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Drum Centerpiece

It was the first time I marched Pre-game. . . .

This weekend was the annual band alumni reunion. The President of the Alumni Association told me that this is the second largest group they have had to return to one of the reunions; there were 37 Golden Girls, 42 Color Guard, 18 Tigerettes (the baton twirlers), and 259 band alumni for a total of 356. With the 325 current members, the total on the field will be the largest ever.

I went to the Lod Cook Alumni Center to ask some of the biggest #LSUSuperfans I have ever met what their favorite LSU memory is. Some got a twinkle in the eye and I amended the question to a memory that could be shared on a public forum. By far many told me their favorite memory was the first time they got to march the “Pre-game.”


Phedra White Abbott (89-93), Beth Kutnner Clark (88-91) and Rob Kuttner (90-93) all said that memories of their first pre-game were their fondest; also running down the hill through the crowd was a highlight.

James and Kayla Alidor

James Lindsey Alidor came in from Houston for the reuntion. He said all you heard was the first drum beats of the cadence and then after that the noise of 92,000 (at the time) compares to the white noise you hear on a TV turned all the way up. He applied all of the practice on silent counts after that. (Pictured with him is his wife, Kayla, who said her favorite memory of LSU was making Tebow cry in Tiger Stadium.)

Claire Cagnolatti (74-77) of Dallas also said the first pre-game as a band member is one of the highlights of her time at LSU.  She attended games from the time she was 13, but the first time she was about to do Pre-game she had to work to calm herself.  She attended the reunion every year so her guess is that she has been on the field  about 28 times.  She appreciated every one; the first time she had to sit in the stands as a graduate student she admitted to a few tears.


The SwindellsWhen I asked Ed Swindell (61-64) about his favorite memory, his wife Becky sat up to listen.  They met on the bus on the way to the 1963 Cotton Bowl game.  When the band returned to campus, Becky’s friends were ready to go and Ed said he didn’t know what got in to him when he told them “She’s going with me”.  They decided the bus ride must have been fate because they never would have met otherwise – he was in the front row of the band and she was on the back row.

Another couple who met while in band was former Color Guard Debbie Whitehouse Dupre (85-89) and her husband Keith Dupre (85-92).  They met at practice on the Bernie Moore Field.  They both echoed other comments on hearing just the first 1-2 drum beats and only hearing the fans after that.  Debbie told me she just hoped whe was on the right beat and foot after that.  This reunion was the first they have been able to make since Keith is a high school principal and usually had a conflict.  This was the first time their children will be able to see them on the field so it was a special weekend.  Keith was also happy to hear present band playing the middle drum cadence that he helped to write back in the mid-eighties.


Golden GirlsWhen I walked up on three former Golden Girls, I didn’t know I would be meeting people I felt like I knew for years.  Rae Phillips Tulle (1964), Suzanne M. Minvielle (63-65) and Janet Pounds (63-65) all agreed that walking down the hill was exciting.  The crowd seemed to get even more excited when they would line up on the 20 yard line and pull off their purple capes one at a time for the crowd after being introduced as “Sixteen as the South’s Loveliest Ladies”.  The dances were a little different then; they were not allowed to touch any part of their bodies except for their toes.  Even after throwing off their capes, the uniforms still had skirts for modesty.

Long Time #LSUSuperFans!

Buddy BoudreauxThe oldest member to return this year was Buddy Boudreaux. He attended LSU for two semesters before leaving for a music career. He was a member of the band in 1936.  Castro Carazo who was the leader Huey Long appointed after he heard him playing at the Roosevelt in New Orleans.  Buddy told me that while Carazo was an amazing band leader and wrote many of the LSU songs we still play today, he was “scared of Huey”.

Bus Trips

If someone didn’t answer that their favorite memory was “Pre-Game”, then the second answer was the bus trips.  Steve Jackson (73-77) and Mike Arthur both tried to tell me their bus was the better bus. If you are reading this you will have to tell me if “Bus 5″ or “Bus 6″ was better.

Ruby NeelyRuby Neely’s (53-54) favorite memory also occurred on a bus trip.  On one of their trips to Ole Miss, the bad broke up the freshman bon fire by marching through it!  I had so much fun just picturing that!

