There is "Alabama HATE WEEK" and "Vanderbilt HATE WEEK." There is even "Mississippi State HATE WEEK," but for many Rebel fans of an age and sensibility similar to mine, there is only one HATE WEEK that needs no modifier. It fortuitously comes when it does - at the beginning of deer season and just before Thanksgiving - because, often, Rebel fans will have to cope in its wake by either shooting something, gorging ourselves in ceremonial gratefulness, or a combination of the two.
If this can't get your hate levels up, you're missing something.
Nominally, the "Magnolia Bowl," I prefer my unofficial nom de guerres "The Battle for Billy Canon's Heisman," "Hurricane State Hostilities," and "The Gamblers' Game" because those names better reflect that state similarities and shared experiences that have fomented discord between our fan bases for decades.
In only the last seven games - five of which I've seen in person - the Rebels and LSU have gone through the SEC West Showdown in 2003 that propelled the Tigers to the BCS Championship, the 49-7 curb-stomping in Nick Saban's final season in Baton Rouge, a twenty-point LSU comeback over the Orgeron-led Rebels in 2006, a dominating 31-13 Rebel victory in Death Valley, and a little clock mismanagement that LSU fans call the "Mississippi Meltdown."
While And the Valley Shook is a fine SBNation colleague, Baton Rouge is my favorite road-trip in the SEC, the cooking will be damn good this weekend, and I fully expect that dozens of Tiger fans will dole out hospitality in portions equal to their overbearing, vulgar, and unwelcoming rhetoric ("TIGER BAIT!!! Just kidding; want a beer?"), this week is HATE WEEK because beating LSU is the pill that cures all my frustrations.
Nothing. NOTHING compares to beating the Bayou State Bengals in the Swamp. And there is no margin of loss to any other team that cuts quite as deep as a loss to General Sherman's University. Get thee, back, Respect. This is the state university of America's armpit about which we speak, a school that, by observing its student body, one comes to the inescapable conclusion that that majority of its academic recruitment fliers are sent to Hooters and New Orleans brothels. A school that draws such a large contingent of Texans because, surprisingly, there are some that are too arrogantly douche-ey for even the Lone Star State. Plans were scrapped for a recreation of the Statue of Liberty (un-draped and holding The Scales of Narcotics) neath which a plaque was to read:
"Give me your drunk, your foul,
Your barely-clothed skanks yearning to snort coke,
The wretched refuse of the nation's bowel.
Send these skanks, still vodka-soaked,
I lift my lamp with a drunken howl!"
It was thought to be un-inclusive and in bad taste, as cocaine was considered by Shreveport natives and other matriculants from the Northern parts of the state as the drug of the bourgeoisie.
I give thanks every fourth Thursday in November (and, in fact, most Thursdays, and, in fact, most days) that I am color blind and so can travel to Baton Rouge safe from the opthamological invasion of violent violet and and gaudy gold to which many of you will be subjected.
In sum, my hate is strong. Channel your hate. Foster that hate. Coddle it and feed it images of Eli lying frustrated on the turf. Let that hate grow and hate, hate, HATE on haters!