As you have undoubtedly heard by now, LSU starting linebacker Devin White was controversially called for targeting in the second half of their game against Mississippi State last night, resulting in his being suspended for the first half against Alabama. To be clear, White pretty clearly roughed the passer (You gotta at least wrap him up, dude. Shoving him to the ground tells the official that you knew the ball was out) but didn’t hit him in the head or neck area and didn’t lead with his own helmet.
The league seems to be hanging its hat on the fact that he sort of launched himself, which is one of the indicators of targeting, at a player who had just thrown a pass, which is one of the stated definitions of defenseless. While you could make that argument, the fact that he led with his hands and definitely contacted him below the neck should have led to an overturn of the targeting call. Had it been an Alabama player, we would certainly be hot under the collar.
Unfortunately, LSU happens to play Alabama next on the schedule and it’s been a long 2,542 days since the Bayou Bengals faithful have tasted sweet victory in the series. This has led to a certain disillusionment toward the Alabama game that almost rises to the level of that seen down on “The Plains.” In this instance, they are convinced that someone in the league office anticipated White making a bonehead hit on the quarterback and executed a sinister plan to have him suspended against the SEC office’s beloved Tide. There is a movement afoot to #FreeDevinWhite, but it doesn’t stop there. They are demanding an investigation into Alabama’s relationship with the league office and those specific game officials.
Every movement needs a leader, and who better than TJ LSU Dad for this particular assignment?
Since 2011 I have been the most consistent voice as it relates to the bullshit Alabama is allowed to get away with.— TJ LSU DAD (@tj_lsudad) October 21, 2018
When comes to Alabama never trust
The @SEC commissioner
The SEC home office
The SEC officiating
TJ has certainly been consistent. He’s doing a nice job in his leadership role already. What is a good movement without a boycott?
Here's a quick way to get Devin white back on a field— TJ LSU DAD (@tj_lsudad) October 21, 2018
Tell the SEC and NCAA if he's not on the field we're not playing the game - and they have to refund those advertisers.
Only problem with this particular plan is that Birmingham also happens to be the #1 TV market for college football. They could basically choose any of the last seven LSU vs. Alabama games to televise in its place and get passable ratings. Plus, we hear that the sane LSU fans don’t want to get screwed out of their only chance to see Tua Tagovailoa play a half of football in person.
With the boycott thwarted, some of the junior leaders moved on to a change.org petition.
Well, we certainly don’t want to have that happen. The motive for this obvious conspiracy has been unclear to this point, since LSU has only one loss to a ranked team and would be in the driver’s seat to represent the SEC in the playoff with a win over Alabama (in fact, Alabama losing would give the conference a realistic shot at getting two one-loss teams in again) but internet sleuth Zach figured it out.
Ref on phone during "review": Nick, you know how Tua's knee has been hurting lately? Want me to make sure it won't be next game?— Zach Palowsky (@z_pack11) October 21, 2018
Saban: Make the call. And don't ever call me Nick again.
Ref: Yes sir, your Highness#FreeDevinWhite
Ah, we certainly wouldn’t want to hurt the knee of the conference’s young star. I get it now. So, what can we do other than sign the petition? Why, tweet at the conference’s 24-year-old social media manager, of course.
Dear @SEC,— Sam Jones (@sjone65) October 21, 2018
You're a corrupt, garbage organization that I wish would burn to the ground. Your referees are terrible, on par with terrorists, and Gary Danielson is their leader. I hate you so much, and I hate having to watch games on @SEConCBS. You freaking suck.#freedevinwhite
Hadn’t heard that about Danielson being named head of officials. Big, if true.
Even some old holdouts are having a hard time denying this conspiracy.
I use to think the Alabama privilege was all just a coincidence but to much evidence is piling up. Is something else going on inside the #SEC. The office sits in Birmingham, AL. One has to start asking do we have internal corruption inside the organization. https://t.co/rZ8cX9MzRW— Josh Lemoine (@LsuFBallTruth) October 21, 2018
See, here’s the thing. Targeting carries a defined suspension of two halves. It is a specific penalty designed to control very specific behaviors. Fighting is not targeting, and Saban voluntarily held Davis out of the first half of the next conference game anyway.
The Louisiana governor weighed in with his opinion that the play did not constitute targeting, a stance with which we of course agree, and one of his fine constituents requested that he involve the FBI since organized crime is clearly involved.
Please contact @GregSankey at the @SEC and ask them why different rules apply to teams other than Alabama. This sounds like collusion/corruption and potentially a matter for a federal RICO investigation.— TigerSaint (@jimaniarocks) October 21, 2018
BlueTunaTiger? Is that you?
Local businesses are imploring Baton Rouge residents to flood the SEC office with phone calls.
Last but not least, even the self-proclaimed “Ragin’ Cajun political strategist” is getting in on the act.
Tell ‘em to call their senatuh, James.
Crazy never sleeps, folks, and for that (among many other things) we are #Blessed.