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May 31, 2011

A Letter From LSU Super Fan Michael Lann

I have never met Michael Lann face-to-face but I have exchanged enough emails with Mr. Lann to know that he is a positive guy and that he and I share a love of Tiger Football.  In a previous article I mentioned that I would like to interview Michael Lann to get his thoughts on the 2011 LSU football team.  Like Super fan Howard A. Gordon, Michael Lann did not wait for me to get around to sending interview questions and I am most grateful for that fact.  Here is Michael Lann's most recent email to me.  I think you will find Mr. Lann's thoughts valuable as I do.  Michael Lann is truly a "Super Fan".

Good posts!  Man you are really on a roll now.  I liked what you did with the two losses we suffered thru last year.  I haven’t watched the Auburn game since we played it but I think the score didn’t really reflect the actual game.  I think Auburn controlled us for most of it.  As far as Arkansas, I think we did a lot to help them win the game.  I’m not one of those NegaTigers but when I look back on last year and our offensive performance, I just have to be really thankful for a season that finished with as many wins as we did.

I read your post from May 25th.  I don’t know if you can call me any kind of an expert on LSU football.  But I love the sport and I love my Tigers.  I’ve never posted anything anywhere before and I’m honored that you have considered me.  That being said, I don’t know if I would adequately answer any questions you might throw my way.  I’ve put some thoughts down and offer them to you to use in any fashion you like.  Feel free to cut out the less than intelligent sections and modify if needed.  This commentary deals predominately with the offense.  The offensive line to be more precise.  Im doing some research on the defense this summer and will try to throw some ideas your way as the summer continues.

Thanks for the blog and all of the hard work you put in to it.


For what it’s worth, I think Spencer Ware is our wildcard for this year.  Hoping to see another Hatter play that involves Ware throwing the ball.  Do you remember McFadden at Arkansas?  I wonder if Spencer can develop into a similar threat under Kragthorp’s direction?  Even if it didn’t occur much throughout the year, boy it sure would put our opposing defenses in scramble mode if they saw him as an extra quarterback on the field (like R. Sheppard was supposed to turn out).

If we can develop an offensive line that’s been suffering for a number of years, I think we will see an offense that will have a much easier time throwing the ball.  When we can run at will, a defensive secondary becomes porous.  It will be interesting to see how L. Collins develops.  So much technique and teamwork is needed on the line, I’m not sold on the fact that a true freshman, no matter how big and strong, can mesh with a group that’s been together for this long.  He has a lot to learn in a short time. 

So much attention is being paid to who will be the QB for the Tigers.  That position’s woes don’t concern me nearly as much as having a solid O line.  Those 5 men are the key to our success this year, not  JJ or ZM.  Yes, it would be nice to have a superstar under center.  But I’d take a Matt Mauck or a Matt Flynn behind a high quality offensive line any day.

Time of possession on offense in the first couple of big games will tell us what we need to know about our Tiger’s chances this year.  I don’t care how many times we run or throw the ball.  Seems to me, each team we play will require a different strategy.  If we see a team that doesn’t have to rely so heavily on the heroics of our defense and special teams then look out Bama!

I love the fact that our Head Coach was an offensive lineman in college.  There is just something about those guys that you have to love.  Unsung heroes when we win and always the scapegoats when we lose.  Does the average football fan consider what it must take for a big old corn fed country boy lineman to show up at practice every day for years and years of high school and then college?  These guys are expected to play at a high level of intensity, every single down, knowing they will never (or hardly ever) hear their name called out on the P.A. system?  In contrast, we throw obscene amounts of attention and praise on a receiver who makes a TD catch during a game where it’s clear that he’s not blocking or running effective routes when the ball’s not headed his way…  You gotta love that kind of young man who is willing to throw his body in harm’s way so that another team member can make the play and receive the glory. 

And speaking of the LSU fan base… Last time I checked, most of us born and bred in the Great State of Louisiana embrace the fact that we are completely different from the rest of the country.  I kind of take pride in our not so normal heritage and semi-crazy reputation.  Apparently, it’s a pretty popular theme with the rest of the country too.  Just take a look at the History Channel’s ratings for “Swamp People”.   That being said, who could have asked for a more fitting representative of our beloved purple and gold than the CRAZIEST FOOTBALL COACH OF ALL TIME?  Lesticles simply personifies the eccentricity that is Louisiana!  Why we can’t embrace him is a mystery to me.  Somebody is always looking for a reason to send him back to Michigan.  In the words of my teenage daughter…OMG!

So what if he can’t manage the clock.  Heck, let him hire you, Bob, to do it for him on the side line.  The dude is a General. So was Patton and McArthur, and trust me, they had their flaws.  He is a coach that players will play for, as evidenced last year when the heat was upon him.  A man that Mommas and Daddy’s are willing to trust their gifted football playing kids with.  He is a man of character and when he finally stopped trying to walk in Nick Saban’s shoes and found his own path, turned out to be one truly incredible coach. If he doesn’t do something whacky this year, it will be a disappointing season for me.  I look forward to the next piece of flirtation with disaster as much as I do the next big highlight reel play.  Have you ever noticed that both of these often happen at the same time?  Hmmmm….

I’ll take his lineman nature and odd way of talking any day over a “Vest” or a “Visor” or even a “Vast Ego” that vacated Baton Rouge years ago.  Here is one fan hoping 2011 is the year of the Lineman, both coach and players alike.

Geaux Tigers!

Thank You Michael Lann!  When you are ready, send me your thoughts on the defense.  

If like Michael Lann, you are a Tiger fan that would like to share your thoughts about our Bayou Bengals, send me an email ( ).  I will read over what you have to say and maybe even dedicate a post to your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Enjoying the fan posts. Great job Bob!

Howard A. Gordon said...

After getting over my splash of fame on your site, I was anxiously waiting for the next "super fan" blog. Well, with the one from Michael Lann I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed reading it. Michael has some excellent points regarding the offensive line. The greatest running back and the best quarterback won't do anything without a good offensive line. It all begins there.

As for Les, I love him and always have since he arrived in Baton Rouge. He has done a marvelous job with the guys on the team both developing them as players and as men. At LSU, you just don't hear about all the problems other programs have routinely. Les might be a little "out there" for some, but he wins ballgames. Four 11 win seasons in 6 years is the best run for a head coach at LSU that I can remember. Les is a quality guy that absolutely loves his players and has a tremendous passion for LSU. You don't see Les flirting with the NFL, other schools etc. because he doesn't have a "Saban ego", thank goodness. And don't forget, he has also put together an excellent coaching staff to boot.

I really enjoyed Michael's comments ... keep the blogs coming! Only 94 days to go!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great Post Mr. Lann! And Bob thanks for giving fans a voice to the media! Great work!

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