Leaving that sad topic behind, we return to the issue of LSU's quarterback situation.
I've read a lot of very strong opinions on this situation lately, mostly in the vein of "kick him off". People are saying he's a bad kid, a distraction to the team, a potential cancer, etc. This is all well and good, and everyone is entitled to their opinions, but there are some important things to keep in mind.
First, very few people on the message boards and probably no one in the media actually knows Ryan Perrilloux. We know what gets into the media, which are the screw-ups he makes. While his screw-ups are definitely a part of his personality, they do not make up the whole of his character. I'm sure with Ryan Perrilloux, as with most other people, there are layers there that are unknown to the general public.
Second, and for the same reason, most of the people commenting know nothing about the attitude and perspective of the team. We don't know how Perrilloux's transgressions are affecting the team. We can make some educated guesses, but they are just that. Only guesses.
The coaches know Ryan Perrilloux, and the coaches also have their fingers on the pulse of the team. Or at least they should. And they will be the ones to make the ultimate decision as to what is best for the team. I am sure they will be second-guessed by many people. Their decision, however, will be much more informed than any piece of advice they get off the internet.
I am fully cognizant of the fact that what I am saying could be used of an indictment of all commentary and criticism from the media or the blogs or the message boards. That's fine. This is all in good fun, but I try to recognize that my own criticism of the coaches comes from a place characterized at least as much by its ignorance as by its insight. That is true of all of us, and when it comes to questioning a kid's character or calling for great damage to be done to his future, we should all be a little more cognizant of that.
Update: This is perhaps my favorite message board post ever:
JLee has all the same traits and strengths of Matt Mauck and Matt Flynn. He has a better arm than both of them and is mobile, but not as fast as Flynn. Experience is overrated if you are not smart and do not have talent. He is two inches shorter at about 6-1, but in a spread-type offense (under Crowton) that is easily overcome -- this is not the NFL.Here is a picture of Jarrett Lee:
Lee is already purported to be on the sharpest guys they've ever had at QB. He reminds a lot of observers of the two Matts and Tommy Hodson and Alan Risher. Hodson and Risher had no experience and both did well with less talent around them. Hodson and Risher could and probably would have led our 2003 and 2007 teams to the title.
Indeed, even should RP return, I'm not so sure that Lee would not win the starting nod on his own merits. Talent, smarts, mobility, accuracy, consistency and leadership can overcome inexperience really quick. If Hodson and Risher are not enough examples, look elsewhere around the SEC -- there are many.
LSU will be fine -- maybe not BCS title ready this fall -- but asskicking ready, they will be.
Here are pictures of the quarterbacks this poster compared Jarrett Lee to:
Here are some pictures of recent LSU starting quarterbacks the poster did not see fit to compare Jarrett Lee to:
I suppose we can all be thankful he did not bring out Jeff Wickersham comparisons.