It was a warm welcome Monday evening for members of the Lafayette Little League Challenger Team — a Little League-affiliated group of special-needs kids who had the distinct and no doubt overwhelming honor of playing baseball before about 40,000 fans this past weekend in Williamsport, Penn. (and many thousands more live on ESPN3.com) — when they arrived back in town. The local Challenger team and its competing team from Baugo, Ind., were the only two among hundreds of Challenger teams nationwide selected for this year’s World Series exhibition game. Getting the team to Williamsport cost tens of thousands of dollars — many of the players must travel with expensive medical equipment — and the Lafayette area in the months leading up to the game rallied around the team by attending fundraisers and offering donations. Everybody won on Saturday.
Were Michael Sandlin abroad he would be the quintessential ugly American. Were he a broad, he’d just be ugly. Unfortunately, he’s over in Grosse Tete, and on Monday a Baton Rouge appeals court tossed a district court judge’s earlier ruling prohibiting the state from issuing any more permits for Sandlin to maintain a live tiger display at his squalid, diesel fume-scented I-10 truck stop. Animal rights activists have tried for years to shutter the Tiger Truck Stop’s iron-and-cinder-block “habitat,” where for the last few years a 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger has languished for the fleeting entertainment of travelers. In May they thought they succeeded: The judge ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and against the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, setting this December as the expiration date of Sandlin’s permit. But the appeals court ruled that Sandlin should have been party to the legal action and has ordered a new trial.
We’ll get an idea Saturday night at Jerry Jones’ football palace in Dallas whether the loss of LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson — suspended indefinitely by coach Les Miles after Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns were charged with felony second-degree battery stemming from a bar brawl — is bad for the Bengals from a performance standpoint. Jefferson was neither a great passer nor a demonstrative on-field leader. But he was a winner. Erratic fifth-year senior Jared Lee, a pocket passer as likely to throw an interception as a touchdown during his hit-or-miss career on the gridiron for LSU, will get the start in Jefferson’s stead against No. 3-ranked Oregon. What boggles the brain, especially as the Ryan Perrilloux debacle remains fresh in the collective Tiger mind, is what Jefferson and his teammates were thinking putting themselves in a situation in which testosterone and alcohol are such a combustible combination, and in which so much — their scholarships to a top-notch university, their athletic futures — was on the line.
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