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(also published at www.chicksinthehuddle.com )
So you knew it was coming...or did you? LSU has given quarterback and occassional game day hero/train wreck Ryan Perrilloux the Louisiana-shaped boot. And I gotta say, it makes me sad.
Maybe not so much as an LSU fan, but as a foe of people with talent who can't help but get in their own way. For me, Ryan Perrilloux symbolizes so many talented athletes out there who get the shot of a lifetime and have no idea what to do with it. (Yes Michael Vick, I am most certainly picturing you while I write this...and you too Pacman Jones...and you too Bengals roster.)
Perrilloux's been accused in a club fight, of using a fake id to get into a casino, of skipping classes and he's been linked to some sort of counterfeiting scheme. Why would one of the most sought after high school quarterbacks in the state go out of his way to act a damn fool once in college? It just doesn't make sense.
I don't know about you, but I had this Disney-movie like fantasy that after Perrilloux's performance in the SEC championship game, things would turn around for the kid and he'd become the team star we all knew he could be. Sure he'll probably bounce back and land with some team, somewhere. But he's a hometown boy. I wanted him to succeed at home. I wanted him to set an example for all the little ones in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Monroe who are torn between the two worlds of talent and trouble. And maybe he can still do that from afar. Maybe.
Talent wise, I liked the guy. I oft times found Matt Flynn to be overrated and I hated how Perrilloux was used as some Kunta-Kinte workhorse, called on for all the "heavy lifting" when the offense found itself in a sticky situation. And yet, I also realized Perrilloux didn't have the maturity required to lead a team of his peers.
No one's certain what happened in the past few weeks to push LSU Coach Les Miles over the edge. I only hope that this latest development serves as more of a wake-up call than a back breaker for a life so plagued yet so full of promise.