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Playing Safety Off The Field

LSU8748 Campus Police

Jim Zietz, LSU University Relations


On any given home game, there can be over 125 thousand people on campus. The safety and security falls into the tough hands of the LSU Police Department (LSUPD). Planning for game day protocol occurs around the same time spring practice begins.

In conjunction with Baton Rouge City Police, East Baton Rouge Sheriff Department, State Police, Louisiana Department of Public Safety, and the Constable’s Office, game day security is a guaranteed by the collaboration of many entities. The administration of the LSU Police Department along with other law enforcement agencies meet with game day operations to coordinate everything from crowd control, traffic, stadium security and all of the game day logistics.

On those glorious Saturday mornings, most of the officers’ shifts start at 7 a.m. Officers on game day are given certain assignments. Whether it is escorting high profile guests, patrolling the grounds by mountain bike or working the barricades by the student entrance, you can find a police officer on any part of campus. Some of the most common calls on game day are noise complaints, arguments, and theft. In most cases, alcohol is involved.

LSU8781 Campus Police

Jim Zietz, LSU University Relations

The hard work of keeping the campus safe does come with its perks. Mark Nehlig has been with the LSUPD for three years. A few years ago for the Alabama game, he was assigned to security for Kirk Herbstreit. After filming of College GameDay, Herbstreit decided he wanted a taste of LSU tailgating firsthand. Armed in a disguise of a hat and sunglasses, Nehlig escorted him through professional tailgates on campus. Although some tailgaters recognized the famous ESPN reporter, most were deceived by is unassuming attire and curiosity.

At the end of a sweaty game day, the officers’ goal is make sure that everyone on campus has a safe game day experience. Some tips Nehlig offered are to make sure you are aware of your surroundings, report and suspicious activity, and take care of your fellow tailgaters in need.

For a list of emergency telephone numbers and how to contact LSUPD visit

You can also download the free “LSU Shield” app on your iPhone or Android for instant emergency communication with LSUPD.

LSU fans show their stripes in ‘Mike & Me’ photo gallery

When The Advocate asked for pictures of you with LSU’s beloved mascot for our “Mike & Me” photo gallery, we had no idea how strong the response wTommy_Greene_with_Mike_the_Tiger-webould be. Because we love them both, we included real Mike and costumed Mike, and you even came through with a few photos with “statue Mike.” Follow this link to the best of the best photos we received. Want to be included? Email photos to, and please include your name and town.


Ladies of Tiger Tailgating: Mississippi State Edition

Back by popular demand!

Once again, I set out to ask women a little LSU Football trivia.  Pretty basic. Nothing TOO hard, but still the laughs ensued. Check it out!

Full bus with standing room only

Taking the Tiger Express


Last year I took the CATS service to most games; this weekend I rode for the first time this season. I called the office to make sure I understood all of the changes I had read about. The lady who answered the phone was very nice and told me what time the tickets went on sale (three hours before the game), but she encouraged me to come down to the office and purchase ahead of time. Sales during the week seem to be going well. I decided to take my chances as getting downtown late on Friday afternoon did not sound fun.

We got to the casino a little before 3 (the time the tickets would be sold for this game.) There was already a long line . After making sure we were in the right line we waited and hoped the tickets weren’t going to sell out before we bought ours; those who buy tickets ahead of time can go straight to the bus. All tickets are sold on one bus and money is put directly into the machine. Then you go get on another bus to ride to the game.

Line for the busOne of the fun parts of riding the bus is talking to other bus riders. Behind me in line was Duke Riley’s (LB, #40) grandmother from Buras so we had a good conversation about how how well he was doing and how much he was enjoying playing for LSU. She did wish the bus would get her to campus in enough time to see the team walk down Victory Hill. By the time you buy the tickets and get your ride you’ll probably miss that. The first buses will get you to the game in plenty of time for a little tailgating.

I was listening to the CATS officials and they announced to the drivers they were sold out and for the stations to put out signs saying that by 3:49 PM.  All 1000 tickets were gone in less than an hour.   I hope that the traffic officials can work something out to help get more buses back in service, riding to the games is so much less stressful than driving and figuring out parking unless you are tailgating early in the morning. The buses drop you off near the practice fields, so the walk to the stadium is not long.

