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Vice President Mike Pence applauds in affirmation as Ed Orgeron pleads for college football

Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

His thick, Cajun accent can make him difficult to understand, but take away college football and everyone hears Ed Orgeron clearly.

After delivering Louisiana State University its first national championship since 2007, Orgeron sat next to Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday and pleaded passionately to have a football season.

Despite the concerns of everyone for public health and safety, football operates everything in the south of the United States. 

Not only is it a pastime that promotes socialization, but football is also a ticket out of rough socioeconomic backgrounds for some while others plan their lives around the gridiron game. 

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, athletics (especially football) is a coping mechanism that assists in helping people get away from stress.

Regardless of the rivalries that occur in the sport, including Alabama versus LSU, if football is not played this fall then Orgeron with everyone else knows a certain part that makes us complete as individuals is not there and it doesn’t feel right. 

Upon sitting with Pence, Orgeron thanked him for everything he’s done in trying to help the country get through the global Coronavirus pandemic. Although he admires the work the administration has done, the LSU Tigers head football coach said we ‘need a season.’ 


U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at a speaking engagement/ Photo comes from Alex Wong, Getty Images

“We have our team back and they are ready to go, but we need football,” Orgeron said. “We need to play. This state needs it. This country needs it.” 

Before he could utter another sentence, Pence applauded loudly in approval. 

Since childhood, many young boys have dreamed of being successful high school athletes, collegiate athletes and professional athletes.

Not only do they want to shine like the players they witnessed growing up, but these individuals picture themselves winning state championship, national championships and making their families proud.

For some of them, all they know is football and the residents within each state live vicariously through the players.  

*Video comes from WFAB Channel 9 Sports in Baton Rouge, La.

“These men have worked hard,” Orgeron said.  

“I don’t think we can take this away from these players. We can’t take this away from our state and our country. We need football. Football is the light of our country and our people. It gets everything going. It gets the economy going, especially our economy in Baton Rouge. It is the economy in Louisiana. These young men need this chance.” 

Orgeron explained to Pence how he and his coaching staff at LSU have educated players about COVID-19 and the importance of wearing a mask. He said the Tigers were the first program to come back on campus and that players followed testing protocol. According to Orgeron, none of the student-athletes got sick. 

“We have not had one kid catch the virus from working out in our training room,” Orgeron said. “It’s sterile. We clean it every day. Everybody gets tested.” 

Even with all of this, Orgeron knows that young men will be young men. 

College students enjoy going to parties and after being kept away from people they know for a long time; athletes like to mingle together. 

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“If they went to a party and 100 people were there, they got the virus and they learned their lesson,” Orgeron said. “They are not going to a party anymore, I promise you. We had a spike, but for right now I can tell you this can be handled. None of our players have gotten really sick and I believe that in playing football, we can handle this season.” 

With President Trump being concerned about Alabama football and Pence moved by Orgeron’s passion, the Trump administration may push by all means necessary to ensure that college football will be played this year.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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