This past Saturday my wife and I along with my daughter and her two kids rode the fan bus to the USM vs LSU game in Baton Rouge. Taking the bus and not having to drive in the traffic was a great decision! The trip and the first half of the game were perfect, but because this is a family blog, I will withhold my thoughts on the second half of the game. However, despite the second half disappointment, the trip was a success. Not only did my grandson, who is a big LSU fan, get to see the campus and attend a game in Tiger Stadium, I had a whole day and night to pick on and aggravate my beautiful granddaughter. Life does not get much better than that!
Our seats in the stadium were located just above cloud level. My acrophobia, which usually kicks into high gear on the first rung of a ladder, never loosened its grip on me the entire game. Fortunately, most people were too busy tending nosebleeds to notice my white knuckles gripping the seats. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed being in Tiger Stadium. Watching football from cloud level is like watching ants line up in formation and then scatter across the field, or was that the band? It was really hard to tell from such a high perch.
For me, the most refreshing part of the game was the pregame music. They actually played music people could get into and sing like “Louisiana Saturday Night” and Garth Brook’s “Baton Rouge.” You didn’t hear bone shattering high pitched rap squealing through the stadium speakers like you do at USM football games. There is a big difference in music designed to make you shake your booty and have a good time and music designed to make you twerk your booty and do the dirty. I love USM home football games, but with the racket that constantly shakes The Rock, I swear sometimes I don’t know if I should be celebrating the Eagles taking the field or looking for a bomb shelter.
The music, the game atmosphere, and even the LSU fans were all fantastic! It has been over thirty years since I last attended a game in Tiger Stadium, and I was a little apprehensive as to how we might be greeted by Tiger fans that have been known on occasion to get a little rowdy. My concerns were addressed soon after we arrived in Baton Rouge. Shortly after leaving the USM alumni tailgate party, my little group and I were walking toward the stadium when I decided to stray off course to drop my now hot cup of tea in the trash. No sooner had I dropped the cup in the trash than I hear, “Hey bro, you need a cold one?” I turned and there stood a guy in a purple and gold T-shirt holding a quart container of what I am sure by his demeanor was not lemonade or ice tea.
“No, I’m good,” I said, and started walking toward my wife, daughter, and grandkids who were gawking and pointing at their surroundings a short distance in front of me.
The guy stepped to my side and started walking with me. “Hey, Mississippi,” he said. I suddenly wished I wasn’t wearing a “Beat LSU” sticker on my shirt. “You guys gonna beat them Tigers, yeah?” he asked.
Like a dumbass, I said, “That’s what we’re here for.” He gave me a puzzled you dumbass hick look, so I quickly added, “but we’re going to spot you guys 50 points first.” He seemed to like that, but at that moment he was distracted by two unbelievably beautiful college girls walking toward us.
By the way they were dressed they didn’t look to be too interested in football. In their platform heels, they were at least six feet four inches tall. They had to have been born into the dresses they wore; there was no other way they could have squeezed such tiny pieces of material over their long exotic frames. My new friend grabbed my arm and pulled me to a stop. “Holy mother of Jesus, do you see that?” he asked as if any human male was capable of missing such a sight. “Bet Mississippi got nothing like that, huh bro,” he said, releasing my arm and taking a long drink of cool aide or whatever he had in the quart container.
“Not bad,” I admitted, “but Mississippi girls can compete with anybody.”
“Nah, no way!” he said stepping back and looking at me in disbelief.
“Yeah,” I said, “Mississippi girls are second to none.”
Now, I was only trying to defend the honor of the Mississippi ladies, but my new friend took my response as a challenge. “Bro, you ever had a Louisiana woman?”
“No,” I said with a laugh and started walking.
“You like to?” he asked following me.
“Not today, I need to catch my group,” I said.
“Come on Bro, you in Louisiana,” he said. “Let’s go get a couple cold ones and go talk to them girls. Say, which you want.”
“I’m a bit old for those girls,” I said, wishing my wife and daughter would slow down so I could catch up.
“Naw, man,” he said, keeping stride with me. “Age ain’t nothing.”
“Well, they’re too tall anyway,” I said.
“You really think so,” he said and took another long drink.
“Yeah, I do,” I said with a laugh.
“We make ‘em short too,” he said and stopped walking.
Why I stopped I don’t know. “I have a short one,” I said, pointing to my wife up ahead.
“I see,” he said and extended his hand. “You guys have a good time, and if you change your mind ‘bout a drink and them girls, come see.”
“Maybe, next time,” I said and shook his hand.
“Gotta go,” he said with a huge smile. “I need a refill.”
After catching up with my wife, I told her about my new friend. I am not sure she believed me, but she did keep me close to her side for the rest of the trip. I admit that once or twice as we were plodding our way to the top of Tiger Stadium, I thought about turning around and going for a cold drink with one of the tall Louisiana Goddesses and my new friend. However, I didn’t turn around because I was not ready to die at the hands of the Mississippi woman traveling with me. I may be many things, but I am not a dumbass.
©Jack Linton, October 17, 2016