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  At LSU, Football and Politics Converge in a Way That's Uniquely Louisiana
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Nov 16, 2019 09:50pm
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AuthorRoss Dellenger
News DateTuesday, October 15, 2019 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBATON ROUGE, La. — John Bel Edwards does not claim to be a prognosticator of every college football game, just those involving his favorite team. When it comes to LSU, the Louisiana governor has impeccable knowledge because he’s got an inside source, a man who knows more about the Fightin’ Tigers than anyone else, a close confidant he communicates with on a weekly basis: the head football coach. If you don’t believe him, because after all he is a politician, Edwards will show you proof. He will reach into the pocket of his jeans, remove his iPhone and find the latest text message sent to him by Ed Orgeron—like the one he received Thursday morning, two days before LSU’s top-10 clash at Tiger Stadium against the Florida Gators.

We’ll be ready to win. Have a great day Saturday. Geaux Tigers! See you soon!

The governor glances up from his phone after reading Orgeron’s message. He’s riding in the middle seat of a black Chevy suburban, surrounded inside by various staff members and security officials, on a political parade around south Louisiana, some last-minute campaigning for his re-election bid. This is Saturday at 3 p.m., four hours before the Tigers kick off against the Gators and five hours before election polls close. “Now, if this doesn’t happen, don’t quote me on it,” he says, “but normally I can tell by the text message I get from the coach whether they’re going to win. I’m serious. If he doesn’t feel really good about their preparation and stuff, I kind of get a sense of it. He tells me that they are ready to play tonight and that we are going to win. When he tells me that, we always win.”
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