After the game the buses are parked on Skip Bertman drive, so the lot is closer than most of the free parking.  You have 50 or so people to discuss the game highlights (or lowlights).  There were plenty of people discussing when we might have made some changes to win that game and none of us had to worry about trying to drive in the backed up traffic (at least not until we had to try to leave L’Auberge where there was still a traffic jam.)Buses after the gameAll in all, I suggest taking the bus as an alternative to finding parking and sitting in the traffic.  Get your tickets early and relax on the way to and from the stadium.  Since the bus is full on the way home with standing room only, I know I am not the only one who thinks this is a great service our bus system is able to provide.

The website with complete information is here.  I would love for them to be able to even start early enough to get to see the players arrive and the band walk down the hill so Duke’s grandmother can see that too.

Tiger Express

Who is in the Tailgate Tent Nextdoor? (Installment 2)

Haven’t you ever wondered about some of the people under the tent next door to you?  How did they meet?  What do they do outside of LSU Football?  Here is another in our series on Tailgate Groups.

G&G Tiger Express Social & Pleasure Club

Have you seen Stinky?  Most of us have seen “Stinky” the RV at some point since it is a 1971 era RV and they have a prime tailgate spot near the stadium.   This week I got a text from someone telling me this should be the next tailgate I spotlight.  The G&G group has been tailgating together in the same spot for 19 years.

G&G Tiger Express

Picture from Facebook (LSU Football page)

Wall of Fame

Carol Barish welcomed me under the oaks and then had Laura Kleinpeter show me around “Stinky”.  Stinky gets the name because the restroom is small and you can figure out what has been known to happen a time or two after a long day of tailgating.  No issues this week though.  Inside there is a “wall of fame” with signatures from many familiar names in LSU Athletics including Paul Mainieri and Lolo Jones.  It had to be a fun time for the Kleinpter kids growing up when they were able to have birthday sleepovers here.

Food is the highlight of any tailgate.  This week’s menu included a gumbo cooked on site in a huge cast iron pot, chicken fingers, sandwiches, cakes, cookies, water, and adult beverages.  There was a group of guys  who serve in the Coast Guard from the east coast visiting Tiger Stadium for the first time; they participated in the fun of the “shot ski”.  This wooden ski has five shot glasses for group challenges.

Shot Ski

(l to r) Maria G, Jack W, Chris R, Francis S, Matt Z, with Carol B in front

Jack Welch was part of the group visiting on a break from Coast Guard duty.  He told me he had always heard about Saturday Night in Tiger Stadium and bought tickets to this game back in the early summer so they could experience it for themselves.

Tiger on the RV

You can’t miss finding this tailgate – the directions I had to find them was “Right by the South Stadium with the tiger on top of the RV”.  The tiger is from an old Exxon Station.

The G&G Tailgate Express is a fun group to spend the afternoon with prepping for a big game.  I thank them for the invitation to visit and will be taking them up on the invitation to come back soon.

Do you have a tailgate I should visit?  Let me know where you are! Tweet to me!

Who is in the Tailgate Tent Nextdoor?

Haven’t you ever wondered about some of the people under the tent next door to you?  How did they meet?  What do they do outside of LSU Football?  Here are a couple you might see:

Krewe de Tailgate

Krewe de Tailgate at the Indian MoundsOne of the original Krewe members, Joe Tyler of Baton Rouge, estimates they have been tailgating at the Indian Mounds since 1997. This group started as friends who met as long ago as high school to a few months ago.  Every one is welcome – even ex girlfriends have been known to still visit this tailgate.

Krewe 2012

Their theme is “It is always Mardi Gras at the Indian Mounds.”  That is because outside of football season this group rides in the Southdowns’ Mardi Gras parade.

Their float takes the Southdowns’ theme each year and relates it to LSU football.  Make sure to yell “Throw me something mister” as they roll by next year!  They are sure to load you full of beads.

Krewe 2013

Sigma Nu Alumni

Near the Hill Memorial Library and the Indian Mounds a group of alumni celebrates LSU football.

