View Full Version : Give me a break LSU fans

Jesus Shuttlesworth
06-06-2007, 12:27 AM

RIVER RIDGE, La. -- There is no worse way to insult an LSU fan. Recruit one of its own. Wine him, dine him, then fly him halfway across the country and put him in a strange uniform.

And by strange, we mean anything but purple and gold.

To LSU fans, Joe McKnight is a traitor. (US Presswire)
To LSU fans, Joe McKnight is a traitor. (US Presswire)
"I got death threats," former Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian High School coach Dennis Dunn said. "I got calls at my home. I went on statewide radio and said, 'I'm a huge LSU fan, but I'm not telling these kids where to go.'"

Dunn's sin? "Allowing" Brock Berlin to sign with Florida.

Brock Berlin?

You can understand why, then, Joe McKnight is more than a traitor to those crazed LSU loyalists. Why John Curtis, McKnight's coach, was told he was "the most hated guy in the LSU community."

You can understand -- must understand -- because McKnight will never be Brock Berlin. Thank goodness. McKnight has more talent, more character, more of a future; the nation's best high school running back out of John Curtis Christian High School here in Jefferson Parish near New Orleans; the supposed next LSU Great One who endured all the wining, the dining and finally ended up signing ... with USC in February.

When McKnight went West, the reaction was swift and cruel.

My kids think you suck because you didn't go to LSU one e-mailer wrote.

You don't have any state pride, one critic said.

You'll sit on the bench for three years, said another.

Drunk on their own sense of entitlement, maybe LSU fans didn't know there is a long list of high school running backs who have left New Orleans. Marshall Faulk ended up at San Diego State. From Curtis High alone, Jonathan Wells (Ohio State), Chris Howard (Michigan) and Reggie Dupard (SMU) went elsewhere.

Or maybe that's the point. The fans were aware of the exodus.

"Are you familiar with Mardi Gras?" Curtis said. "The school band played at Mardi Gras. There were some jeers from the crowd. The band would say, '(Joe's) not in the band.'"

Any day now McKnight will be away from all this. Away from LSU fans. Away from New Orleans where he was one of the thousands displaced by Katrina and Rita. Away to make a life for himself.

"My parents wanted me to leave," McKnight said. "They said, 'It doesn't make any sense to stay home.'"

He will be in L.A., where they are expecting the next Reggie Bush. McKnight's moves, his body (6-foot, 190 pounds), even his modest demeanor suggest a Bush reincarnation. The similarities are eerie right down to McKnight's highlight video on YouTube.

Just like Reggie.

"I first heard the Reggie Bush comparisons from Coach (Ken) Norton," McKnight said of Trojan assistant who recruited, him, "Then Coach Carroll told me and it took off from there."

The recruiting hooks became the sunshine, USC's tradition and a desire to matriculate through the famed Annenberg School for Communication to become a broadcast journalist. Not that different from hundreds of other recruits who are drawn to Troy.

Meanwhile, the local reaction was a shove out the door. The pettiness, McKnight believes, even followed him to a track meet where he was disqualified for wearing black tights, instead of white.

"I think more of that is because I didn't commit to LSU," said McKnight who claimed he wore black at a previous meet without being DQd.

It's silly to talk about an NFL career or even a Heisman, because McKnight doesn't. His college choice followed a pattern that was developed at Curtis. The kid is neither selfish nor afraid of competition. He carried the ball a total of 81 times his last two years of high school. Part of that had to do with hurricanes, which caused McKnight to miss half a season in 2005. Part of it had to do with the character that was nurtured in school.

Curtis' father John founded the non-denominational Christian school in 1962. Since 1975, it has won 21 state titles. Even though his current coach knew McKnight was something special from about the fifth grade on, there has been no rush. The budding star played mostly defense his first two seasons in high school.

"He is a superstar who played within a team concept," Curtis said. "Joe was not the featured player on this team."

What's amazing is that didn't bother McKnight. With friends whispering in his ear that he could get 35 carries somewhere else, he shifted between receiver, running back, cornerback and kick returner.

"You can't look at carries," Curtis said, "You have to look at production."

How about 15 yards per carry since 2005? Out of his 24 catches last season, 13 went for touchdowns.

