Hobbs: I can’t believe I missed the McNeese Street Miracle

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

I saw the LSU Bluegrass Miracle in person, OK. Still don’t believe it, all these years later.

For that matter, I once witnessed LSU get a football mulligan against Tennessee because the Vols had 14 or 15 men on the field

when the Tigers didn’t know how many they had out there or what they wanted to do with them other than give a game away.

And they still won.

I’ve been around, right? Hard to shock these eyes.

I almost missed the Warren Morris home

run in 1996, deciding at the last minute to leave the elevator and to

sit back down

in the Omaha press box for one more at-bat in the College World

Series championship game just in time to see the most dramatic

moment in college baseball history.

I never thought any of us would see the

Saints win a Super Bowl and, yet, due to the angle of my unique view

from the corner

auxiliary press box in Miami, I might have been the first person

in America whose eyes widened with the recognition that Tracy

Porter was about to intercept Peyton Manning and put the game on


I thought I’d seen it all then.

Dang, I once saw a high school game won on a 99-yard quarterback sneak down on the Mississippi River in Edgard, in fog so

thick that, from the sideline, it looked like he was wearing a flat-top helmet on a field with a 6-foot ceiling.

Crazy stuff happens.

But I’ve never seen, heard of or even imagined a team scoring three — THREE! — touchdowns in the final two — TWO! — minutes

and spare change of a game to pull out a one-point victory.

But Barbe 49, Lifetime Nemesis West Monroe 48 is absolutely the greatest football comeback that I ever … well, it was the

greatest, most unlikely comeback in the history of football that I DID NOT quite see.

I suspect that was a common regret around Lake Charles Saturday morning.

Sure sounded like it.

Shame on me.

Oh, I had good intentions.

I also had plenty of company on bemoaning not being there.

I wasn’t scheduled to work the game, but was seriously thinking of going anyway.

Was headed out there, but got a text.

Absolute total gridlock, came the message, with quite a hassle to get near the stadium.

Being a tad parched and whole lot hungry, it seemed a good time to grab a bite to eat.

So there I was at Bistro 121, which soon enough was filling up.

However many people you may hear who witnessed the greatest football comeback I ever heard of, you can lop off at least 15

fans, minimum, from that number who actually saw the end of it.

Rough estimate, but there were at least that many in Bistro alone who, unlike me, had taken the trouble to get there, had

fought the traffic, had seen plenty of first-half fireworks but left the game at halftime with West Monroe up 35-14.

Quite a few more apparently high-tailed it after West Monroe took a 48-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

A good ration of them were also trickling in as the conversation turned to why every time Barbe had a really good team they

always got stuck with the semifinal tease of playing the perennial behemoths from West Monroe.

“They were pancaking those poor boys left and right,” said one fellow.

“Still had a good year,” said another.

And that was that. The talk gradually turned to a duck hunt or a tomorrow’s golf game or whatever.

A cellphone buzzed, but didn’t really cause much of a stir.

“48-28 now,” the guy said.

“West Monroe still hasn’t thrown a pass.”

And the talk resumed to other world issues.


“West Monroe running out the clock.”

“No, I got a fumble,” came word from another smartphone. “Barbe ball.”

“How much time?”

“’Bout three minutes.”

Big deal.

Another phone buzz.

“Barbe scored. 48-35. Just over two minutes.”

“Good for them.”

More mindless chatter.

But suddenly cellphones were going off from all corners.

“They got the onside kick.”


Texts, Facebook, Twitter, the restaurant was being bombarded with helpful assistance, some quicker on the draw than others.

It’s an inexact science, but you take what you can get, and now phones were buzzing from all corners.

“Got an onside kick.”

“No, we already heard that.”

“No, this is another one. They already scored with that one.”

“Not with my text.”

“Yeah, here it is. You’re right, 48-42.”

“And they got the ball again? Another onside kick.”

“That’s what I’m getting.”

“What yard line?”

“Doesn’t say.”

“Yeah, recovered another onside kick.”

“I got ‘em on the 40.”

“That’s old, My guy says 30.”

“I got them on the 10 now.”

“Now the five. Called timeout.”

It became a race. Whose phone, whose sources, could deliver faster.

“Penalty. Half the distance.”

Then some silence. Smartphones became quiet phones. The waiting, the tension.

Finally, a phone buzzed.

E.F. Hutton was speaking. All eyes on one guy’s phone.


From another corner: “My guy’s got the extra point already — 49-48.”

From another: “Can’t believe I left that game.”

I couldn’t believe I never went, and won’t make that mistake for the Superdome Classic this week.

Probably be a good idea to stick around for the end, too.

• • •

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com