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Baton Rouge: The Native Habitat to Watch the Tigers Play

Even though most of Baton Rouge will be migrating to H-Town this weekend for the game, restaurants and bars are gearing up for those who are staying in town to watch the Tigers play.

For fans looking for a restaurant atmosphere, but don’t want to miss one play of the game, there are several options in Baton Rouge that are offering specials on Saturday.

Advocate file photo by Richard Alan Hannon

Advocate file photo by Richard Alan Hannon

Walk-On’s, which recently relocated to Towne Center, has 84 televisions, the most of any restaurant in the state of Louisiana.  Be sure to check out their booths with the beer taps on the tables in the bar area.  They will be offering their signature “Death Valley” drink, complete with a souvenir cup. The Burbank Drive Walk-On’s location is offering two for one Coors Light and Miller Lite aluminums as well as Tiger Blood shots for $2.

If you have a bigger group, stop by Chimes East. They have a large outside patio perfect for enjoying the game and will be offering $1 off pints on Saturday.

More of a wing person when you watch football? Try Pluckers located at 6353 Bluebonnet Blvd. The environment at Pluckers will be the closest thing you will get to hearing the Tiger Band; the restaurant plays the fight song every time LSU scores.

It’s no secret that the college bars will be packed with everyone who did not make the trip to Houston. Fred’s in Tigerland will be hosting an open bar from 6 to 9 p.m. and offering free food.  If you are looking for a different scene than Tigerland, test out the new taps and TV’s at Ivar’s Sports Bar and Grill.

Where will you be watching the game in Baton Rouge?

 

The Les Miles Love Letter: A Response

Dear Les Miles

Some days, it is hard for me to believe you’ve been coaching our LSU Tigers for almost 10 years as well. You would think that by now I’d be used to the sensation of my heart beating in my chest so fiercely while vital secLes Milesonds tick off of the clock at the end of a game. Or that I’d love the taste of my stomach’s lining as it jumps up into my throat while I’m trying to figure out just what the hell you are thinking. But I don’t love these things, Les. I hate them very much.

But other times, like after an inevitable win from behind, I can’t imagine a time when you weren’t our coach. When you weren’t clapping like your hands were made of molded plastic and eating blades of grass. When you weren’t vehemently defending our players, commanding fans to kiss them on the mouth, dropping curse words during a live press conference. Or doing some kind of “Les Miles” dance during the Harlem Shake. Or wearing those socks. Or telling us all to have a great day. In those pure moments of Les Milesness, I want nothing more than for you to coach our damn strong football team forever.

Les, quite simply put, this is my Love-Hate letter to you.

Never in my entire life has someone enraged me on such a regular basis, only to win me back so swiftly. If you were my boyfriend, my friends would try to get me to dump you. If you were my sibling, we might only talk around holidays or because Mom and Dad really wanted us to.

But as my football coach, you challenge my fandom in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. My emotions soar with each play. Sometimes I walk out of wins feeling as if we just lost and I’ve watched us lose games only to feel as if a win was within our grasp and at least we tried. (Except for The Game Which Shall Not Be Mentioned. Les, I didn’t want to SEE you on my TV screen for six months after that game. The letters B,C and S still make me cringe.)

When your Trademark Les Miles craziness works, I don’t know if I should punch you or hug you.

The thing is, Les, as Tiger fans we don’t always give you enough credit. You’ve had amazing success here, winning 95 games, two SEC Championships and a National Title. You’ve recruited great players, you’ve navigated difficult times. We forget to see the greatness because we’re focused on some risk you took that we didn’t think was necessary. As if years of screaming at a TV set makes us capable of coaching football.

Most importantly, you seem to really like it here. Even though my dad refers to you as Crazy Uncle Lester (out of love, I swear!) and people routinely question your skills and ability. Even though us LSU fans only accept wins over “small” schools if they’re by four touchdowns. Even though the humidity is insane.

You get that this football team of ours? Is more than just players throwing around a ball. For us, LSU football is about family and friends and eating and drinking too much and screaming too loudly and everyone together caring about something just a little too fiercely. I can see it in that gleam you get in your eye sometimes, Les. You’re just crazy enough for us.

Sometimes, Les, I don’t like you very much. But you are all in when it comes to our Tigers and I’m all in when it comes to our Tigers and that’s good enough for me.

Geaux Tigers!

