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LSU Tigers: That Championship Season

Joe Burrow, in glory

Could you ask for a more perfect season than the one the LSU Tigers just had? Undefeated. The quarterback won the Heisman Trophy. And now, national champions.

I gotta be honest, I’m too exhausted after that game to write anything. After the victory, I drove over to the nearest Academy Sports, which said it would be open late to sell t-shirts if the Tigers won. When I got there, the parking lot was nearly full, and the line wrapped around the building. There were at least — I’m not kidding — a thousand people there, waiting to get in, and crowds were still coming. The doorman said the wait at that point was at least two hours. I love the Tigers, and I wanted my kids to wake up with championship jerseys waiting for them, but that’s a big ask. I’ll go back tomorrow. They’re not going to take this victory away from us. Coach Ed Orgeron said on national TV the same thing he always says when the Tigers win: that this one is “for the great state of Louisiana.”

He’s one of us. You can’t get more Louisiana than Ed Orgeron. And Joe Burrow, our hero — he might be from Ohio, but he is and always will be one of us. Thank you, men — all of you 2019 Tigers — for what you have given us. We don’t always have a lot to celebrate here in Louisiana (which doesn’t stop us from partying). The storm knocked the hell out of us in 2005. The oil spill was another painful blow. This year, the floods destroyed the oyster beds. Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated wrote a beautiful piece the other day about how hard-hit Lafourche Parish, Ed Orgeron’s home, has been by economic losses, and how much hope the Cajun people there have found in the unlikely triumph of their favorite son. We’re not rich by most standards, but nobody has heart like we do, and nobody embodies that heart, and Bayou State patriotism, like Coach O. Him, and the young men he led to a triumph that none of us imagined was possible at the start of the season.

LSU football is our tribal religion, and brother, I mean to tell you, tonight was the Second Coming. God bless those Tigers. What a blessing they have been for us all down here.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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