Monday, September 10, 2012

Washington at LSU "Game"

In the 1980s, Dan Murphy and I spent one week at the University of North Carolina visiting their Spring Practices trying to learn more about their 8-man front defense.

While their, I purchased a book about college football called "Saturday Afternoon - College football and the men who made the day." 

In it, there is an article titled "Ten Great Things About College Football." I have semi-decided to try and see all of them in my retirement years.

Here is the list:
1. The dotting of the i at Ohio State. - not yet

2. Hearing the Victory March at Notre Dame. - YES!

3. Walking through the woods at the University of North Carolina. - ??? We did this every day for a week on the way to watch the Tar Heels' practices but it was not a game so I can't count it yet.

4. An autumn afternoon at West Point. - nope

5. The Yale Band. - not even close.

6. A night game at LSU. - still a negative

7. The Florida-Georgia game. - too much alcohol, nope

8. Nebraska fans. - I've encountered these fantastic Husker backers at road games for them at UCLA, Washington and California games but never in Lincoln. - yet another no

9. The Trojan Horse at USC. - Yes, ad nauseum

10. The Michigan-Ohio State game. - another miss

As you can see, I have a lot of work to do!!!

How many have you been to?

With this list in mind, it was time to strike! The target was #6, a night game at LSU, featuring our own Washington Huskies last Saturday night.

LSU's Death Valley

The book's reason for going to an LSU Saturday night game was simple, "Most tailgate parties start a few hours before the game. At LSU, they start Thursday afternoon."

Thus, Laurie and I boarded a plane in the wee hours of Friday morning for a flight from LAX to Houston and then another one to New Orleans.

Once in NOLA, we met up with our good friends from Seattle, Susie and Mark Johnson, for what promised to be a great weekend.

Susie and Mark Johnson with
Ann and Robert Boh

After checking into the Loew's Hotel the four of us were off to meet Ann and Robert Boh for dinner at Commander's Palace, known to be one of NOLA's finest dining establishments.

We were not disappointed in the least as the ambience, presentation, service and most of all the food and beverages were simply outstanding!

The Bohs are the epitome of gentile Southern hospitality. This is a trait that we found in abundance with the people that we met through Mark this weekend.

Robert is the owner of the 103 year old family business in New Orleans, Boh Brothers Contruction.

Nice people.

After dinner we bid farewell to Robert and Ann and headed to Bourbon Street to soak up some not so gentile Southern Hospitality.

Both safe and beadless
on Bourbon Street 

You see all sorts of people
on Bourbon Street

We ran into Sonny Sixkiller, the current UW Husky radio color man and former Husky All-American QB in the early 1970s.

He was complaining about just turning 61 but he looked like he could still throw a couple of passes if needed for a EuroBall club.

After touring the sights of the French Quarter, we opted for a reasonable bedtime as Saturday would be one long, hot and humid day.

One of NOLA's classic
hole-in-the-wall breakfast nooks

We were joined for breakfast by Donald and Debbie Denese. This couple again oozed Southern charm and were a delight to meet.

Donald was the Business Manager of the Iron Worker's Local 58 in the greater New Orleans megalopolis.

Susie and Mark with
Debbie and Donald Denese

Why are we toasting with fine red wine so early in the day you ask?

Simple . . .

It was Donald's birthday!!!

It looks like he turned one today.

Donald and Debbie were not going to the game, so we bid farewell and loaded up our rented Jeep for the 70 mile drive north to the state capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge.

Of course, this is also the home town of Louisiana State University Tigers which if you did not know is one of the best college programs in the country!

We made it

Laurie at the tailgate that
invited us to share their grub and grog

The fact that both schools' colors are purple and gold did help us blend in with the locals.

Shannon Kinchen and
Mandy Schof

These two ladies were part of another LSU tailgate that was set up right next to the one we were attending.

These sisters were charming except for the fact that they had collaborated to make a ton of purple and gold jewelry for sale to LSU passerbys. The fact that much of their wares did not have any LSU specific markings opened up an entire new market for them in the form of Husky fans, primarily my wife who always attempts to corner the local market on "shinny things."

I need to get a pair of
these conservative shorts!!!

Our tailgate host
Tiger Hammond

He is currently the Executive Director of the Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades Council. He and his wife Debbie definitely know exactly how to host a relaxing and fun filled tailgate party.

Thanks for inviting us to join you.

AWESOME spicy sausages!!!

A reminder, I leave for Lyon
in less than two weeks now!

Our newest LSU Tiger friends

We were on our way to a nearby campus building that had open restrooms when we were attracted to another tailgate that was blaring great music and cooking/drinking up a storm.

They invited us to join them so we did.

In the small world that is American football in Europe, one of our Thun Tiger offensive guards, Marco Feller and his brother Peter were at the game too!

They are on a two week trip to America that included catching a college game last week at Iowa as well as this LSU game. On Sunday they would see the Saints game in New Orleans and next weekend they were scheduled to be in St. Louis to catch the Rams game.

We wound up meeting them at this somewhat more rowdy tailgate.

These LSU Tigers were more than happy to greet a Thun Tiger into their tailgate.

What was my first clue? 

Marco doing a Keg Stand

Believed to be the first in the history of the Swiss people!

Marco playing Beer Pong

Marco and his partner on the left were victorious in a marathon game. It was his first venture into this game as well.

With brothers Peter and Marco Feller

We walked them to the stadium, a.k.a., Death Valley where we were offered even more food by the locals.

LSU fans are really, really good but it would turn out that their football team was GREATER!

Eye of the Tiger

The Tigers would light
this scoreboard up tonight

Hard to see Mike VI in his cage,
he is a HUGE Bengal Tiger

Huskies warming-up

Washington Cheerleaders
trying to fire up the crowd

The LSU band was awesome

Four Husky fans in the infamous
South End Zone

Here come the Tigers

Start the game with . . .

. . . a Tiger fumble on the
opening kickoff

Husky QB Keith Price directing
traffic trying to silence the crowd

Three plays for only four yards,
Field Goal time

Huskies lead early, 3-0.

I think we pissed them off.

We don't need no stinking helmets!

Perfect Tiger Pass Protection

Good Husky Coverage

Big LSU punt

BIGGER LSU running lane
for a TD

LSU in the I Formation,
they play a very physical brand of ball


Two lonely players amid
92,000 crazy fans

Good swarm by the Huskies

The Husky QB was running
for his life all night

Throwing out of the end zone
is not a good thing

The final score was LSU 41 - Washington 3

It felt worse.

Much worse.

Only one thing to do in a case like this . . .

Beignets at Cafe du Monde

We opted to drive back to New Orleans after the game and see if we could drown our sorrows in powdered sugar and deep fried dough.

It worked!!!

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Camellia Grill.


We dropped Mark and Susie off at the airport for their noon flight and returned to the French Quarter.

Joan of Arc

As I said earlier, France in less than two weeks.

Jackson Square

Colorful Palm Reader

Inviting but No

A Cemetery in Metairie

Because New Orleans is mostly below sea level, they have all of their burial sights above ground creating some interesting scenes. We decided to check one out before arriving at the airport for our flight home.

Thanks again to Mark and Susie Johnson and all of the truly remarkable people we met in Louisiana over the last three days.


Oh, by the way . . .
6. A night game at LSU. - Heck Yes

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Only thing in your whole lineup that was out of place-

Mike is a Half Bengal/Half Siberian Tiger.

Other than that is sounds like a Sat. In the Red Stick.