To prove that the band members were still some of the biggest superfans, Ms. Neely told me she drives 25 miles each way by herself to watch our Tigers play with the Denver Alumni at the Krewe Crescent City BBQ.  This was her first trip back for an alumni band weekend.

 All-American College TV Band

All-American College TV BandWhile many of us remember the recently awarded Sudler Trophy, I heard many tales of the 1971 band title only awarded once (after all once you have awarded it to the best band why give it away any more?).  Dr. Thomas Guillot told me the band was the best part of college and his favorite memory were his trips to the 1971 Orange Bowl and being immediately flown to San Francisco by ABE to play in the East West Shrine Bowl.  They were awarded the All-American College TV Band trophy.  Mike Boudreaux (67-71) remembered they did two different half time shows for the games.

If you have ever talked to a band member, you knew they had a special experience during their tenure.  After talking with so many members this weekend, I became even more aware than I already was that they have a special friendship and love for each other and LSU than many other alumni.

2015 On The Books

Last week, LSU’s 2015 football schedule was released with the typical accompanying fan emotions, including (but not limited to) well-known irritation with Bama’s light schedule/bye weeks, curiosity over particular games (Syracuse?), and general excitement about another football season.


At the risk of hitting too many Geaux Bingo squares, I’m looking forward to seeing how our Tigers will play after this season as such a young team.

But until then, let the good times roll!



Post-Game Reflections: LSU Can Set My Universe Straight with a Win Next Saturday

A beautiful sunset as the Golden Band from Tigerland plays Pregame.

A beautiful sunset as the Golden Band from Tigerland plays Pregame.

“We’re 5 and 1! Can you believe that?”

A pair of Kentucky fans was discussing its improbable football success this season with the LSU fan standing next to them on the bus to campus before Saturday’s game. I’m nosy and I couldn’t help myself – “No, I can’t believe it,” I interrupted.

We all had a good laugh. Because, and I’m not the first to say it, this football season has felt weird. Losing never feels great and losing to Mississippi State in our SEC opener was brutal. Half of the nation’s undefeated college football teams are from the state of Mississippi right now, which seems highly improbable and wholly unacceptable. One of my first LSU memories is walking to a game while my Dad yelled, “Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! Geaux to Hell!” (I was mortified.) A rivalry with Ole Miss is part of my DNA.


For me, dropping out of the rankings, even briefly, was a sad gut check. I’m not new to LSU football – I was in college during Gerry Dinardo’s reign and grew up surrounded by choice words being hurled at Curley Hallman and Mike Archer. We haven’t always been a good team in my lifetime. I get it.

And I still love my team and our players, I do. I even like our crazy Coach. Even when he kicks a field goal third down instead of trying for a touchdown. #ShakesHead #CrazyUncleLester

third down

But the heart of my fandom has been during the Nick Saban and Les Miles eras. And that’s enough to get you used to always being ranked. To winning Championships. To always being bowl eligible.

I needed a pick-me-up from the Tigers.

Thankfully, LSU followed its stressful win over Florida with a convincing victory over Kentucky. The Tigers made it look as easy breezy as the picturesque early Fall weather in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. A two game winning streak! Rejoining the Top 25! Things were feeling normal as I shuffled out of Death Valley and into the abyss that was River Road traffic.

“Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! Geaux to Hell!”

The chant boiled up as LSU fans snaked down the ramps to exit the stadium following our defeat of Kentucky. Twitter reported that a sparsely populated LSU Student Section attempted to start a “We want Ole Miss” chant towards the end of the game. And, oddly enough, that Alabama fans started a “We want State” chant during their rout of Texas A&M.

chanting bama

If we can agree with Alabama fans on one thing, it’s that this Mississippi domination of college football is unnatural and must be stopped. I’m ready to feel normal again — and I think everyone else is too. So let’s say a prayer to the Football Gods (and LSU Jesus) for successful preparations for next Saturday’s game and healthy players. For good weather and cloudless skies. For better guest pickers on College GameDay.

And, you know, if you can spare a ticket for an #LSUSuperFan, I wouldn’t complain.

Get in the game with a game to play during the game


This year, Tiger fans might need a little distraction and humor on Saturday nights. We’re here to help. Click here to get your printable LSU Tigers bingo card.