Sigma Nu group

I was invited to meet this group this summer by a friend, Dave Baron.  When I walked up I saw familiar faces from my earlier blog post on the band, the Bahlinger’s.  When asked how long they have tailgated together, no one quite knows.  They have had this spot since the late 90′s, but tailgated at the field grounds for many years before that.  Many group members met as brothers in Sigma Nu in the 70′s. 

This group is still having fun.  The tables were spread with food and beverages.  The coolers were full; ever wondered what happens to beer cans that are damaged but not busted before leaving the distributor?  You can find them here.  It is a tough job, but someone has to drink them.

Tailgate table

Do you have a tailgate I should visit?  Let me know where you are! 


I had the chance to go to a Bengal Belles Luncheon the Thursday before the home opener.  Before the lunch, there is a shopping section open to the public.  There was lots of vendors selling purple and gold fashion.  But, two artists caught my eye.

Laura Welch Taylor
Laura is a local artist who paints everything from pup portraits to crawfish collections for your kitchen.  She showcases her work on Instagram.  Here are a few of her LSU themed pieces. You can find more at her website.

All set up and ready to geaux! #bengalbelles #shoplocal #laurawtaylorart

There's a whole lot of purple and gold in here... #bengalbelles #laurawtaylorart

Gearing up for tomorrow's Bengal Belle's Market! #laurawtaylorart

Stacey Uffman Blanchard
Stacey is the artist behind the famous Fleur de Tigre’.  She is a fantastic photographer as well that focuses on Baton Rouge landmarks. Below is some of her work.  You can find more at the Lagniappe Frame Shoppe website.

Tiger Eye on Wood Planks

Tiger Eye on Wood Planks

Hand Painted Tiger Eye Cross

Hand Painted Tiger Eye Cross

Mike at LSU

Mike at LSU

50th Anniversary of Tailgating

Are you tailgating for something special?

One of the reasons I wanted to do this blog is to help to let everyone know about special tailgates.  The one’s with the special vehicles, special decorations and the people who have tailgated together for decades.  Know a tailgate like that?   I look forward to helping spread the Tiger Cheer or to celebrate a special event. I attended two tailgates this weekend.

College of 20140906_145508-EFFECTSArt and Design – Meet the Dean Tailgate

I earned my Bachelor of Interior Design a little while ago.  This weekend the school had a tailgate for alumni in the Robert Reich Courtyard of the design building.  Alumni from every program gathered to meet the dean and see fellow alumni.

20140906_143535Recent projects from the students were on display.

Food Table

Jambalaya and desert trays were on the menu.  The best part was seeing people I worked with when I worked in the interior design field and people I taught as a faculty member.  If your school holds a tailgate; don’t miss it.

Love Purple and Live Gold – or Celebrate a Golden Anniversary of Tailgating!

An email I got toward the end of this summer invited me to come help celebrate a 50th Anniversary.  Not a wedding anniversary, one for a true LSUSuperfan,  Ms. Viola Hymel.

Family celebrating 50 years of Tiger Football

Left to right: Shannon LeBlanc, Hannah Dooley, Viola Hymel, Richard Hymel

This is Viola’s 50th year of Tiger Football.  She was “tickled purple” when I showed up and told her I was covering her event for our blog.  Her daughter in law, Shannon LeBlanc, had a cake decorated especially for the tailgate. Viola with her cake Her excitement for the first game of the season was infectious.  She was fussing because the parking lot was relatively empty when we began our tailgate celebration.

When she originally started tailgating for football, the parking lot by the south end zone was free and it was easy to come on Friday night and park your RV to start the weekend early.  She and her husband packed up the family and went to games both in Baton Rouge and most other SEC games. 

Viola with son Richard

 Her son Richard remembers tailgating on the other side of the parking lot pointing to a tree where many of his teenage weekends were spent.  Their family friends all thought they were crazy to go watch all of those bad football games.  There were about seven very lean years when no one else was tailgating like they do now.  She says she told them the same things she tells people now she will be at games win or lose but  ”I am going to be in my seat when they do win!”  

She left for the game in plenty of time to see the band do Pre-Game because “When the band strikes up there is no other better feeling.”

