Last Modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:19 PM
We have all been on Honey Badger overdrive. It is time to take a step back.
This is not about some icon, nor should this be a tug of war between fan bases and tweeting sports reporters.
This should be about a young man who is searching to find himself and his future.
That is what matters most.
For some reason this story, just like the legend of the Honey Badger, has become larger than life.
It is a wild fire burring out of control.
But this should not be about a football player or a football team.
Forget for a moment that LSU and McNeese State are two of the players. This should be only about one guy, Tyrann Mathieu.
Clearly, his first choice was to stay at LSU. Whether that is an option depends on just who you listen to or just what school officials believe is their athletic code of conduct.
Apparently, never doesn’t mean forever all the time in Baton Rouge.
So the door has been either always open to his return, open just recently or never even been cracked. It all depends.
Since Mathieu was dismissed from LSU last Friday for reportedly failing drug tests, he has been the biggest news in the state, SEC and college football.
Reality is, he’s not even the biggest name thrown off an SEC team and looking for a new home this summer. That honor goes to former Auburn tailback Michael Dyer, who helped those Tigers win a national title two years ago.
Yet the attention surrounding him is calm compared to the storm surrounding Mathieu.
All this because of a catchy nickname.
About the only person to put this into perspective was McNeese head coach Matt Viator, who met with Mathieu Friday evening.
Viator told Mathieu to take time to consider all his options before making a decision. We all expected that meant a weekend, not this long.
Reports are that the decision will come today.
You get the feeling that Viator might have been able to sign Mathieu that night but knew the kid wasn’t ready. If that is the case, he seems to be one of the few who has Mathieu’s best interest in mind.
Just like Les Miles at LSU, Viator seems to have put Mathieu’s future ahead of wins and losses. Hard to do when there are rumblings about his future if the Cowboys don’t make it back to the playoffs.
Yet it seems that Viator was unwilling to take advantage of the situation just for his own benefit.
Later it was learned that Viator decided not to do an interview with ESPN on Saturday when the network came calling. Again, he seemed more than willing to put the young man’s needs ahead of his own or his team’s.
The same can be said for last year when he took troubled Janzen Jackson on board even though there were questions about his work ethic and interest in playing at McNeese.
So now we wait for Mathieu’s decision. So far he’s about the only one who isn’t talking.
To the rest of us, enough already.
Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at email@example.com