Omaha Welcomes Back Tiger Fans with Open Arms

Corey GautreauxSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2008

The LSU Tigers made their first trip to the College World Series in 1986. In those 22 years, the Tigers have made 13 appearances and claimed five national titles. The Tigers possess a .721 all-time NCAA Tournament winning percent, the highest in the country and the fourth-highest all-time College World Series winning percentage at .630.

The Tigers have won 14 of their last 20 CWS games and the Tigers and Southern Cal are the only teams to win four national titles in one decade. The Tigers only missed going to Omaha four times in 15 years between 1986 and 2000. The Tigers have already won a national title this decade and this will mark the fourth Tiger visit to Omaha since 2000.

Why do I tell you this? To brag? Nope! To put fear in the opponents? Nope, history doesn’t win championships! To give anyone not bleeding purple and gold useless stats? Not hardly! I tell you this to explain the Omaha love fest for LSU. I can’t actually tell you that every fan in Omaha is a Tiger fan, nor can I say every local pulls for the Tigers, but I can tell you that Omaha is a better place when the Tigers are there.

Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub and Grill is thrilled to have the Tigers back. Even the painting on the window says “Geaux Tigers” and “Home of the Tigers Since 1991.” Between the two TVs and center of the bar hangs a huge purple and gold LSU flag. LSU fans simply know how to have a good time.

"Oh, my gosh, we were thrilled when we saw LSU made the tournament,” said Dan Morrissey, event manager of the CWS. “Their fans are always friendly, do great tailgating and always bring something from home here.” That something? Well, it starts out with hundreds of RVs rolling into town.

All of them decorated in purple and gold and loaded down with people, friends, food, beer, and liquor. To add to the RVs, there will also be thousands of cars donned with LSU flags and Tiger tails traveling I-80 and I-29. A Nebraska State Trooper told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “When LSU's not here, you see one motor home and a thousand fights.

When LSU's here, you've got 100 motor homes and a great party.” There is a reason LSU has led the nation for 12 straight years in college baseball attendance, it’s because Tiger fans know and love their baseball. UC-Irvine Head Coach Mike Gillespie talked about the Tiger fans after their Super Regional defeat on Monday night.

"We tried to prepare our players for coming here, but I don’t think you can prepare anybody for this, until you get here. This — and I mean this in a complimentary way — is a very, very special place; a very unique place ... There are many places where there’s great baseball played and there’s great support and they get behind their teams.

However, there is nothing like this. This is in first place and everything else is a distant second place.” Not only are they knowledgeable and passionate, they know how to throw a hell of a party. The Tiger fans that arrive in Omaha will do so with huge pots and burners, crawfish tails, shrimp, catfish filets, red beans, duck, and roux. In addition, that’s just for the appetizers.

You won’t find brats and buns at Tiger tailgate parties. No way! What you will find is a gumbo of delicious smelling and tasting food. From jambalayas to red beans and rice to shrimp creole, the Tiger fans will be cooking it up.

"LSU fans will travel in cult-like numbers to Omaha as they always do, hoping the Tigers can win yet another national championship in the stadium we affectionately refer to as Alex Box North,” said Jeff Powdrill, a long-time Tiger fan that is no stranger to Rosenblatt.

Although the Tigers have played their last game in the “old” Alex Box Stadium, the Tiger fans are confident Omaha hasn’t seen the last of them, and Omaha is happy to hear that.