Rabalais: Clearing out the old notebook

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIGLSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva speaks at a news conference in November 2012.

Notes on a TPC Louisiana scorecard as we dive headlong into Zurich Classic of New Orleans week: ... The NBA playoffs are going on elsewhere, but here in Louisiana the basketball season is officially over now that the New Orleans Pelicans have closed up shop on their rehabilitation hospital known as their team headquarters in Metairie. … Continue reading →

Notes, quotes from around the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Notes on a golf scorecard I, shall we say, borrowed from the Augusta National pro shop as we take one last look at the 2014 Masters … Bubba Watson made winning his second Masters, this one by three strokes, look fairly easy after he went birdie-birdie to Jordan Spieth’s bogey-bogey … Continue reading →

Masters different minus Tiger

In this April 8, 2008, file photo, Toru Taniguchi tees off on the 17th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club, with the Eisenhower Tree at left, during practice for the 2008 Masters in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Two things are missing from the 78th Masters tournament that everyone is talking about: Tiger Woods and the Eisenhower tree. One has been recently showing signs of ill health and advancing age with various limbs finally succumbing to Father Time. The other is a tree that was splintered by an ice … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Just a scrimmage, but it wasn’t Anthony Jennings’ day

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Quarterback Anthony Jennings sits on the bench threw a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns in Saturday's spring game.

A football game is dominated by ruthlessly hard realities. A football scrimmage? Deciding how much is illusion and how much is reality is like separating fool’s gold from valuable ore. This is the impression every pair of eyes left LSU’s spring game with Saturday: Freshman quarterback Brandon Harris had a great day; sophomore rival Anthony Jennings, … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Lady Tigers manage despite chaos

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU women's basketball  coach Nikki Caldwell speaks at a news conference before LSU's practice Saturday. Despite a season filled with chaos and drama, the Lady Tigers manage to keep going.

The LSU Lady Tigers are disciples of their own brand of Chaos Theory. Follow the bouncing basketball and rewind to this time a year ago … LSU was getting ready to play a talented Penn State team in the second round of the NCAA tournament, much the same Penn State team that ran the … Continue reading →

It’s time to earn it

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- LSU senior Jeanne Kenney stretches at the start of practice Saturday in preparation for the Lady Tigers' Sunday NCAA tournament game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The cover of the LSU women’s basketball media guide sums up the Lady Tigers’ season and their current situation quite nicely: EARNED NEVER GIVEN A competitive bid and a history of doing a competent job hosting NCAA tournament games gave the Lady Tigers the opportunity to hear the familiar bounce of ball against the … Continue reading →

March Madness: From A to Z

Virginia players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Duke in an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday, March 16, 2014. Virginia won 72-63. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

March Madness, A to Z, the 2014 edition: A is for UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma, who goes for a record ninth NCAA title this year. B is for the Billion Dollar Bracket and Warren Buffett, who is offering the ginormous $1 billion prize to the person who can … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Magee has come too far to give up

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Running back Terrence Magee asks a question about a pass pattern during spring practice last month. Limited by a sprained ankle, Magee could return and play in Saturday's spring game, coach Les Miles said.

With Baton Rouge about to become the worldwide headquarters of the Leonard Fournette movement (can’t wait for Brent Musberger to boom, “You are looking LIIIIVE at Buga Nation!”), LSU’s incumbent running backs are expected to know their place, which is, to back up Lord National Player of the Year. But senior tailback Terrence Magee hasn’t come this … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Reed among new fearless breed on PGA Tour

Patrick Reed poses with his wife Justine and The Gene Sarazen Cup after winning the Cadillac Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 9, 2014, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

So Patrick Reed won the Cadillac Championship on Sunday, his third victory on the PGA Tour since August, which is tied for the most victories on tour in that time span, against a field that included 49 of the world’s top 50 players, on a course and in conditions that were major championship tough, then afterward, flush with … Continue reading →

Rabalais: New LSU QBs more like Johnny Football

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings greets Iowa wide receiver Jordan Cotton (23) after talking to Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock (15) after the Outback Bowl in January in Tampa, Fla. LSU won 21-14.

LSU needs a Johnny Football at quarterback this fall. This is not to put pressure on sophomore Anthony Jennings, incoming freshman Brandon Harris or even redshirt freshman Hayden Rettig to perform at a Heisman Trophy-like level as Johnny Manziel did at Texas A&M in 2012. Far from it. Why? Because no one is likely to come … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Lady Tigers facing one final stand

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Tennessee's Andraya Carter, left, and LSU's Jeanne Kenney reach for the ball during the game between LSU and Tennessee on Thursday at Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge. Tennessee defeated LSU in their final regular season home game, 72-67. The Lady Tigers have lost six straight heading into the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Your back’s to the wall. It’s a cliché, that’s true, a hackneyed old chestnut, but an often apt one. It inspires images of both desperation and determination. The LSU women’s basketball team embodies both. Six straight losses have pushed this once-highly regarded team to the brink of being the biggest flameout in program history. … Continue reading →

Rabalais: It’s clear — Southern has failed its athletes

Advocate file photo by John OubreSouthern women's basketball coach Sandy Pugh.

