STARKVILLE, Miss. — Some 70-odd years ago, probably some time in like 1947, another LSU quarterback got caught showing his posterior for posterity.

Y.A. Tittle went on to a Hall of Fame NFL career with the 49ers and Giants. Us youngsters probably remember him best for that old black-and-white photo of him slumped on the turf of Yankee Stadium, blood tricking down his very bald head, a moment that supposedly captured the essence of the frustrating end of a distinguised career.

But his career began at LSU, where, despite a stellar stay, he'll forever be best known for exposing the other bare end of the anatomy.

Wasn't his fault.

He was minding his own business while doubling as a defensive back in Tiger Stadium when he intercepted a pass from Ole Miss' Charley Connerly, another future Hall of Fame New York Giant. Tittle was off to the races with Connerly in hot pursuit when, by all accounts, Connerly made a desperate lunge and grabbed Tittle's belt from behind.

Yes, football trousers had honest belts back then, and the one holding up Tittle's pants gave way with a snap.

Next thing Tittle knew, his pants had fallen down around his ankles and tripped him up, leaving him somewhat exposed and looking very silly to a big crowd.

Unfortunately, Twitter was still in the early developing stage at the time. But it's kind of his LSU legacy, overshadowing his passing and running.

Football pants have come a long way since those prehistoric times, but they're still not foolproof as young Joe Burrow learned Saturday in Mississippi State's Davis-Wade Stadium.

The current LSU quarterback's work was basically done for the day after throwing four more touchdown passes in a 36-13 win over Mississippi State. He was getting in one last series before retiring to the bench when the Bulldogs' Chauncey Rivers slipped through the protection, a common occurrence on the day.

Burrow tried to avoid him, but Rivers got a hold of the back elastic on his pants and yanked forcibly, pulling most of the back of the pants with him and exposing Burrow's bare buttocks — go ahead, try saying those three words three straight times real fast — as he basically conceded the sack and tried desperately to re-cover his backside.

Maybe it was just a coincidence that CBS's cameras had the perfect angle, but you'll never convince me.

At any rate the world and YouTube now knows that he doesn't wear anything over his jock strap.

Surely, the SEC replay booth was relieved that the play didn't require further review. Apparently pulling the opposing quarterback's pants down — illegal exposure? — is one of the few mishaps in Saturday's adventure that is not a penalty.

It was a godsend to the press box, I can tell you that. There was even mild cheering — normally taboo — that maybe a nondescript game had been saved by the weird and the wacky.

Suddenly, Burrow breaking the season record for touchdown passes with his 29th didn't seem all that important.

The press corps established some ground rules and decided that "derrière" was too un-footbally for our use.

My first throught: Why couldn't this have happened to Josh Booty?

But the possibilities suddenly expanded well beyond over-analysis of LSU settling for field goals on the Tigers' first three possessions.

We could shoot for the moon, so to speak and conveniently, as Burrow himself would later note, there was a full moon coming to Starkville that night.

At the time, I was down to trying to figure a way to work a story around my startling discovery en route to the stadium that the official Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library is right here in Starkville.

Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library road sign

The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library is on the campus of Mississippi State University.

Who knew? And didn't Grant pretty well cannon-ball cross-state Vicksburg into the stone age in his pre-presidential days?

I was thinking both Burrow and Grant came south from Ohio, you know, and ...

Scratch it, anyway.

My own life had new meaning. After all these years of toil, I could finally get the word "heinie" into the newspaper.

It's been a lifelong career goal. So my work here is done.

Details would later emerge from Burrow, who at first seemed chagrined by the whole sordid affair but warmed up to the humor of it as his exposé press conference wore on. He was just sad that his grandparents, who live in nearby Amory and were seeing him play in person for the first time, had to be exposed to that unseen side of him.

Hopefully it won't be his legacy at LSU 70 years from now.

But if it turns out to be the Instagram Moment for LSU 36, Mississippi State, no harm done.

Not sure how LSU's football performance would hold up under close scrutiny.

The Tigers' offense probably wasn't as disjointed as it sometimes looked and their defense wasn't quite the saviour that Ed Orgeron made it out to be.

If three field goals the Tigers settled for after driving inside the 10 were spaced out amidst the four touchdowns instead of front-loaded, maybe it'd look better.

Defensively the Tigers were more opportunistic than dominating, although there's something to be said for three turnovers.

Better, for now, to just remember the sudden bond between Burrow and Tittle.

LSU's resident stat-fanatic, Todd Politiz has figured out that Burrow throws a touchdown pass every 7.52 attempts, the second best rate in LSU history.

The best is 7.31 attempts ... in 1946 ... by Y.A. Tittle.


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

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