The title of this article may be a little misleading considering that many people in the Baton Rouge area, and frankly all throughout south Louisiana, are still without power and other basic services. But please bear with me for just a moment, I promise that there is a point in your near future.
LSU officials will reportedly announce today that Tiger Stadium will reopen this Saturday night with a 7 pm kickoff against the Mean Green of North Texas. Last weekend’s home game against Troy State was postponed until November 15th due to damage sustained to Tiger Stadium, and the looming Hurricane Ike in the Gulf of Mexico caused officials to take a “wait and see” approach regarding this Saturday’s game.
Officials had even contemplated moving the site of the game to either the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans or to Texas Stadium in the Dallas area. LSU’s campus newspaper, The Reveille, is reporting that the LSU athletic department confirmed that the North Texas Game will go ahead as scheduled with a 7 pm kickoff in Tiger Stadium.
Hurricane Gustav had affected LSU football even before it made landfall in Louisiana, pushing the home opener against Appalachian State to a 10 am kickoff, thus largely eliminating the legendary tailgating ritual that Tiger fans have become famous for (although there were a few thousand die-hards hosting “bourbon over breakfast” parties in the pre-dawn hours).
Football being interrupted by the weather is an unfortunately familiar phenomenon to LSU fans, however. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused LSU’s home opener to be postponed and a home contest against Arizona State to be moved to Tempe. Then, a few weeks later, Hurricane Rita moved LSU’s SEC opener against Tennessee into Monday Night Football. To quote Alabama’s most famous Alumnus, Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Sure, we’ve already had our 2008 season opener, but didn’t feel like one. I mean, hats off to Appalachian State for being a solid program, but all they did was prove once again that there is no comparison between the SEC and the Big 10.
In addition, speaking of 10, what was up with that 10 am kickoff? That made the experience feel more like a spring scrimmage than a home opener. However, this Saturday night, while the rest of the nation watches USC and Ohio State try to prove who is the “best of the worst,” a slightly different phenomenon will be taking place on the Louisiana bayous.
The bright lights of Tiger Stadium will signify the phoenix rising from the ashes after another destructive hurricane made its way to our shores. Once again, the resiliency of the people of Louisiana has been amazing. They deserve this break.
Since our generators have been getting a lot of use lately, we might as well drag them to our favorite tailgating spot and use them for fun instead of necessity. So, this is a call to arms Tiger fans! Fire up the iron kettles, get your ingredients for gumbo and jambalaya, defrost the alligator sausage, and marinate the ribs– because tailgating season is back!
There’s just no place like Saturday night in Death Valley. By the way, you’re all invited!