Posturing, posing and prancing

OK, before we get started here today.

Everybody get off my lawn.

Especially you young whippersnappers.

And I don’t want to sound like an old fuddy-duddy about this.

But LSU head coach Ed Orgeron better get a handle on this thing.

Because I’m telling you.

People. Trouble, oh they got trouble.

Right there in River City!

With a capital “T”.

And that rhymes with “P”.

And that stands for Posturing and Posing and Prancing and Preening all over the dad-blamed football field.

Ya got one, two, three … penalties for it in the Arkansas game alone, at 15 yards a lick.

So ya got trouble, my friend, right there in Red Stick.

On a Saturday night and that’s trouble.

Oh, yes they got lots and lots a’ trouble…

OK, enough singing around the issue.

But LSU needs to quit worrying about any lame-brained SEC-Alabama conspiracy and clean up its own football act.

Yeah, I hate to be the spoil sport here.

Yeah, sure, let the kids have their fun. What’s the harm? The kids love it. Their peers encourage it.

But the unsportsmanlike penalties are starting to mount for LSU’s post-play shenanigans.

It doesn’t matter what you or I or the hipster across the street thinks about it.

The referees are starting to flag them more and more often.

One of these self-congratulatory exhibitions is going to cost the Tigers a game someday and LSU fans will blame it on the SEC’s love affair with Alabama.

They had three unsportsmanlike penalties against Arkansas, all of them foolish. One of them, by Kary Vincent, came after his pass break-up had all but stopped a Razorback drive. The 15 yards of new life was just the push the Razorbacks needed to score the touchdown that pulled them to within 24-17 and suddenly brought a mega-meltdown by LSU into play after leading 24-3 going into the fourth quarter.

Saturday was hardly an isolated incident. It’s been going on all year.

“Sure, sure, we don’t want unsportsmanlike conduct,” Orgeron said Monday. “They’re stupid penalties. We don’t need that. One was emotional, one was close.”

Well, it’s kind of up to him. He gets his team to play hard. But playing smart is a virtue too.

His post-Arkansas chagrin was close to same thing he said the Monday following the Mississippi State game.

Remember?

It was a mere side show to the bogus targeting call that got linebacker Devin White suspended for the first half of the next game against Alabama.

But that was actually a 45-yard penalty once it all got sorted out because after Kristian Fulton’s interception on the play, he and safety John Battle decided to immortalize it with an SNL skit in the end zone where Battle used an air camera to snap pictures of a posing Fulton.

I still haven’t figured out how it was worth separate walk-offs, but it was textbook unsportsmanlike conduct(s).

The worst offenders seem to be that very talented secondary, which tends to produce a lot of celebratory moments. But every incompletion seems to be worthy of an impromptu second-line dance, nor are they above reminding the intended receiver that he didn’t catch anything.

Whatever Orgeron told them after the Mississippi State apparently went in one ear and out the other.

They were probably fortunate to only get flagged three times in the Arkansas game.

The seemingly spent the whole game begging for more, pushing the envelope a little thinner and thinner as it went on just to test how much silliness they could get away with.

Maybe they’re just trying to prove they’re NFL-ready.

They no doubt watched Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas get rave reviews for his awkwardly orchestrated sequel to the Joe Horne flip-phone skit. Never mind that the 15-yard stunt — hamming it up with a pre-planted cell phone that he retrieved from the base of the goal post —was about the only thing that could have given the Los Angeles Rams any remote prayer of coming back after his long touchdown catch late in the game.

It’s quite an accomplishment to get a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty in the NFL, where teams seemingly spend way more time planning and orchestrating their celebrations than, say, their open-field, form-tackling skills. Pretty much anything goes that doesn’t involve a sledgehammer or chain saw or guest appearance by the cast of “Cats.”

But Horne was flagged for it way back in 2003. Thomas obviously had researched it, and had to know that. Didn’t matter. He had to “express” himself.

That’s the NFL. College is far stricter. I suspect LSU is getting the reputation for it, which tends to bring more scrutiny.

So it needs saying that they’d best tone it down a notch or two.

OK. You can get back on my lawn now.

Jim Beam

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