Christina Stephens
LSU Fan

The Top Tastes of Tiger Tailgating

Saturday was the annual Taste of Tiger Tailgating, an evening devoted to food, drink and LSU fandom at the Baton Rouge River Center that also allows attendees to pre-game for fall after a long and football-less spring and summer. There are worse assignments to have: taste all of the food and report back. I picked five of my favorite things from the event, which left me aching for LSU football. Thankfully, we’re just days away from kickoff.

For me, the best part was a preview of a tasty dish from Barcadia, which opens later this fall on Highland Road, just steps away from the gates of LSU in the space that once housed Serrano’s Salsa Company. Baton Rouge foodies will remember Barcadia’s chef Nick Hufft from the Curbside burger truck, which is also returning to Baton Rouge soon. He’s truly an evil food genius – Barcadia’s booth served freshly deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The peanut butter serves as a warm, salty surprise in the middle of a rich pancake batter with a touch of cinnamon.

Barcadia chef Nick Hufft sprinkles powdered sugar on deep friend PB&J sammies.

Barcadia chef Nick Hufft sprinkles powdered sugar on deep friend PB&J sammies.

All signs point to Barcadia, which is already open in New Orleans, Fort Worth and Dallas, being a hit with the LSU community, and the food is going to be a huge draw for college kids and young at heart LSU fans alike. The deep fried PB&J would be a sinful treat after a night of celebrating a big win or a vital part of recovery the next morning at brunch. Also: they’ll make a bacon, honey and banana version of which LSU Elvis would approve.

Another tasty bite came in the form of smoked boudin by Veron, a sausage company that promises River Parishes flavor in its array of pork-related products. The smoked flavor of the boudin was subtle but delicious. (One in our party exclaimed, “THAT tastes like tailgating.”) The folks at the Veron booth said you could smoke the boudin again at home if you wanted to really send the flavors over the top, but that it is also perfect for the grill. Veron boudin tastes like a match made in tailgating heaven. You can buy it at Associated Grocers’ stores or click here to find a store near you.

Smoked boudin from the Veron sausage company, a part of River Parish Food.

Smoked boudin from the Veron sausage company, a part of River Parish Food.

On the red beans and rice front (I love Louisiana), beer lovers bar Pelican House and sports bar Walk-Ons inadvertently presented dueling dishes. The Walk-Ons red beans and rice was unexpectedly good, with a noticeable, even heat. But Team Pelican House topped theirs with gator sausage and a drizzle of a sauce that’s not yet on their menu. Called gator gravy, it is part beer, part hot sauce and part ingredients they wouldn’t divulge. When I have the opportunity to eat an opposing team’s mascot, I always do, so choosing Pelican House’s red beans and gator sausage was a no brainer.

The team from the Pelican House with their gator-sausage topped red beans and rice.

The team from the Pelican House with their gator-sausage topped red beans and rice.

Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof Brewing Company  brought an array of beers for tasting, including the new Turnrow Harvest Ale, a seasonal brew that tasted of Fall in the very best way. This beer has a noticeable citrus aroma, which comes from coriander and keeps you coming back for more. It’s a Fall beer that’s refreshing and light enough to drink at September’s face meltingly hot tailgates. Per media reports, it’ll be available at some stores in cans and on draft at certain bars soon.

Tony's boudin ball over etouffee.

Tony’s boudin ball over etouffee.

Rounding out my favorite tastes from the event is Tony’s Seafood, which demonstrated why it is a Baton Rouge staple with a signature boudin ball served on a pleasing bowl of crawfish etouffee. Tony’s boudin balls served alone, on or with almost anything would be enough to get me to RSVP “yes” to a tailgate – mouth-watering boudin, a hint of spice, crunchy breading combine for a perfect bite of Louisiana that’s both portable and dippable. Tony’s also showcased their muffalettas and a party perfect tray of catfish, shrimp and crab fingers that is made for tailgating before the game or constant snacking while watching with friends and family at home.

If the Taste of Tiger Tailgating was any indication, this Fall in Baton Rouge is going to be as delicious as ever, and some of the best eating will be done in parking lots under stately oaks and broad magnolias.

Clarinet section for Tiger Band

There is Nothing That Compares to That First Time the Band Marches Down Victory Hill

Bright and early this morning the 2014 Golden Band From Tigerland marched down Victory Hill and into Tiger Stadium for the first time.  It was their first practice and something I wanted to see.