A Picture’s Worth: #LSUsuperfans Paint Instagram Purple and Gold

During this ramped-up time of the Cardiac Cats also known as football season, some of us may need visions of purple and gold not just dancing in our heads, but actually right before our eyes.

Instagram-logo-4If that’s the case for you, I recommend InstaLSU, a name I made up mere moments ago, but which will bring you the astounding representation of our beloved Fighting Tigers on the visual social media sharing platform that is Instagram

(If you’re not on Instagram, don’t be afraid. It’s free to join. Or if you’re not interested in that, just ask your kids, friends or coworkers to show you the ropes/their accounts if you want to look but not touch.)

Here are some of the InstaLSU accounts I enjoy perusing not only during football season, but also throughout the year. The photos and quick videos are posted by photographers, vendors, and all-around enthusiastic #LSUsuperfans:

LSU TIGERS All the glory goes to God -bama fans not allowed- I don’t own these photos just edit them Edits of all LSU sportsIMG_0688

Emily Welch A Southern mama who loves paper, paint, parties, friends, family and three special people I’m lucky enough to call mine.


Erica Kay Sweeney The limit does not exist. |#PRlife | @WrightFeigley Communications | @LSU Alum. |


Theresa Overby Tourism marketer, steakhouse owner, runner and SEC football fan. Leo. #wanderlust.


LSU Football The official Instagram of LSU Football. Geaux Tigers! #LSU


Melanie Putting the real in real estate. Secretly Wonder Woman. Waiting on Superman. Somebody’s mother. Forever LSU. Who dat.


Jen n Ellas Boutique Miss,Jr, Lady Apparel, accessories,monogram/jewelry, gifts Facebook /Twitter/Google+/Wanelo Jen n Ella’s Boutique http://WE.SHIP225.673.6107

IMG_0680    IMG_0679



Amy P. Fennell


Pogo Pinell Rockstar Kangaroo loving life. Send questions and/or inquiries to: Copyright protected


Terri Christian, actor, life liver.

IMG_0673   IMG_0672  IMG_0671

Lisa Daye Love handcrafting bath & body treats, cooking and family.

IMG_0670  IMG_0669

Katie Appleby


BR Social Media Association


Christina Stephens


Lauren Cathleen Blogger, Baker, Tom-Fooler, Life-Lover

IMG_0665  IMG_0663

Ellen McDowell


Emily Mastrantonio Book lover, movie fanatic, former princess, and Tiger fan. Heaven is for real.


Chris Parent LSU Athletics Photographer


snaplsu An official LSU Instagram feed. How do you see “Passion & Genius” every day at LSU? Shoot, filter & post your stories. #snaplsu


As with Twitter and Facebook, you can even find some of your favorite players and coaches on Instagram, too! Be careful, though; not all posts/comments are PG.

Les Miles Head Coach of the LSU Football Team


Avery Peterson #2 LSU WR Blessed Student-Athlete At LSU Just a Young Man Chasing my Dream – Pompano Beach FL ✈ Baton Rouge LA

IMG_0687  IMG_0657

Louisiana State University LSU #21 The Mantis Pompano beach,Fl ✈️ Baton Rouge,Louisiana #FREESKIN,POOH,TJ – Florida Boy -Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance


- Quantavius Leslie Sr. – Georgia Boy LSU Football Player #1 Hogansville GA, ✈️Baton Rouge, LA Proud Father – Grinding for my son –



If you post LSU pics of your own during football season, don’t forget to include the hashtag #LSUsuperfan so we can follow them.

Have fun and Geaux Tigers!


Your Weekly LSU Cardio

I know I’m not the only person whose heart health is consistently tested every Saturday night.  I don’t have to hit the gym in the morning, because the Tigers took care of me.

Here’s some workout music courtesy of fellow #LSUSuperfan blogger, Christina, to get the blood pumping.

5 minute Warm-Up

You’re tired.  You’re uneasy about this workout/game because of last week’s flop against Auburn.  Florida returns 62 yards for a touchdown.  The sweating starts.

Light Jog
Leonard Fournette scores a touchdown. This is getting interesting. You probably shouldn’t have eaten that last corn dog.

Florida gets another touchdown.  They get a field goal.  Have to keep going. Hilliard did it! He scored!  14-7.

Dance Break/Half Time

Ugh! Squats.  You need to perfect that huge jump Fournette made for the touchdown.  20-17.

The Final Countdown
The 4th Quarter truly feels like sprints.
3 minutes left.  LSU Touchdown.
2 minutes left. Eww, Florida scores to tie the game.
Jefferson makes an interception! No, not that one.  Rickey.
The kicker saves the day.  30-27.

Time to hydrate.  Till next time, fellow gym rats.

Map of college football fans shows La. lives gold (and loves purple)

LSU football fans dominate Louisiana, with a smattering of supporters in the southern-most part of Mississippi, according to an interactive map put together by The New York Times. Check it out here.FanMap

On Katy Perry and Why Other Teams Say LSU Fans Smell Like Corn Dogs

Like most LSU fans, I woke up in a haze of sadness and confusion this morning. So many lower ranked teams knocked off their Top 10 opponents – both Alabama and Texas A&M were dealt losses by teams from Mississippi. USC lost (Geaux Sun Devils!), TCU beat Oklahoma (Geaux Frogs!). Kentucky upset South Carolina (Geaux Anyone Who Beats Spurrier, excepting Alabama!) We could’ve been in that list by beating then No. 5 ranked Auburn on Saturday.

Alas, that was not to be.

LSU lost in a game so painful that I imagine telling my grandkids one day about that Saturday in 2014 when we let Auburn beat us with a score of 41-7, the exact same score of the oft-referenced “Cigar Game” in 1999, after being trolled by Katy Perry on national television.

A tweet from Katy Perry's official feed after she correctly predicted that Ole Miss would beat Alabama.

A tweet from Katy Perry’s official feed after she correctly predicted that Ole Miss would beat Alabama. (Click to enlarge.)

Because, in fact, the really notable thing to happen to LSU yesterday was that a pop star most famously known for a hypersexual hit about kissing girls and dancing around with Snoop Dogg while dressed in a Candy Land-themed costume with strategically placed whipped cream canisters picked us to lose on ESPN’s College Game Day by throwing a corn dog at the camera while Ole Miss fans cheered in the background, as the program was being broadcast from the Grove for the first time ever. (Now THAT was a ridiculous sentence to write.)

“L-S-peeew?” Perry trilled when it was time to pick a winner of the LSU-Auburn game, before holding up a corn dog in silence for about 10 seconds, launching it at the camera and then pulling out a plate of corn dogs and announcing, “We heard about you LSU! Heard you were hungry!”

While most LSU fans seem to be acquainted with the idea that some teams say we “smell like corn dogs,” very few people know the actual origin of the taunt. So I asked an SEC Fan Taunt Historian (Google) and after reading the not-always-safe-to-link-to fan board Tiger Droppings, I have an answer.

According to Tiger Droppings, the legend goes like this: Big 12 opponents of Nebraska called their fans corn dogs because their mascot is the “cornhusker.” An Auburn fan heard this and then posted an extended rant on an online message board about how LSU fans are very sensitive about how they smell like corn dogs. And people e-mailed it around (this was pre-Facebook and Twitter, apparently) and suddenly it was a thing and Auburn fans started saying LSU fans smelled like corn dogs. They had to mock us somehow because our one awesome mascot matches one third of their mascots so they couldn’t really taunt us about being Tigers.

Like many taunts, the fans using think it is much cleverer than it ever will be. And the fact that Auburn fans allegedly plagiarized it from another school makes it even more delicious than a quality hot dog on a stick dipped in thick cornmeal-based pancake batter and then fried golden brown before it is topped with bright yellow mustard.

Go ahead, say we smell like corn dogs. Food-based taunts don’t really work on a team with a food-obsessed fan base that takes pride in eating opposing teams’ mascots. Someone’s probably planning a gator sausage corn dog for our upcoming game against Florida. (I volunteer to taste test, FYI.)

But really, how did Katy Perry, who, judging by her freshman-ish behavior, likely had her first serious experience with SEC football on Saturday when, after appearing on national television dressed like the result of a confusing night between a Popple and a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, she proceeded to do a cheer with the Rebelettes for Instagram and then chug a beer from atop a bar in Oxford before crowd surfing while wearing a skirt, even KNOW about the “LSU fans smell like corn dogs” thing?

Simple: Her manager is an Ole Miss fan. Of course.

In closing, if you see Katy Perry out and about when she’s in New Orleans on Wednesday for her show, it might be nice of you to offer her a corn dog. Because, they’re delicious in moderation with the appropriate toppings and are less damaging to your soul than pretending to be an Ole Miss fan for a day.

A letter to the young men in purple and gold from a true #LSUSUPERFAN

My advice to you today is to turn off your Twitter feeds and Facebook.   Only check emails from your parents and professors. Don’t listen to all of the negative comments that are sure to be in the papers and on social media.  The true super fan is still wearing purple and gold (this one day of the week we might be in black and gold.)  We know you are talented players who have earned the right to wear an LSU uniform.   We still support and love you.

I read the Twitter feed from last night and many people are downright mean. As humans, it is so easy to believe the negative we hear.   Most of it is wrong, but we still believe it.   So turn it off so you never hear it to begin with.

You were selected and recruited to play for my team.   I will still be cheering for you next Saturday night. I still believe you are quality players. I still believe in you.

Get back to practice.   Go back to class (that is your most important job right now).  Sit in the Quad and enjoy the people watching and the college experience.   Most of us out here in the “real world” wish we were back there again.

LSU has hired some of the best coaches in the country who now have the job to coach you and help you improve. Listen to them. Do what they say.  You will rectify any problems and play to your ability.

So from all of the #LSUSUPERFAN’s out here, Geaux Tigers!   We love our team.


Golden Band on the field

Who’s in the tailgate tent next door? (Installment 3)

I think our LSUSuperfan shirts have given me a super power – the power to get invited to tailgates that I otherwise would never know about and a power to walk into a tailgate and just ask more about their story.  This is what happened last weekend prior to the game against New Mexico State.

LSU Alumni Association Leadership Summit

Leaders from Alumni chapters around the country gathered at Lod Cook last weekend for the 2104 Chapter Summit.    Chapter leaders from Dallas, Las Vegas, the new reformed Emerald Coast (to name only a few) all spent Friday night and Saturday morning coming together to figure out how to hold great events, increase membership and donations.  Every one left the summit with an increased energy after brainstorming with each other the best practices the biggest alumni chapters are exhibiting.  Cliff Vannoy said getting the chapter leaders together for both networking and socializing was going very well and the event was a success.

LSU Alumni Tailgate

Cliff Vannoy tailgating with the Chapter Leaders.

After the meetings, they gathered near the stadium for a tailgate.  This was where I met Lori and John McClune of the Emerald Coast area.  They told me they are working in the Destin/Fort Walton area to re-form the Alumni chapter of that area.  I always assumed you needed to be a member to go to one of the watching parties; they corrected me and said anyone in the area is welcome to come cheer on our Tigers.

Unusual Suspects

Haven’t you ever wondered about the big blow up tent near the Indian Mounds?  I did so I just walked in (with my LSUSuperfan shirt) and asked them if someone could tell me about their tailgate.

Usual Suspect

This is a group of 26 friends started with a bag of Doritos and Milwaukee’s Best 18 years ago.  From the looks of their spread they have come a long way since then.  This week’s spread was from Leroy’s and it looked fabulous. One of the members of this group  partners in a few local restaurants so their spread changed each week.

Spread from Leroy's

Luke Williamson was nominated as the spokesperson for me.  He said the group really started because after school so many came from out of town and needed a place to meet on game day.  Many are lawyers so I was not surprised when I was given a wrist band to identify me as a visitor.Usual Suspects wrist bands

I asked if anything else had changed besides the food; fitting all of the different activities of the members kids in around football has been the biggest change.  They might not start as early or make every all day tailgate now.  They used to have softball and flag football teams, but now the focus is being moms and dads.

What was their greatest tailgate of all time?  They decided the Florida game of 2007 was unbelievable and the Alabama game two years ago came close to that.

I had a wonderful day of tailgating with both of these groups and hope to return to Usual Suspects to see what other buffets.  Was glad the day of tailgating ended with a Tiger win so it was a great day from beginning to end.