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Hickey: McNeese State not short on talking points

Last Modified: Sunday, October 28, 2012 11:18 PM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

Imagine my surprise at seeing a legitimate pop music sensation wandering the McNeese tailgate grounds late Saturday night.

What was Korean superstar PSY doing here?

Then I realized it was just McNeese superfan Jimbeaux Leger-Gauthier in his Halloween costume.

“Man, I just love that Gangman Style!” he shouted before doing the faux horse-riding dance.

Actually, the song is called ... .

“I just can’t get enough of it. Kind of like Honey Badger and that wacky tobbacky,” he said. “Good thing he didn’t come to MacNeese after all, right? What a mess that would have been.”

That’s one way of looking at it.

“There’s another way of looking at it?”

Sure. Look at who he was with — the same crowd he was with when he got himself into this fix in the first place. When you’re trying to break a habit, it probably doesn’t help to place yourself with the same people in the same place you formed it.

I’m not saying his latest run-in definitely would have been avoided had he come to McNeese — it’s quite possible, if not probable, that a new group of sycophants would have brought him down in Lake Charles. But all along, I’ve been surprised that he ended up back in Baton Rouge without the structure of coaches, academic support staff and all the other advantages there are for student-athletes at a SEC school. If he couldn’t avoid drugs while supervised, what was going to happen when he was unsupervised?

Perhaps the outcome would not be altered had he come here or anywhere else, but I bet it would have given him a better chance.

“Well, shoot, that is another way of looking at it. Now I do wish he was here. No way we lose to Southeastern and Central Arkansas with Honey Badger!”

Probably shouldn’t have lost to them without him, either. Nothing you can do about either scenario now. Just have to hope the Cowboys win out and get a little help somewhere along the line.

“Do you really think there’s any chance that could happen?”

Well, you have to beat Nicholls and Lamar. No one who loses to either of those teams deserves any shot at the playoffs, anyway.

The big test comes in two weeks at UTSA. McNeese beat the Roadrunners last year, but this team has a full season of FBS play under its belt now. The good news, I guess, is that UTSA will be going in cold — they’ve lost three straight after winning their first five, and a trip to Ruston next week could get ugly.

“But Sam Houston and UCA are pretty much gonna both be in. Is there any way those East-coast bias playoff selectors give the Southland a third team?”

It happened in 1998, when Northwestern State, McNeese and Troy all got into the field. So at least there is a precedent for three Southland teams. Right now, it looks like there are about 18 teams with a shot at the 10 at-large berths. I’m not sure where the Cowboys would fit in the pecking order if they win out, but it wouldn’t hurt to see attrition in the Big Sky, CAA and Missouri Valley whittle away some of the competition.

McNeese just needs to treat the last three games like Marcus Wiltz approaches fourth-quarter runs — don’t let anybody drag you down.

“Yeah, I heard he had another good run tonight.”

You heard?

“I left in the third quarter. It was cold out.”

Cold? Your team’s season was on the line in a tight game and you left them high and dry? You had a chance to see them beat SFA for the first time in four years and didn’t stay? Get a hat and gloves, man. I don’t remember seeing half the stadium empty during the fourth quarter of the Ice Bowl...

“Hat and gloves? PSY doesn’t wear a hat and gloves. I had to stay in character.”

Is that why all those other people left, too?

“I don’t know about their characters. You’d have to ask them yourselves.”

Guess I’ll make sure to do it before halftime.

•••

Alex Hickey covers McNeese sports. Email him at ahickey@americanpress.com

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