Because Menckles is not from Louisiana, yesterday I found myself in the unusual position of having to answer the question, "Who is Bill Cannon?" That took a while to explain but I think I started with, "Paul Bunyan but for Louisiana football," or something like that. Anyway, this is a better explanation.
Nationally, LSU’s best known sports figures are probably “Pistol” Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal. But on the home front, Cannon is the legend of legends.The window flags on every RV in the state are gonna be at half-mast for the rest of the year.
Nearly 60 years after he stepped off the field at old Tulane Stadium after his final college game in the 1960 Sugar Bowl, Cannon remains the standard by which all LSU football players are judged. It is easy to get all hyperbolic over the latest five-star recruit as being the best this or that. But there are still plenty of Tiger fans who will look at the helium-filled recruiting rankings and huff, with justification, “He’s great, but he’s no Billy Cannon.”
Fear not for the fading of your myths, though, Tiger fans. Legends do indeed continue to walk this earth.
They're rare at LSU, famous for its night games. All but three were played in the evening last year with one 11 a.m. tucked in Nov. 11 against Arkansas. A handful of former Tigers recalled the locker room scene that preceded that brunch in Baton Rouge.Self harm is kind of the unofficial state passtime anyway. We'll be right back at it tomorrow, in fact.
Ed Orgeron got primal before that morning game.
"He walked in there and said it's time to set your jaw," said former Tiger offensive lineman K.J. Malone. "And started punching himself in the jaw."
Astros pitcher Ken Giles recently went viral for smoking himself in the face. That was punitive.
Orgeron, LSU's 56-year old head coach, sacrificed for motivation.
"Punch yourself in the face in the morning if you're not ready," center Will Clapp remembered was the message.