Band at Step Off
At 7:30 in the morning most of the other people there were Band Parents; all of whom were excited to see their sons and daughters make the initial march.

Sharee Westerhaus’s son, Lane, is in his fourth year in the trombone section.  (She is in her seventh year as a band parent.)  She said “It never gets old.  There is nothing like the first march down the hill.”

Vesta & Kenneth Gobert and Phyllis and Warren LeJeune both have  daughters is in their first year as Color Guard.   Brett and Gabrielle are the first from Port Allen to make the team (which makes their high school color guard and band directors happy as they are alums of the marching band.)   Brett Gobert has been on campus most of the summer.  ”It there was a camp, she didn’t miss it” according to her mother.   They are enjoying seeing her excited and she is the first in her family to go to college.
Bahlinger ParentsMary Bahlinger had a whole crew of family and friends cheering for her.  She is only the third female drum major in LSU history (the first since 2000). Alice and Gerald Bahlinger, her parents, are most excited to see what she has dreamed of doing for years.  After 6 years in the band, she will be the leader for the coming year.

Mary Bahlinger - 2014 Drum Major

 

Brooke Downing is at the beginning of her Golden Girl career – this is her first year. Her mother was at the bottom of the hill and loving every minute of it.

Lauren Daniel is another first year Golden Girl.  This has been a stressful week; she has been going through Sorority Recruitment and Band Try Outs at the same time.  Her mother Tasha says that it will be great to have both the sisterhood of the sorority and the Tradition of the Band.  Tasha told me “This is the most wonderful feeling in the World, tears are running down my cheeks.”

Band in the standsThat was the feeling across the board.  Renee Patton told me she is on “Cloud 11, 12, or 13″.  Her Daughter Claire is in her first year as piccolo.  She is a second generation Tiger Band Member; her father played the trumpet in the early 80′s.

Rose Childress was taking pictures of Dillon Scharm, her son who is in his second year on the Trombone section.  She is a self described “Band Stalker Mom”.  She laughed as she told me “Don’t tell a mom she she can’t do anything”; she knew she would make it in the stadium to take pictures of the days practice.

Young LSUSuperfanTalking to all of the proud parents this morning was exciting.  There was also one of the smallest LSUSuperfans I have met.  He did not know any band members but came to see them practice.  At three Braden already knows all of the players by name and doesn’t miss a Saturday in Tiger Stadium.  He told me he got to meet  his favorite player  recently when Zach Mettenberger was at a restaurant in Baton Rouge earlier in the summer.  When Zach learned of his young fan he took the time to sit down and talk with him for a while.

Tiger Band is one of the traditions that make LSU Football so special.  Are you one of the ones who come early so you don’t miss Pre-Game? Sit to watch the Halftime Show?  Do you get chills when you hear the band for the first time each season?  You are not alone.  Click this link for a first look at the Fight Song!

Gameday Fashion: Kendra Scott, Yipsy

Before there’s LSU’s winning touchdown, before there’s 100,000 Tiger fans screaming an opposing team into overwhelming incompetence, before there’s a live tiger rolling onto the field or the traditional march down Victory Hill, there’s Gameday Fashion.

Kendra Scott Bracelets

From toddlers in cheerleader skirts, to collegiate co-eds in purple and gold dresses, to women decked in animal print, Saturdays at Tiger Stadium aren’t just about football. They’re fashion shows.

Kendra Scott and Yipsy, both in Perkins Rowe, recently shared how they’re prepping for the fall.

This past spring, jewelry designer Kendra Scott opened her first Baton Rouge store (12 years after beginning her line in Austin, TX). Store manager Tiffany Ford, a 2012 LSU alumna, shared that their jewelry appeals to women of all ages. Affordable pricing and quality, fashionable pieces keep them appealing to several demographics.

Kendra Scott Store Manager Tiffany Ford with Sales Associate Ellen Carpenter

Kendra Scott Store Manager Tiffany Ford with Sales Associate Ellen Carpenter

Ford says she expects the line’s Color Bar, a collection of mix and match, customizable pieces, to be popular this football season. With Color Bar items, a customer chooses the base or setting she likes, and chooses whichever stones, of whatever color, to add. Once all choices are made, it takes only a few minutes for an associate to create the customized jewelry in-store.

