Bad Voodoo For LA Sports: The Curse Of Landon Collins’ Momma
A few weeks ago, everything was wonderful in the world of Louisiana sports. The University of Louisiana had won their first New Orleans Bowl in dramatic fashion, the Saints and Tigers seemed unbeatable, and to top it off, the Tigers had just secured the services of high school senior Gunner Kiel, the top QB recruit in the country. Things were looking up.
Then it happened.
Just days before the BCS National Championship game, in front of God and everybody, top defensive back prospect Landon Collins announced his plans to leave his home state of Louisiana by selecting rival Alabama over LSU as his college of choice. Seconds after hearing her son's decision, Landon's momma took the national spotlight by immediately voicing her displeasure with her son's decisions, and proclaiming her love for LSU. In the process, she turned the short ordeal into a viral sensation, ignited a heated online debate, and cast all kinds of bad voodoo all over the state.
The voodoo wasn't happy, and when the voodoo ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
What followed a few days after was one of the most disappointing displays in a national championship game in recent memory. The Tigers' loss was bad. It’s real bad, and despite the lesson we should have learned from Landon's momma, we didn't take it real well...
Long before the final whistle blew on the game, fans began voicing their displeasure. Internet message boards and sports radio phone lines began lighting up with disgruntled fans letting their disappointment be known. Social media sites Facebook and Twitter nearly melted with hateful words and tactless arguments. Then, things got worse.
The low point of the entire ordeal had to be the negative national story that resulted from former Saint QB turned broadcaster, and father of an LSU lineman Bobby Hebert's embarrassing post-game press conference soliloquy he delivered at Les Miles' expense. The audio from the interview was played over and over across the country and painted a sad light on Tiger fans as a whole.
In the aftermath, there were many casualties. LSU starting QB Jordan Jefferson actually deleted his personal Twitter account as a result of the many hateful death threats and racial slurs he was receiving.
Next up, LSU junior receiver and former highly sought after recruit Russel Sheppard shocked fans by announcing his intention to forego his remaining collegiate eligibility by declaring early for the NFL draft. Whether the negative social media backlash had any impact on his decision is unknown.
At this point, the bad voodoo was so think in the air you could taste it. And if you had access to a radio or a computer, you could hear it and read it as well. Unfortunately for citizens of Louisiana, the curse wasn't over. Its next victim would be claimed halfway across the country as the Saints headed to San Francisco to take on their old rival 49ers in a highly anticipated playoff match up.
The Saints had a dominant team. Coming into the game, they were touted as Superbowl favorites, but as good as the Saints were, they had no answer for the bad voodoo. Five unexpected and uncharacteristic turnovers later, the Saints still had a chance to win the game with only seconds remaining on the clock, but much like the '72 Dolphins, bad voodoo is undefeated. After a miraculous last minute drive lead by maligned 49er QB Alex Smith and a miraculous game winning catch by promising, but under achieving tight end Vernon Davis, the Saints' season was over. The voodoo was merciless, but it still wasn't finished.
In the days following the game rumors began to circulate surrounding the Saint's highly respected defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' likely move to St. Louis. News of the move was very disappointing to Saints fans as Williams' defensive scheme is widely regarded as one of the main reasons why the Saints were able to win their Superbowl in 2010.
The final defeat came in the form of Gunner Kiel, top QB prospect and LSU recruit, deciding he'd rather stay in his home state and attend Notre Dame after all.
Louisiana, we've had a rough couple of weeks. So close to glory only to have it all ripped away.
Is it over? Who knows?
Maybe there is some Louisiana American Idol contestant that's about to unknowingly contract laryngitis. Maybe the Hornets are on their way out. Maybe it will rain on Mardi Gras...
Whatever happens, I hope we grin and bear it. I hope we've learned our lesson, because in sports, you can't always win. Sometimes another team is better than you. Sometimes the better team loses. It happens, and it is no reason to publicly humiliate or threaten young athletes, especially if those athletes are not getting paid to play. We've really embarrassed ourselves lately, and it's time for a change, because I for one have had enough of this bad voodoo.
Things have begun to brighten, if only a little bit. Only days after declaring for the draft, Russel Sheppard decided he will return to LSU. And in the aftermath of the negative posts and comments on QB Jordan Jefferson's social media pages, many fans have banded together to promote Tiger pride, and thank the players that worked so hard for them this season.