25 August 2008
on 20 august 2008 we posted the lsu team roster from 1978 and 1979. someone sent us these documents claiming that they disputed statements made by alexandria, louisiana city marshall candidate, t.a. messina in which he stated on his official campaign website that he played for lsu in 1977,'78 and '79.
according to our emailer the 1977 team roster wasnt available while the '78 and '79 lsu football team rosters failed to list mr. messina by name and/or jersey number.
on friday 22 august 2008 another local blog posted a photograph which purported to show mr. messina or someone with the jersey number 4 kicking a football in the 15 september 1979, lsu at colorado game.
this was a very odd and ambiguous photograph for someone to post as proof that they played football. why not, for example, simply produce a team photograph?
we'll be the first to admit that sports isnt our forte and the picture presented more questions than answers.
for example, according to the 1979 lsu numerical roster there is no listing for the number 4.
another example is the lsu player on the left side of the photograph, which we cropped and rotated 180 degrees, so that you can see that his last name ends in "ch" and when you look at the 1979 lsu numerical roster no player name listed ends with "ch."
the other lsu player in the photograph -- jersey number is 62 and according to the 1979 lsu numeric roster belongs to a 6'2" 229lb offensive guard, from fort walton beach, florida named miles valentine.
so at this point we thought that it was possible that our emailer had altered the documents and removed mr. messina. however, this didnt explain that if this was indeed the case, how would our emailer know to remove the person whose name ends in "ch" too?
according to lsu football statistics -- lsusports.net -- the official website of lsu tigers athletics: "LSU Football Statsistics [sic] prior to 1995 are not yet available online. Please contact the LSU Sports Information Department at 225.578.8226 to request these offline." so we phoned up the lsu sports information department, but by this time it was friday afternoon and no one was there.
so we phoned them up again this morning and had the pleasure of speaking to a real nice lady there. we explained to her what information we were looking for and she said that from the information that she had available to her right then, that mr. messina did not letter for lsu. she explained that this meant that he did not play long enough to letter.
so we asked her for the box score stats, particularly the play-by-play statistics, the individual statistics and team statistics for the 15 september 1979 lsu at colorado football game that lsu won 44 - 0.
she explained that the sports department was real busy today, that today is head coach les miles media day or something or other and that it might take awhile for them to fulfill our request - to which we said that we understood and that was fine.
so, we were pleasantly surprised that within a few minutes we received an email from jake terry with lsu sports information and mr. terry's email is reproduced below:
I was asked to look up stats from the 1979 football game between LSU and Colorado to see if T.A. Messina was found in the play-by-play records. In the fourth quarter with 1:11 left to play, Messina kicked the PAT on LSU's last touchdown to make it 44-0. In the 1980 media guide in the game recap section, the final sentence of the Colorado recap says something to the effect of "T.A. Messina kicked the final PAT to cap off a near perfect day for the Tigers in the Rockies." If you were looking for proof that he played and kicked for LSU, that is it. Let me know if you need any other information. I hope this was what you were looking for.so there ya have it.
LSU Sports Information
Posted by wst... at 12:34