Neclaces created from the Color Bar collection

Necklaces created from the Color Bar collection

During my visit, Ford and Ellen Carpenter, sales associate, put together outfit options for their two main audiences: college girls and middle-aged women.

Ford's selections for a college girl's Gameday outfit

Ford’s selections for a college girl’s Gameday outfit

Two outfit options representative of a middle-aged woman

Two outfit options representative of a middle-aged woman

Locally-owned clothing boutique Yipsy opened about 18 months ago when mother-daughter Joanna and Courtney Byrne teamed up to fulfill their lifelong dreams.

Since they first opened in Perkins Rowe, the Byrnes have both added a store in Mandeville, and moved their Baton Rouge location to a larger space in the Rowe. They shared that they’re hoping the larger location, expanded selection and experience from last year are helping them prepare for the inevitable mad rush for all things purple and gold.

While Yipsy’s demographic is college-aged girls, they offer a versatile selection sure to please styles from all walks of campus life.

Purple spaghetti-strap sundress with gold lace trim

Purple spaghetti-strap sundress with gold lace trim

Strapless purple romper with drawstring waist and gold trim

Strapless purple romper with drawstring waist and gold trim

Billowing tiger striped spaghetti-strap blouse with lattice detail in back and purple shorts

Billowing tiger striped spaghetti-strap blouse with lattice detail in back and purple shorts

What’s your Gameday style?

LSU Fan Spotlight: Stephen Brooking

Hey, we all claim to be fans.  But, when a born Mississippian is as hard core as this, I give props.

Stephen and his grandfather, Stewart Smith.

Stephen and his grandfather, Stewart Smith.

Stephen was first introduced to LSU football by his grandpa. “I was born and raised in McComb, a little over an hour drive from God’s Country. My grandfather, Stewart Smith, moved to Baton Rouge when he was 19 from Natchez, MS.  My mom and aunt and uncle were all born here; all went to Lee High and LSU. It’s basically all I’ve ever known, to be an LSU fan, that is,” said Stephen.

“I remember being about 3 or 4 and the band and cheerleaders would come out before the team. My grandpa would always tell me, ‘The difference between LSU and the rest of the schools is we have class.’ He and his best friend sold their tickets for 50 bucks the night Billy Cannon returned the punt. They took their wives to a steak dinner instead,” laughed Stephen.

Living in Mississippi was hard on his Tiger pride, but he pulled through it. “Growing up, my two best friends were Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans.  I do pull for my home state, but they are nothing compared to my Tigahs!”

Stephen poses with Mike the Tiger and his pet basset hound, Buster.

Stephen poses with Mike the Tiger and his pet basset hound, Buster.

His family owns a joint “LSU house” for all the sporting events they attend.  “It’s .6 miles from our front door to our gate, gate 10. We come in Thursday night and leave Sunday morning in time to get home for church; although I’m not always feeling my best.”

When it comes to traditions and superstitions, he is super serious.  “You know I didn’t cut my hair the whole 2011 season?  And I shaved my head within 12 hours of that dreadful Bama game,” said Brooking.

Then there are the shorts.  Oh, the shorts! As a wife, I’m not sure I would let my husband out the door with these ragged things.  As an LSU fan…maybe.

Stephen wearing the notorious shorts.

Stephen wearing the notorious shorts.

“My shorts are falling apart. I wear them every year until our first loss. I’ve had them since 2005.  They’re Polo.  That is why they’ve ‘lasted’ so long. There were some cold days in 2011!”

We’ve all got our favorite game day cocktail.  Stephen’s drink of choice is simple.  “I always start the morning with a tall boy and have another right before entering the stadium.”

I’ve watched an away game with Stephen: pacing is usually involved. LSU scored while he was sitting on the corner of my couch so he wouldn’t move from that spot for the remainder of the game.

That undeniable Tiger passion made Stephen an easy pick for my LSU Fan spotlight (unlike the struggle drafting my fantasy football team).  Next time you see someone with tattered shorts, an unusually long beard or somewhat beat up shoes, don’t judge.  He may just be keeping the LSU Ju-Ju alive.

*Do you think you deserve an LSU Fan Spotlight? Email me at emily.mastrantonio@gmail.com.

How Former Tigers Stay Healthy: Lyle Hitt

Crafting one of the best college football teams is easy for no one, least of all the players. The young men make time for multiple workouts each week during football season, scheduled delicately around a full class load, study time, and daily 5-hour practices.