Her favorite memories include:

If you go by spot #592 of lot #401 (right by the new South Endzone), make sure you find Ms. Viola and wish her a happy 50th and a Geaux Tigers!

Don’t forget to send me a tweet to tell me what your special tailgate is!

Ladies of Tiger Tailgating: Sam Houston State Edition

I like to think I know a lot about football.  Maybe I don’t remember the total rushing yards, sacks or interceptions in the game, but I can give you basics.  I thought I’d test the knowledge of a few ladies tailgating for the LSU vs. Sam Houston State game this past Saturday.  I was pleasantly surprised by some….it was a little tougher for others.

Intro Slide

Bengal Belles = Fans, Football, and Fashion!

Bengal Belles Room ShotAnyone who thinks “Women don’t like football” has never met a Bengal Belle! This week the LSU Booster club for women had their first Baton Rouge luncheon to get the home schedule started off with as much excitement as possible.  The River Center was filled with excited LSUSuperfans.

Aimee Simone and Diane McGowan

Aimée Simone with Board member Diane McGowan prepping for the luncheon.

The group was founded 19 years ago when Terry DiNardo approached founder Aimée Simon with the idea; at that time it was hoped they could sustain 30-50 members.  Over 600 belles and beaus cheered the players and Coach Miles who were able to attend the lunch this week. They have raised over $1,000,000 for the Academic Center for Student Athletes.  Their mission is to support the student athletes in their academic efforts in addition to cheering them on the field.

 Greeting them with a smile!

Norman Deumite with Belle

Norman with Machita Eyre greet every Belle at the door

Norman Deumite helped the ladies found the group and has greeted the Belles at luncheons for 16 years now.   Norman says “This group is more like a family than any club.” He loves seeing people you haven’t seen all summer and catching up with everyone.

Carol Barish and Bonnie Russ

Best friends since they were 19, Carol Barish (L) got first year member Bonnie Rush(R) to volunteer immediately.

Registration Table

Registration Table

What is your favorite part of a Bengal Belles Lunch?

Kathy Miles and Missy Cameron

Coaches wives Kathy Miles and Missy Cameron

Everyone has a favorite part of a Bengal Belles lunch.  The First Lady of LSU football, Kathy Miles, says her favorite part is when the players get the crowd fired up and “When they imitate the coaches!” Three players came to the lunch and were asked to imitate Coach Miles telling them to “Take the Field”, a few of them got the coach well.

Gordy Rush, a former student athlete himself, serves as emcee every year and enjoys getting the chance to give back to the university. He is the one who comes up with player questions, gets them dancing or imitating the coaches.  He told me players come find him and tell him “That was fun; I want to go back!”.  He wants the players to have a fun experience and an opportunity not to focus so much on questions about the game.  This week’s question for the players “What is the most romantic thing you have ever done before today?”  Freshman Jamal Adams won a tin of fresh baked cookies after demonstrating his “Love Dance.” (Yes, I wish I had the video too!)


Before and after a Bengal Belle Luncheon there are vendor booths set up with the latest gear every well dressed LSU fan could want.  In the name of good reporting I had to go shop every booth and ask “What is your ‘go-to’ item for this season?”  (I know it is hard work!) Here is what I found from some of the vendors (click on their names to go to their Facebook pages):

Keys to LSU Football Fashion

  • Lightweight
  • Sparkle
  • Comfortable
Brooklyn’s Boutique: A lightweight and comfy dressBrooklynns Boutique The Silver Sun: Purple and Gold Tailgating Jewelry

 Poise N Ivy: Tigers with Gold SparklePoise N Ivy
 Glass Slipper: Purple and LaceGlass Slipper Purple and Lace  Haute Dames: The Tigertini Hat!Haute Dames Tigertini Hat  Tiger People: Feminine SparkleTiger People
 Gumbeaux Group: Can’t forget the guys Camo.Gumbeaux Group camo shirt  Schofgirl: Tiger bead and silver bracelet was a big hitSchofgirl bracelet  Studio Too: Lightweight Tiger T-shirt on displayStudio Too Tee

Follow the Bengal Belles on their Facebook:

Their website is at this link: