“The honey badger has been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless animal in all the animal kingdom,” says Randall during his narration of the viral YouTube video that drove the unique species into the national consciousness.
The sophomore cornerback and kick returner had the full backing of the video’s narrator heading into Monday’s BCS national championship game against Alabama. In an interview with the Associated Press, ‘Randall’ drew comparisons between Mathieu and the aggressive carnivore.
“He just plays with such heart and vigor,” Randall said. “It’s just very exciting. To me, that embodies the honey badger. He just takes whatever he wants and nothing is going to stop him.”
But with the national title on the line, it was Alabama’s defense that took whatever it wanted and put the kabosh on Mathieu and the Tigers. The Crimson Tide suffocated LSU’s offense and rolled to a 21-0 win.
Mathieu, who had two interceptions and four touchdowns on the season, was a non-factor in Monday’s romp, returning one punt for one yard as the Tigers failed to get on the board.
LSU’s vaunted defense couldn’t keep the Crimson Tide from generating 384 yards of total offense including 234 through the air in an impressive performance from sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Nevertheless, the nickname is unique and will likely stick with the playmaker for the rest of his college and potential NFL career.
A new drink bearing Mathieu’s much-ballyhooed moniker which combines a shot of Jack Daniels honey whiskey and a pint of locally brewed Tin Roof beer was selling like wildfire in bars across Baton Rouge in the lead up to Monday’s game. But as Forbes.com contributor Roger Groves asks, should LSU be able to profit from its star player’s nickname?
“Most of America had never sipped the term until they were exposed to Mathieu’s scintillating punt returns, interceptions, and saliently, a honey colored Mohawk strip in his hair style. The phenomenonleft us collectively salivating for more. During several games, including the National Championship on college football’s biggest media stage, Mathieu was repeatedly called “The Honey Badger”. Needless to say, there are plenty of LSU licensed Honey Badger t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other beer belly cover ups from which LSU gains a royalty. That royalty, I suspect, does not trickle down in any significant way to the teenage star that generated the buzz – pun intended.”
More from Washington Post Sports:
Early Lead: Was Alabama’s win worth watching?