After graduation, how do these collegiate all-stars stay healthy?

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG. ---   LSU running back Richard Murphy (26) picks up 11 yards and a first down as teammate LSU offensive guard Lyle Hitt (65) runs interference and Tulane cornerback Alex Wacha (8) attempts in vain to make the stop in the first half Nov. 1, 2008, in Baton Rouge.

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG. — LSU running back Richard Murphy (26) picks up 11 yards and a first down as teammate LSU offensive guard Lyle Hitt (65) runs interference and Tulane cornerback Alex Wacha (8) attempts in vain to make the stop in the first half Nov. 1, 2008, in Baton Rouge.

Name:  Lyle Hitt
Graduated:  December 2009, Kinesiology – Human Movement

THEN
Position
Offensive Guard, LSU Football
Height: 6’2
Weight:  295 lbs

NOW
Position:  Sales Consultant, Synthes USA
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 285 lbs

Lyle often works out with his wife, Anna, at a local CrossFit gym.

Lyle often works out with his wife, Anna, at a local CrossFit gym.

Over the past five years, Lyle Hitt has had to reconfigure his diet and exercise regimens to find balance. Exercise, however, has been the easy part. During football season, Hitt would eat until he was uncomfortably full, consuming 4,000-6,000 calories per day to maintain his weight and help him power through workouts. Now, he rarely pays attention to calories. “It has taken me a few years, but now I try to stick with the foods that make me feel good,” he shared. “I try to stick with mainly meats, vegetables and some fruit. I may throw in some rice every now and then.

“The hardest thing for me now is portion control and staying away from bread. I trained myself my whole life to get bigger, which meant I could basically eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. That mentality has lead to dietary self-control issues to this day. Within the past couple of months, I have done a much better job of eating better foods and limiting my portions.”

During your three years of starting on LSU’s offensive line, what did your typical day look like?

In the fall: Morning classes until noon, followed by football practice from 1-6 p.m., and studying until bed. Some semesters also included night labs, from 7-10 p.m. I would have to fit in 2 to 3 workouts throughout the week where my schedule would allow it.

In the spring: Morning classes, 3-5 hours of studying each day (in the library or the athletic/academic building), and squeezing in workouts five days each week between classes and studying

In the summer: Morning workouts (7-9 a.m.), followed by class (9 a.m. -1 p.m.), then work (1:30-6 p.m.), and ending the day by studying or relaxing

And now? My schedule now is day to day. The more my products get used, the busier I am. Sometimes I am in surgery all day and other days I’ll have just a few cases, which leaves me time to sell my products or prepare for cases the next day. My job keeps me on my toes and allows me to maintain my competitive edge.

Since graduating, what has been your method(s) for staying in shape? Since graduation, I have tried a number of different exercise regimens. At first, I tried to be a long distance runner and found out that I am just not built for it. I’ll still run a little here and there, but I keep the miles low. I used to just go to the gym and do the typical machine weights and cardio machine workouts. I got bored with that real quick.

Why do you now choose CrossFit workouts? I chose CrossFit because I needed a change in my workout routine and wanted something challenging. I was a little familiar with CrossFit and was hesitant at first because I was out of shape and it was uncharted territory.

My wife and I have been participating at a CrossFit gym (TPG CrossFit) in [Baton Rouge] for the last year. It has been the best thing for us. I am in great shape again, I feel strong and powerful again, and I get to experience the “team comradery” feeling I had been missing since college athletics.  CrossFit has been and continues to challenge me in areas of exercise I’ve never even looked at before.

Lyle and Anna perform kipping pull-ups.

Lyle and Anna perform kipping pull-ups.

How is it similar/different from your football workouts and training? Crossfit has been similar to some of my football workouts as far as Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics and high-intensity interval training, but there have been some new areas, such as gymnastic movements and kettlebell work that I have never touched before. All of the gymnastic movements took so much practice and patience. There is a whole new element of body control when you get on the rings.

Is there anything you miss about football training? I missed the team comradery and competition within each workout or practice. CrossFit has helped fill that void. There is a great bond that is formed between people when you struggle through a workout together and challenge each other to excel.

Lyle and Anna row

Lyle and Anna row

Why do you now choose your diet? I choose my diet now based on the way the food makes my body feel and what has helped me to lose weight in the past. Low starchy-carb diets have helped me in the past to lose weight. I wish I could say I do this all the time, but I sometimes give in to my old eating habits and indulge in some good tasting food.


