East: Still some gifts left to give to LSU football team

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGLSU safety Eric Reid (1) congratulates LSU cornerback Jalen Collins (32), after LSU beat Arkansas on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. LSU won 20-13.
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGLSU safety Eric Reid (1) congratulates LSU cornerback Jalen Collins (32), after LSU beat Arkansas on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. LSU won 20-13.

BY LES EAST

Advocate sportswriter

The LSU football team arrives in Atlanta on Wednesday to begin on-site preparations for its Chick-fil-A Bowl game against Clemson on New Year’s Eve.

Family, friends and Santa Claus have all distributed their Christmas gifts, and now we’ll see if the football elves have a few presents to hand out.

Between now and when the clock strikes midnight in the Georgia Dome and 2012 turns into 2013, it would be nice to see some of the following gifts given to members of the LSU football community.

An injury-free performance from which they will leave with no regrets.

An opportunity to make at least one big play in his final game.

A performance that helps establish him as “LSU’s strong-legged Australian punter.”

The discipline, maturity, guidance and good fortune to have smoother sailing from here on out.

A season some year in which every player who reports for preseason camp is still part of the team for the bowl game.

A good while without having to hear any questions about which team rule was violated by which player.

A good while without having to ask which team rule was violated by which player.

The clarity to understand that for some players in their position the potential reward for completing their college careers is greater than the potential risk for doing so, and that for others, the opposite is true. Also, the wisdom to understand which category they fall into.

The dedication and perseverance to do what linebacker Kevin Minter has done — get their diploma no matter how much or little time passes between when they remove their LSU uniform for the last time and don a cap and gown.

A late surge in ticket purchases by LSU fans that leads to the Tigers selling out their 16,000-seat ticket allotment.