Southern’s winter sports programs have been banned from NCAA championship competition because of missing and unusable academic data pertaining to its student-athletes. In other words, the NCAA has no way to properly verify their grades and academic progress. There is an easy way to grade Southern University on this subject, though. A big, fat “F.” … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Tigers’ win, like season, delightful and painful to watch

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  LSU's Jarell Martin flies past Texas A&M's Alex Caruso and scores on Wednesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.  Martin was the high scorer of the game with 20 points.

In searching for the proper soundtrack to the 2013-14 LSU Tigers’ highlight reel, I should think something from U2’s “Rattle and Hum” would be appropriate. There’s “Pride.” There’s “Desire.” But there’s also “Helter Skelter” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” These Tigers embody all those elements, and a few more that James Naismith … Continue reading →

Rabalais: For LSU, all good things must end

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  UL-Lafayette's Seth Harrison makes it home for the team's second run against LSU on Tuesday in Alex Box Stadium.

Notes in my baseball scorebook on a dark and stormy night at Alex Box Stadium: Long after the rain and lightning had driven away the fans from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s weather-shortened 4-1 victory over No. 1-ranked LSU, a man in purple gear was spotted running the warning track in the pounding … Continue reading →

Lady Tigers floundering to finish line

The LSU Lady Tigers’ RPI still reads at a very respectable No. 9 nationally, a number worthy of a healthy and viable basketball team. Take this team’s pulse lately, and it would be better to transpose those letters to RIP. The Lady Tigers began February sporting a 17-4 record and 6-2 league mark that had them … Continue reading →

Struggling Lady Tigers need a win, any win

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- LSU's Theresa Plaisance is swarmed by South Carolina defenders during the game between South Carolina and LSU on Sunday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

The pessimist says the LSU Lady Tigers are in deep trouble. They have loss three straight and four of their last five to drop to 18-8 overall and 7-6 in Southeastern Conference play after making the mid-conference turn a game out of first place with a 6-2 record. The Lady Tigers have had their teeth … Continue reading →

Rabalais: LSU still can’t put games away

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Mississippi State's Trivante Bloodman guards LSU's Tim Quarterman during Wednesday's game in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU toppled Mississippi State 92-81 at home Wednesday night in men’s basketball. The Tigers beat the Bulldogs from the break like a rented Russian hockey goalie (what, comrade, too soon?) taking a 24-4 lead before State finally answered the cowbell and mounted a rally to stay within arm’s length in case LSU decided to take that arm … Continue reading →

Rabalais: All-Star Game more about show than game

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Trombone Shorty performs with a host of artists during the halftime show of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday at the Smoothie King Center. Trombone Shorty with Orleans Avenue was joined by Dr. John, Gary Clark Jr., Janelle Monáe, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Nobody comes to an NBA All-Star Game to see a game. A game has defense, strategy, and if you’re lucky, some memorable drama. At an NBA All-Star Game, you come to see a magic show. Levitation. Sleight of hand. And, if you’re lucky — and you usually are — more than a few moments that … Continue reading →

Rabalais: NBA All-Star Weekend full of young stars

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Team Webber's Anthony Davis of the Pelicans shoots as Team Hill's Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons defends during the NBA Rising Star Challenge at the Smoothie King Center on Friday in New Orleans.

Kobe Bryant isn’t dusting off beignets at Café Du Monde. He’s got enough to do what with trying to rehab his knee and poking Chris Kaman with a stick to keep him awake on the Lakers’ bench. Dwayne Wade said he will play Sunday at the newly labeled Smoothie King Arena since the feeling has returned to … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Sam story eventually will have happy ending

Associated Press file photo by Tim Sharp -- Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam warms up before the Cotton Bowl in Januaryin Arlington, Texas. Sam hopes his ability is all that matters, not his sexual orientation.

Steve Gleason is beyond worrying about the politics of the locker room, or of the world, for that matter. The ALS disease that has trapped the former New Orleans Saints football player in a wheelchair has also freed him to speak his mind about former Missouri football star Michael Sam’s announcement Sunday that he is gay. … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Sifting through LSU’s star-studded class

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- LSU coach Les Miles talks about his new recruits during the Bayou Bash on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.

They called the 1915 graduating class at West Point “The class the stars fell on” because of all the generals it produced. Fully one-third of that year’s cadets wound up with stars on their shoulders, among them Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley. A century later, people may one day be saying the same thing in football terms … Continue reading →

LSU regains NCAA’s attention

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD --  Arkansas' Kikko Haydar fouls LSU's Jarell Martin during the game between LSU and Arkansas on Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

There’s nothing Joe Alleva would like better than to be asked to leave the room. In his first two years on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, the group whose job it is to fill out the 68-team NCAA tournament bracket, Alleva hasn’t had the pleasure of being asked to step outside because the other … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Come on, Super Bowl. Come home to the Superdome

The Superdome, where the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will be played, is seen at sunset Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Dear Roger Goodell, As you roll out of bed Sunday in your suburban New York mansion and take your limo ride across the Hudson River to MetLife Stadium and the Super Bowl you brought to New Jersey’s Meadowlands, I’m sure you’re going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. The weather looks like it will cooperate; … Continue reading →