What are your health and fitness goals? My short term goals are to lose 50lbs while maintaining most of my strength.

What keeps you motivated to stay healthy and active?  I enjoy being active and working out. I enjoy feeling strong and powerful. I love the satisfying feeling you get after a tough workout.   My wife is a huge encouragement when it comes to exercise. We love working out together and pushing each other to perform at a high level. It’s one of the things I really look forward to doing together every day.

Lyle and Anna provide encouragement to each other throughout their difficult workouts.

Lyle and Anna provide encouragement to each other throughout their difficult workouts.

Keep checking back to see how other former Tigers stay healthy!

#LSU: The Tiger Nation on Twitter (Part 2)

We’ve previously gushed here about why Twitter is the social media place to be for LSU fans. As an avid Twitterer (Tweeter?) I’ve got a few #protips for Gameday Twitter.

Funny photos about. From @ValleyShook, www.twitter.com/ValleyShook.

Funny photos abound. From @ValleyShook, www.twitter.com/ValleyShook.

Power up. Cell coverage is likely going to be spotty in Tiger Stadium  and on campus. Even if you can get Tweets out, you may drain your battery completely. Investing in a portable backup battery so you don’t lose connectivity is a good idea if you’re an avid social media fan. These typically cost less than $20 and fit in your pocket. (LSU is apparently working on improving WiFi in the Stadium.)

Know the lingo.There will be an official hashtag for each game. Usually it is in the form of “LSU” and then whatever team we are playing. Watch the @LSUFball Twitter feed, because it will always use the official hashtag. If you want to read people’s real-time commentary during the game, you can search the hashtag on Twitter. If you want to add to that commentary, make sure you also use the official game hashtag on your tweets.

Get in on the action. There are also a number of other official LSU hashtags. Many times you will see #LSUWIN or #LSUroar on a tweet. Sometimes LSU’s official accounts use #LPLG, for “Love Purple, Live Gold.” And, if you are in the Stadium, LSU often announces a hashtag to use in order for your tweets to be considered to be run on the Jumbotron. One of my proudest moments last year was when a Tweet I posted about Shaq made the big screen.

Jumbotron-worthy tweeting, from twitter.com/CEStephens

Jumbotron-worthy tweeting, from twitter.com/CEStephens

Spoiler alert. If you are not watching the game live, stay away from social media. Twitter will literally turn into a live accounting of every second of the game. It’s full of spoilers. You’ve been warned.

You can find our team on Twitter. A lot of LSU players will post their thoughts on Twitter after games or during the week. These accounts aren’t run by LSU, but I’m sure the Athletic Department certainly pays close attention to what the players post. It always pumps me up to see a midweek tweet from a player who is feeling inspired. (We added some players to our list of LSU Twitterers to follow.)

A tweet from star player Leonard Fournette, from twitter.com/_fournette

A tweet from star player Leonard Fournette, from twitter.com/_fournette

Our Coach tweets too. Sometimes Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) will live tweet a sporting events he’s attending. It’s hilarious because he tweets the way he talks – scattered, but with emphasis. He also posts updates about the team, his media schedule, his children’s sporting events and uses his account to give kudos to other LSU coaches and teams.

A typical Les Miles tweet, from twitter.com/LSUCoachMiles

A typical Les Miles tweet, from twitter.com/LSUCoachMiles

Twitter can win you prizes. Occasionally LSU uses one of its Twitter profiles to give away prizes or announce deals on ticket packages. I’ve see this happen on the @LSUMikeTiger account.

Twitter is home to two Mikes. Yes, both the costumed Mike (@LSUMikeTiger) and the actual tiger Mike (@MikeTigerVI) are on Twitter. As are several Mike parody accounts. Mike VI will tweet if he’s coming to a game or not.

It’s just social media. Twitter can, at times, make the callers to the post-game radio shows seem reasonable. (“Well I am SPITTIN’ MAD. We only won by two touchdowns, ya hear, and I think it’s high time we fire Les Miles. I’ll hang up and listen to your response.”) It’s supposed to be fun, but emotions run high during games. Keep it light, don’t feed the trolls (people who post incendiary things to start arguments) and avoid tweeting after too much tequila.

