for the first time.
Alabama has the unpalatable choice of rooting for the SEC team or hoping that Clemson takes some of the shine off LSU recruiting, writes Bama Hammer blogger Ronald Evans.
“Maybe there is another, third option, watching the game without rooting for or against either team,” Evans wrote. “Speaking from the experience of always wanting Tennessee AND Auburn to lose whenever the two battle, I can say not pulling for either team is always a failure. The best outcome in those games at least used to be a 0-0 tie.”