Losing hurts. Losing to your rival stings. Losing to your most hated rival, at their stadium, surrounded by their fans after a blown interception call does not sting. It burns.
I have experienced many LSU losses. They never feel good, but last year's Alabama loss was only worse to the 2007 loss to Arkansas. To have seen the Tigers battle for four quarters and then to see their best player get robbed of an incredible interception in a 24-15 loss is sickening to say the least.
This is the most important game of the regular season for the LSU Tigers. It was probably the same for Alabama until Auburn started playing football. I am sure I should breakdown this game in a professional manner and I should evaluate all of aspects of both teams personnel in a professional manner.
But I cannot do that, I cannot seat here and act like this is just another game, just another SEC showdown being played in Tiger Stadium. This is more. This is LSU vs. Alabama and with all my heart I truly hate Alabama.
I hate the University of Alabama as much as a fat kid hates a treadmill, your mom hates cussing, your grandma hates rap music and you hate Mondays. I hate how the majority of their fan base seems to think Alabama football was Gods' gift to the world. (Hate to break it you, but I do not think our God is that cruel.)
I hate how Alabama "claims" 13 national championships. Using Alabama's logic, LSU does not have three national championship, rather the Tigers have about seven.
For much of my life the number one team I hated was Auburn. Auburn was always neck and neck with LSU. When LSU football came back in 1995, after six straight losing seasons, it was Auburn who LSU beat to get back on the map.
But things changed. Alabama became the No. 1 hated team in my eyes because of one moment: Nick Saban was hired to be their head coach.
And there lies the newest variable in this hated rivalry between Alabama and LSU.
I hate Nick Saban because he preaches a life of integrity and character, yet at the end of the day the man does not live by those rules himself. Is he a great coach? You bet. Does he know how to build a program? For sure. Just do not try to sell to me that Nick Saban is beyond a football coach garbage.
He is an excellent football coach. Period.
I appreciate everything Nick Saban did for LSU in five years. I appreciate how he brought LSU football to new heights, how he won two SEC championships as well as the ultimate prize - a national championship in 2003. LSU fans always knew Saban's ultimate goal was to win a Super Bowl. His ego would never be satisfied with winning national championships, so on Christmas Morning of 2004 we found out that Nick Saban would indeed be the next coach of the Miami Dolphins.
As fans we were disappointed, but understood this was Saban's goal, his ultimate quest. After only two years Saban darted Miami and signed a mega-million dollar deal with Alabama and in turn he forever tarnished his image to LSU fans.
I have heard it countless times, "If you were offered $4 million you would coach anywhere as well!"
Sorry not me and I stand by that. For $4 million I would not have sold my loyalties to my former team the way Saban did. That was Nick's price and he has to live with the consequences of that decision. I appreciate what he did, but again that was the past. For now he is the coach of LSU's most hated rival. The sooner he leaves Alabama, the better. (In all honesty he could of coached any other program in the country and the consequences would not have been nearly as harsh.)
I like to think of Nick Saban's journey from LSU to Alabama like that of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader. There was a time when Saban still had good in his heart, but ultimately he fell to the Dark Side. Is Saban disfigured like Darth Vader? Physically? No. Psychologically? Yes.
Behind the impressive winning streak, the Heisman Trophy winner and the recent national championship is a head coach at Alabama who knows he screwed by leaving Baton Rouge in the first place.
Do I want him back? Never. Quite simply, I want LSU to beat Alabama, I want the media to eat their words (why does Saban always get a mulligan when Alabama loses, but Miles is eaten alive?) and I want to see that trademark head-hanging walk Saban does whenever Alabama is about to lose.
Because I really hate Alabama.