About that tequila … The Internet is forever and you can’t guarantee that a tweet or picture won’t be saved before you delete it. Have fun, share your experiences, be a fan, but don’t let a record of your Gameday antics cause problems for you on Sunday. (P.S. I’m glad we didn’t have Twitter … and Instagram … and Snapchat when I was at LSU.)

Got your own set of Gameday Twitter commandments? Leave them in the comments or tweet them to us using #LSUSuperFan.

 

A Little Rain Won’t Stop LSU Fans

Although Sunday afternoon brought heavy rains and thunderstorms, that didn’t stop LSU Tiger Fans from showing up in droves to meet their favorite players and coaches, including Les Miles. A diverse group of fans from all over migrated to the Carl Maddox Field House and Pete Maravich Assembly Center to see this year’s lineup of LSU football players.

Trey Robichaux and Tyler Vallot of Lafayette drove an hour to see some of their former football opponents. Robichaux said, “I am interested in a couple of the new incoming freshman and meeting the players. I played football against Kenny Hilliard and Trey Quinn.” Vallot said this was his first Fan Day.

On the other side of events, freshmen cheerleaders Andrew Walters and Hailey Prattini had a job to do but were thoroughly enjoying the day. “[It is] really awesome seeing all the fans out here,” said Walters. For Prattini, she was relieved and amazed so many showed up.  “I’m actually surprised there is this many people. Thank God they did, because we have a lot [of posters] to give out.”

Krystal Sargent of New Iberia is no newbie to Fan Day — their daughter is the captain of the Cheerleading squad.  “This is our fourth time being here. We try to get as many autographs as we can.”

Vendors were also on site selling Tiger gear. Brandon Lusk, a student and manager at LSU SportShop, was on site for the day. “We get out to as much as we can. We are technically a part of the athletic department. We have locations around campus and in Tiger Stadium.”

Cheerleaders-handing-out--posters

It wasn’t all business though for the young student. “With the weather, this is a good turnout. They want to see [LSU Back Leonard] Fournette before he goes pro and gets big,” Lusk said referencing to the packed lines leading up to the Offensive Backs tables. “They can see [LSU Head Coah Les] Miles any old time,” he smiled.

There’s no place like Fan Day to start the season

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon,

Line for Fan Day

but that did not deter thousands of LSU faithful from coming to wish their Tigers good luck for the upcoming season.  The line of umbrellas twisted around the Maddox Field House as the fans who arrived early waited to shake the hands of both new and returning players.

Jump JumpAs we entered the Field House, the youngest fans were delighted to find a “Jump Jump” (as my niece calls them. )  It set the mood off right to have to run through a giant Tiger Head to get to this area.  Parents who wanted to get in line for the Fan Day posters were probably pulled into this area first.

Giant Tiger Head

We were able to get in line for the posters handed out by the cheerleaders.  For a few fans this was the only reason for coming to Fan Day.

My favorite part of Fan Day was waiting in line with other fans for Les Miles’ autograph.  The people who were there talked about how it was something they could do with their kids that everyone enjoyed.  They started coming when the kids were not taller than the tables and now the kids are taller than the parents.

Don Litzen was waiting in line with 12 year old Caden who proudly told me he was a future player.  Don admitted to me he could hardly stand up and is getting knee replacement surgery in two days.; he had promised Caden months ago he would bring him to Fan Day and there was no way he would let the young fan down!

Coach Les Miles signing autographThe  Pittman family drove over from the Lake Charles area.  Connor Pittman also expects to play for Coach Miles in about 7 years.   I loved that Coach Miles didn’t just sign his autograph but took notice of each person.  He told Connor he would be watching for him; he might be tall like his Dad he could see over the line.  Small moments like this for the fans are special ones.  Connor left the line really excited about getting to talk with his future coach.

Signed PosterI left with one special souvenir myself – the signed schedule poster.  Les has promised me wins – with big W’s listed by the SEC championship and the Bowl game.  It is that special time of year when everyone believes they will go undefeated and play for the National Championship.  Les also put his signature right by two of our biggest home games of the year; I am trying not to read too much into that.  I do hope he is able to keep the promise of wins for the SEC Championship and especially for the Bowl Game!

Nehemiah Eddrington SuperfanWhile I only concentrated on one autograph, on the way out I met Nehemiah Eddrington who had his poster filled with autographs.  Now that is an LSU Superfan!