Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/11/12
It would seem the Honey Badger does not give a ****. About anything. Especially not his team. Otherwise Tyrann Mathieu would not have broken whatever rule it is that he broke, and get dismissed from the LSU Tigers just three weeks before the Sept 1 season opener in Death Valley.

What do we say to that?

Good Riddance.

If you do not respect the team, you sure as hell do not deserve to be playing for them.

Luckily for LSU, losing Mathieu, cornerback and punt-returner, is comparable to losing a pair of really flashy, really cocky, all-purpose shoes. You always got a lot of attention when you wore them, and it was nice to have one go-to pair; but, you have a couple pairs of other, specialized shoes, that will do the job just as well, if not with a bit more class. 

In the press conference Friday where Les Miles announced Mathieu's suspension, Miles also made it clear that in this situation, the "specialized shoes" are actually sophmore wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was named to the SEC Coaches' All-Freshmen team in 2011, and junior safety Eric Reid, who was named SEC Defensive player of the Week when LSU narrowly beat Alabama 9-6 in regular season 2011. Miles identified that Beckham would be a good fit for Mathieu's return role, and Reid as being more than capable of picking up any slack in the corner.

In the blinding light that was the Honey Badger, it would understandably be hard for any other athlete to stick out, but that did not stop Beckham from making quite a splash. Exploding onto the field in 2011 as a true freshman, Beckham played in all 14 games LSU played, starting in nine of them.  In what was perhaps his most memorable moment, that 51-yard TD run against Kentucky, Beckham weaved through players and dodged tackles like he was Jason Bourne (albeit it was all on flat ground and no one was jumping off buildings into tarped awnings.)  At Mississippi State he was named the SEC Freshman of the Week and became the first LSU freshman wide receiver to record at least eight catches in a game since Michael Clayton had eight against Illinois in the Sugar Bowl in 2002.

Eric Reid has been around a bit longer, joining the team at the same time as Mathieu, with big differences in the way they operate on and off the field. Reid not only tied for the team lead in total tackles with Mathieu in 2011 (76), but Reid also carried a 3.2 GPA. With that GPA, I bet Reid would know when to "Just Say No" to tweeting. Something Mathieu never fully conquered. Reid earned his SEC Defensive Player of the Week title against Alabama when he made six tackles, forced a fumble, and made a key interception in the fourth quarter at the one yard line.

That is not to say that Tyrann Mathieu will not be missed. All those people who spent $15 on LSU "Honey Badger" T-shirts will now have to find other uses for them.

The team itself though, will be just fine.


  


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