If he was selfish or afraid of competition, McKnight wouldn't be going to a place with nine other scholarship running backs. At Tailback U., McKnight will be guaranteed nothing except a fair shot.

That might help him in the long run. Out of those 10, one or two will transfer. Some will be injured. Some will change positions. If the running back thing doesn't work, at least McKnight is flexible.

"I think the hurricane helped me," he said.

Shortly before his junior season in 2005, Katrina changed everything. Curtis Christian closed, players scattered. McKnight ended up in Shreveport where he played briefly for Dunn and his national powerhouse high school program. In his first game, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown despite a tweaked ankle. Before anyone there realized who McKnight was, his cell phone started chirping again, telling him it was OK to return home.

"He was the best athlete we ever had on our practice field," Dunn said. "That's saying a lot. He was absolutely incredible.

"What's amazing is he was the best thing that ever stepped on our campus and he was about 80 percent."

t's amazing what a disaster does to everyday life. McKnight couldn't be contacted because his cell was down. Hometown news, while he was in Shreveport, came via rumor and television. Sometimes they were the same thing.

"What concerned me is people were out there killing people," McKnight said. "I didn't really want to go back home."

His mother Jennifer had relocated to Baton Rouge. McKnight eventually returned to New Orleans and stayed with his coach. Mother and family are now reunited. A sister, Johanna, plays basketball at Richmond. A younger brother Jonathan is a freshman football prospect at Curtis.

John Curtis took it all in and collaborated on a book, "Hurricane Season", that is due to be released next month.

If that sounds like exploitation, it isn't. It begins to explain why an exodus is important not just to LSU fans, but to the region. Any loss of any commodity is significant. The book isn't about just Joe McKnight anyway. It's about where he is from, which starts to explain what he is.

"Joe has the ability to see beyond the tackler," Curtis said.

Past Louisiana, all the way to the West Coast, and beyond.

Here is a kid, Joe McKnight, who could've been demanding carries and touches but instead he played within the team concept, something which should be recieving a pat on the back for - especially in todays sports world. Then he chooses to move somewhere new, somewhere away from home and everything that he "knows" to play football for and attend classes at USC (Seems to actaully be interested in the student part of student-athlete too) Now LSU fans are calling him a traitor and claiming he turned his backs on them lol give me a break. I love how big football programs have crazy fans and everything, it makes for a great atmosphere but shit like this really hurts it. I am all for jeering professionals who make millions, but this is a kid who just graduated high school. What the fuck does this kid owe you anyway? If he wasn't good at football you wouldn't give a fuck if he was going to college

And another random college football article for anyone who is interested - somebody spoke out about their being a playoff system then quickly shut up and said nevermind. So dumb
I like how the Pac10 and Big Ten are against the playoff system claiming the tradition of the Rose Bowl, that's hilarious to me. Especially now when half the time one of the top teams in the Pac10 or Big Ten is playing in a different bowl due to the BSC Championship game.

James Steele
06-06-2007, 10:04 AM
Crazy coonasses.

Kris P Lettus
06-06-2007, 01:17 PM
My brother and half of my family are LSU fans..

Supreme Olajuwon
06-07-2007, 08:36 AM
I could understand the Brock Berlin thing. A big name recruit from Louisiana going to another SEC school would be aggravating. But you can't get mad when every kid from Louisiana doesn't go to LSU. That's stupid. What about the kids who go to the 4 other D-IA programs in Louisiana?

I mean people in Ohio get pretty pissed off when an Ohio kid goes to Michigan, but not everywhere else and not to this extent.

06-07-2007, 11:58 AM
Wow that is hardcore. I think sometimes it can cost a coach his job. UK fans started their bashing onTubby Smith for not even offering Kentucky Mr. Basketball Chris Lofton who now is one of the favorites next season to win the Naismith for Tenn. While the recruits Tubby chose over Lofton have underachived and have not produced Ky standard results.

06-07-2007, 12:00 PM
In my opinion while theres some great divisions and conferences out there SEC football is the deepest and toughest division of any sport.

06-07-2007, 12:01 PM
Think how Arkansas fb fans feel knowing that some of their best talent has transferred to USC.

Kris P Lettus
06-07-2007, 08:29 PM
SEC is the best NCAA confrence..

