i've been in new orleans in the spring, summer, and fall. never have i been there that it didn't remind me of the weather in saigon.
When it comes to goofy excuses, a team from Louisiana claiming humidity in Florida hurt its chances of winning is way up near the top of the list. Anyone who’s ever been to South Louisiana in August — when LSU goes through preseason drills — knows that the air is as thick as the jambalaya. I once went to a July convention in New Orleans and walking out my hotel onto the street at 9am was like walking into a wall of gelatin.
Still, for LSU players, they’re saying the humidity got to them in Gainesville on Saturday. Yep, you can apparently chalk up Florida’s 14-6 win over the Tigers to the weather.
Now, the average October humidity in Florida ranges from about 71% in Pensacola to 79% in Jacksonville. The average October humidity in Baton Rouge is 73%. And last Saturday in Gainesville the temperatures were in the 80s to boot. So it’s a little hard to grasp the weather excuse that a few Tigers are tossing out there.
According to Florida guard Jon Halapaio, the Tigers “were very tired toward the end of the game.” He’ll get no argument from LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery:
“We worked super hard during the week to come out and play two dominant halves. Sadly, our stamina couldn’t hold up.”
Linebacker Kevin Minter had to leave the field with leg cramps and his absence aided Florida’s first touchdown drive:
“It is Florida. The humidity is ridiculous…
It was frustrating. You always think what could I have done better? Maybe I could’ve drank more water during the week. I should’ve known better. I knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. I needed to be hydrated. I totally blame myself…
We had a lot of miscues when we were breathing hard. You can’t let fatigue take over.”
Watching the game, I mentioned to a fellow viewer that it was hard to understand how an LSU team could cramp up in a midseason game. The weather wasn’t that hot. It wasn’t the first or second game of the season. And Tommy Moffitt, the Tigers’ strength and conditioning coach, is considered one of the top men in his field in college athletics.
Maybe it really was just a matter of Tiger players not properly hydrating themselves before the game. Or maybe that’s just an excuse to help explain away the fact that Florida’s players were simply faster and in even better shape. Indeed, Minter did have some praise for the Gators:
“It wasn’t like we were getting completely dominated. It was a lot of little things. We’ve got to remember not to mess up so much when you’re tired. We needed to buckle down like we were in the first half. But all you saw was bodies running everywhere. The speed of Florida is ridiculous. Their misdirection really didn’t help, especially with us being as tired as we were in the third and fourth quarters.”
Here’s guessing Florida’s “ridiculous” speed and their misdirection plays had more to do with the 14-6 Gator win than the humidity. But with all the talk of fatigue this week, you can bet that Moffitt and crew will probably have a little something extra in store for the Tigers’ during next summer’s preseason workouts.
Until then, there’s just one thing to say: Oy, it’s so humid!
You might say it was like a sauna.