Back in the old days – okay, it was just a few years ago – I would stand outside my condo in East Austin and have a few cold Lone Stars. My neighbors – the real ones, not the kind that just walk by and say, “Hi,” and pretend that’s being friendly, because they’re obviously robots – would inevitably show up to hang out, so it became the community meeting spot. Some would bring their children; some would bring their dogs. I didn’t have either, but I did have Billy Idol.
Billy Idol was the neighborhood cat whose top lip was permanently hitched up in a snarl on the right side, which led me to giving him his moniker. He was shaggy looking, and quite aloof. If you left your front door open he was the kind that would walk in and act like he owns the place. It was all very “Rebel Yell.”
One night, my neighbors with their Big Dog in tow, got to meet Billy Idol as well. Their Big Dog saw him first, and – like Big Dogs do – growled and looked quite imposing. His only mistake was – like the rest of us, I suppose – thinking Billy Idol didn’t care. Right as I told the neighbors not to worry about Billy Idol, he launched himself through the air and landed – all four feet first – on Big Dog’s face. Needless to say, chaos ensued.
Point being – sometimes you’re the Big Dog, sometimes you’re the small cat and sometimes you’re the small cat named Billy Idol.
All-Louisiana Top 12
#1 Southeastern Lions (20-6)
Meet the new big dogs of our Top 12…some cats from Hammond. The Lions are ripping through everyone in their path, as the team has won 14 games in a row – the school’s longest win streak. This past week, the team followed two shutout victories, by posting 18 or more runs in their next two contests. The Lions are set to terrorize Nicholls State this weekend, and then head to the Crescent City for a major clash with Tulane next Tuesday.
#2 Tulane Green Wave (18-7)
Speaking of which, the Green Wave knocked a big dog off their shoulder this week, as Tulane beat LSU, 7-1, in Baton Rouge for the first time in nine years. The game included this Play of the Year candidate by Stephen Alemais. Tulane has won six games in a row, thanks, in part, to an improving relief pitching staff (which now includes the surprising addition of Jeremy Montalbano). Major props to freshman pitching ace, Ross Massey, who has been lights out, sporting an ERA of 1.14.
#3 LSU Tigers (16-8)
Expectations can be rough, and expectations not met can be downright brutal. There is a lot of handwringing and “whoa-as-me” coming out of Baton Rouge right now, as the young Tigers dropped a series in College Station, and then of course got beat by Tulane in Alex Box stadium. The problem is that the bats have disappeared, and the fan base doesn’t seem to be in the mood to wait for the team to find them.
#4 New Orleans Privateers (17-8)
UNO is facing its first crossroads of the season – are they a Big Dog or little cat, the rest of the way? The Privateers suffered through their first bitter weekend series, getting swept by Lamar. My money is on more success coming from Coach Dean’s team. Either way, UNO sports fan, always remember…this team’s combined record over the previous three seasons is 32-122.
#5 UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (16-9)
Love the name, but not loving what I’m seeing from the team. We’re just too far into the season for them to be this average. The Cajuns are running out of opportunities for big non-conference wins, and recently lost a conference series to Arkansas-Little Rock (12-12). Their win over Rice in Minute Maid Park seems like it happened years ago.
#6 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (14-7)
The only actual dogs on our list have had a solid campaign. Two early victories over Top 25 teams set the pace, and although its slowed down a touch, the Bulldogs have won five of their last six – including a conference series win over Charlotte, a team that was looking down at the Bulldogs in Conference USA’s preseason poll – a poll which had the Bulldogs finishing next to last.
#7 McNeese State Cowboys (13-9)
The Cowboys swept through Abilene Christian in impressive fashion, and have won five of their last six. In related news, I met a former baseball player from McNeese State at Ancora Pizza on Freret last week. We talked about baseball, and, as always I pretended to listen as he told me about the menu. He was a cool dude, and the Neapolitan-style pizza was superb.
#8 Northwestern State Demons (14-11)
The only All-Louisiana baseball team cool enough to rock a bifurcated tail and forked tongue hasn’t been setting the conference aflame lately. The Demons were picked to challenge Southeastern for the Southland conference title, but the two teams seem to be on different levels so far.
#9 Nicholls State Colonels (11-15)
While their 5-4 victory over South Alabama (18-7) is encouraging, the Thibodaux posse must still be scratching their heads over the team’s 2-7 start in the Southland conference. And next up? The Southeastern Lions. Gulp.
#10 UL-Monroe Warhawks (10-15)
Every time I say this team’s name, I follow it with an awesome impersonation of an Eagle’s cry.
#11 Grambling State Tigers (10-14)
The only All-Louisiana baseball school too cool to ever update their schedule with scores, which I assume the school paid for that website, so that seems like a waste of tax dollars, to which I say…Thanks Bobby Jindal.
#12 Southern University Jaguars (8-14)
This team is starting to put some wins together. The Jaguars play a series against SWAC-rival Texas Southern, before heading across town to play LSU next week. A game that, if the Jaguars win, will make the LSU fan base’s collective minds melt.
Which is exactly what happened to that Big Dog, and my neighbors, that night in East Austin. They were less than pleased, I was stifling a grin, and I swear to you that, as I watched Billy Idol walk away, his snarl turned into a smile.