Jesus Shuttlesworth
06-07-2007, 08:43 PM
Oh without a doubt the SEC has a lot of great teams and has been the toughest conference for years now. I just don't like when fans of SEC teams think other teams can't match up or something (That is why I loved it when WVU beat Georgia two years ago in the Sugar Bowl)

I can't see why people get upset when kids go out of state to play ball, no matter what the situation is. Why does the kid owe anything to the program located within their state?

06-07-2007, 10:36 PM
Id say because some fans look at it like. ''You grew up and spent all your life in Alabama and with all the tradition the Crimson Tide has in football its a slap to the tradition of the school by not being a Bama fan and signing to play say at Miami.

Kris P Lettus
06-07-2007, 10:43 PM
People are mad serious about it down here.. They take it as an insult to their school for someone to go eleswhere.. Specially to another SEC school.. The Alabama/LSU game is gonna be crazy this year because of Sabin.. He just better be glad it's in Tuscaloosa and not Death Valley, cause some coonass would gut him..

Kris P Lettus
06-07-2007, 10:44 PM
I still hate Tommy Tuberville for going to Auburn..


06-07-2007, 11:00 PM
Yeah SEC FB and B-ball is like life and death. In b-ball this yr McDonalds HS all-american PG Jai Lucas for 2 years had UK as the front-runner and would likely have started for them. The fans here treated him great and gave him great ovations and support everytime he made a visit. He was getting ready to commit to UK but Tubby Smith left. He was thrilled with the Gillspie hire however and many felt that UK had all the connections to get him and he said he would go where his best friend Patrick Patterson would go (which was UK) (Also Lucas dad is BFF with one of UKs asst coaches) (and his older bro is BFF with Chuck Hayes former UK player) The only other school that really had a shot at him was Ok St although Ok and Maryland were listed as well. Florida (who has become one of UKs hated rivals in the past several years) out of nowhere offers him a scholarship when they didnt need him (their best returning player is Hodge a PG and they signed Nick Calthes a HS PG ranked higher than Lucas) and Lucas shockingly ends up going to Florida. UK fans felt betrayed and when Lucas expressed his intentions to possibly transfer to UK when Donovan had his NBA fling, the UK fans in a huge amount didnt want him to come because of how it seemed all along he would go to UK in the first place but end up at the other SEC b-ball power.

06-07-2007, 11:13 PM
The SEC is gonna be REAL interesting this season besides many of the teams great recruiting classes. You have (this is just a listing of mine, this is not how I would rank them)

Florida- Defending National Champ. Will still be a contender
LSU- Always reloads and look dangerous espcially on DEF
Georgia- If their offense improves they might be the SEC champs
Auburn- return most of their key pieces
Arkansas- Lost a lot of guys to NFL and transfer but should still be great since they have one of the top 2 players in the country in my opinion in RUN-DMC
Bama- You know Sabin will make them winners
Tenn- I look for Ainge to have a great sr yr
S Car- S Car is starting to get better with Spurrier at the helm
UK- My sleeper team in the SEC. They return almost every starter from last yrs 8-5 Music City Bowl Championship Team (UKs best season in 23 years) and how many teams can say they have one of the countrys 10 best QBs (Woodson) one of the countrys 10 best RBs (Little) and one of the countrys 10 best WRs (Burton)
Ole Miss- They have the potential to make a bowl game next season
Miss St and Vandy- Will be the bottom feeders

06-08-2007, 11:54 AM
jeez, I hadn't thought about it yet, but with South Carolina's emergence under Spurrier and Ole Miss' recruiting classes of late, there really are only three weak teams in that conference.

06-09-2007, 10:28 AM
10 of the 12 SECteams have GREAT chances for bowl bids. But due to rules, only a maximum of 8 can make a bowl. I know Miss St and Vandy wont make it. But who will be the other 2 teams?

Kris P Lettus
06-10-2007, 11:22 AM
You forgot Miss State..

Jesus Shuttlesworth
06-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Miss State, Ole Miss, Vandy and for some reason I think Tennessee won't make bowl games.

06-10-2007, 10:23 PM
Id say if Tenn dont make a bowl game this year Fullmer gets fired as it would 2 of their last 3 years not making a bowl.