One of my Facebook friends (who is from Lafayette) posted a status tonight celebrating LSU's clinching of a berth for the national college football title — "Don't hate just appreciate," he said. In it, he couldn't resist taking a swipe at the UL Ragin' Cajuns, who are also bowl bound. "Maybe they'll be headed to a National Title game in like 50 years," he said.
I'm not really sure why praise for LSU has to come wrapped in contempt for UL. But I've heard it before, and it pisses me off. Both teams have done staggeringly well this season. The difference is, one is a rich and storied program with consistent national success (including national titles in 2003 and 2007), and the other is a scrappy, shoestring program with a first-year head coach that no one ever expects to win anything. They went from three wins to the New Orleans Bowl in a single year. Both feats are impressive. And they have nothing to do with each other, which makes the swipe all the more baffling.
I don't like when UL people actively root for LSU to lose, either. I suspect a lot of that comes from the hate that some in the LSU community have for my alma mater. With the way Louisiana collegiate funding guarantees that no school will ever even approach LSU, that just seems like piling on. Again, though, UL's fortunes are not related to LSU.
Ultimately, we're all Louisianans. Let's enjoy both teams' success, OK?