LSU coach Ed Orgeron

Jason Getz/USA Today Sports

Bernstein: I've Decided I'm Rooting For LSU

From Ed Orgeron to its fans' beer consumption, there's plenty to like about LSU.

Dan Bernstein
January 13, 2020 - 1:27 pm

(670 The Score) Lacking any real rooting interest in college football, it takes a bit of work for me to find a reason to care which team wins any game, let alone something as important as the one that decides the national championship.

So I'll do so, just to make it more fun.

It would be easiest to just place a bunch of bets, probably, but I abhor the feeling of losing money and get no joy whatsoever from winning it, so that would only serve to make me even more nervous and miserable than my normal default settings of nervousness and misery.

I could take the schadenfreude angle and pick the team I'd like to see lose, as sour and ultimately unfulfilling as that would be. That's Clemson only because of the insufferably sanctimonious Dabo Swinney, the tin-pot preacher man who thinks his work of enticing fast young men to destroy their minds and bodies for free in order to glorify his program and line his pockets is some kind of divine calling, instead of obvious and gross exploitation.

That's a start, I guess.

I also have spent plenty of time in both South Carolina and Louisiana, and I much prefer the latter. New Orleans has been a favorite destination from my first trip many years ago, its unique melange of cultures making for a multi-sensory experience of cuisine, architecture and accents that makes one feel further away than defined by geography. There are some bucket-list meals there that never disappoint and aren't the same when recreated elsewhere. Points for LSU.

LSU fans are a thing too. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday on the astonishing level of beer consumption not just at their home games -- where they routinely consume 60,000 or more beers -- but when they travel as well. LSU fans set drinking records at every road stadium that hosts the Tigers too and reportedly have fully drained hotels of beer supply, necessitating emergency runs for restocking on the fly. I'll give them points for that too, also keeping in mind the famous quote from political analyst James Carville, himself a Louisiana native and holder of two degrees from the school.

"Half the people in that stadium can't spell LSU," he quipped. "It doesn't matter. They identify with it."

I think I'm trying to do so here too. Best of all is Ed Orgeron, he of the Cajun drawl so pronounced that he doesn't speak so much as he lets words roll around in his mouth and out. If Justin Wilson, were alive he'd even strain to understand him. Orgeron is 58 but looks like he could easily be 78, weathered by some rough-and-tumble life choices that eventually caused a reckoning that he credits for his reinvention as an empathetic leader. Sure, I'm blithely looking past some ugly incidents in his past, but he has had a fair amount of time to prove he has learned and changed. He's a coach who doesn't pretend to be much more than that, not feeling the need to cloak himself in cheesy religiosity or some mission of higher education. And he sounds like turtle soup tastes.

Geaux Tigers, then.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.