Saturday, September 3, 2011

Song of the South

If I could make this photo any larger I would. I love me some LSU football. For those of you newbies who have never heard the way Tiger Fans say the acronym aloud it sounds like LS shoe! There is nothing like going to a football game in Tiger Stadium, aka Death Valley. Sorry you Ole Miss or Crimson Tide fans and all the rest...simply nothing compares. I have preached and  sung praise of LSU football games to my children since they were born. My oldest and my youngest are the only ones of my tribe to have experienced live and in person the phenomenon. They are now believers. They are spreading the word. And in Tigertown it is The Word


Football in the South is more than just Game Day. It is a way of life. We grow up knowing the difference between Gators and 'Noles, Tigers and Razorbacks, Dawgs and Tide. When I first experienced a football game at LSU it was my freshman year. I literally had goose bumps when I walked into the stadium. I went to LSU in the era of Charlie McLendon or Cholly Mac as we fondly referred to him. It was Bear Bryant walking on water coaching at 'Bama, Archie Manning was the hero of Ole Miss, we were THE teams of the South and so very proud!


Take a drive down memory lane with me...race up Airline Highway towards Baton Rouge. Can't you hear the cheers and chants pouring from Death Valley? They are echoing through the oak trees, splashing in the swamps, bouncing down the bayous...Tiger Bait...Tiger Bait! LS SHOE LS SHOE! It's as if it were yesterday...


Ahh Game Day for the young coeds. We start getting ready the morning after the last game. We ponder and choose our outfits with care. We Southern lasses don't grab any old pair of blue jeans and t-shirt. Noooo, we make mad dashes to the mall for that perfect pair of shoes, jut the right shade of purple blouse. Our outfits must be perfect on Game Day. Each. And. Every. Time. 


We spend hours wearing mud packs on our faces, curlers in our hair. The amount of time we keep the curlers in our hair doesn't matter. Five minutes after their removal our hair has either wilted or frizzled due to the humidity laden air. Does not matter...we love to be pretty and proud Southern Belles eager maidens waiting to be escorted by our handsome Southern Gents. We love the process and the journey...
Then it's off to the pre-game parties. Didn't matter if you were going to Fraternity Row or parties in the myriad apartments around campus. Fun and games of romance and laughter were everywhere! We were dressed in our finest and ready to party. I remember one Homecoming we had a street party on campus. Kiki Dee was the musician, and she had Joe Namath with her. I'm not sure why, maybe they were dating at the time. Broadway Joe was a ladies man. Whatever the reason there was a lot of sweet justice knowing one of Bear Bryant's favorite sons was partying with LSU fans. Song of the South...!
Some parties could get a tad rowdy...my date for the last forty plus years and for the LSU football parties may or may have not earned a reputation for dancing on stools at one or two of these affairs. I'm not saying yes. I'm not saying no, but...rumors run rampant! I'm also remembering I was first proposed to on a Homecoming evening leaving Tiger Stadium by that handsome Southern Gent. I say first because I waited to give my answer. When he was sober certain of his feelings. I get very misty eyed at Homecomings...!


Interesting fact, the photograph below is not distorted from age. This was taken with a Polaroid camera, (remember those) and the photographer may or may not have been in less than mint condition for skills required to extract the film for 'instant developing'. Hot dang Mess, errrr Miss, it's time to leave the party and head across campus because...
The band is winding its way towards Tiger Stadium...hurry along you don't want to be left outside when the Golden Band From Tigerland enters the stadium. They march slowly to the tune of Hold That Tiger. Inching slowly down the field to the hollow and loud beat from the bass drums. As they slowly make their way down field the excitement is building. Faster they march, quick stepping their way to the fifty yard line and come to A. Complete. Stop. There before you are the beautiful beauties...the Golden Girls. With a toss and a turn they doff their purple capes to stand proudly in their glittery gold spangled leotards. Cat calls erupt from the boys in the stands...the crowd is in a frenzy!


I was indoctrinated to the world of football in Tulane stadium. My Dad would take me as a young girl and it was fun...but those Green Wave games were not a patch on Mike the Tigers behind. This is the Big Show. Football Saturday in Death Valley. The cheers from that stadium have actually registered  on the Richter Scale. Point of fact, I'm not looking for bragging rights...they've been earned.


Tonight I am going to introduce another of our tribe to the thrills of LSU football. Trey and Peter, sons of my oldest have been well indoctrinated. Lily is going to be spending the late afternoon and evening with us while her parents attend a wedding. What she is about to learn will be a passion passed down through generations...father to son, mother to daughter. In this instance it will be grandparent to grandchild. See Lily lives in a house divided. Her father went to NCSU, her mother UNC, which can lead to confusion for a young child. No worries. Her grandfather and I are united. Purple and gold to the end. No confusion or conflicts here. After I say adieu to you, my dear readers, I'm off to find my purple pom poms and a lovely spangled gold leotard for Lily. It's not fair to raise her in a conflicted atmosphere...
I think we may have confused and conflicted our sweet southern maiden enough with bullets and beads...


Are you ready for some football.??? GEAUX. TIGERS. 
Loves~Loves~Loves~

19 comments:

Thisisme. said...

I guess from that post that you love football then, my friend! Hee Hee! What a fabulous picture at the top of the post. So many people there, so I can just imagine the atmosphere! Wonderful memories, beautifully described for us today.

Sush said...

>Hi Diane...you won't believe what I did with this post. I had it waiting in draft as I knew I was going to be very busy on game day. I was putting some spit and polish on this and deleted it by accident. I had to rewrite it as best as I could from memory. Best laid plans of mice and men...

Sarah Pearson said...

Have a fabulous day! What awesome memories and how wonderful that you get to make some new ones with younger generations :-)

Thisisme. said...

Oh no! It's so annoying when that happens. I have lost posts like that myself, I must admit! DOH!

Christine said...

My husband's family are football fanatics. They eat, sleep and breathe around the football season. This malady has been passed down to our sons. Lucky for me our daughter-in-laws have not a trickle of football blood running through their veins. While the guys are watching football we take the kids and go shopping. Now that is a sport worth participating in! LOL

Shady Del Knight said...

I read what you told Thisisme and I can picture you tearing your hair out after deleted a great post like this one. Your words took me there, Sush, and I experienced the excitement of game day preps and the big day itself. I can relate. Joe Paterno had already been coaching at Penn State for a couple of years when I arrived on campus in 1967. He was a winning coach and Nittany Lion fever was rampant. One year after PSU beat Ohio State, a rowdy group of fans picked up a VW Beetle and threw it into the university president's swimming pool! Even so, I now realize that you were part of an even more fanatical football culture at LSU.

On the pro side, I haven't had much to cheer about since moving to Tampa Bay in 1984. More often than not the Buccaneers dissapoint their fans. They played so poorly one season that a sign was erected on the 50 yard line that read "The Bucs Stop Here!" (LOL)

I loved seeing those pictures of you from back in the day. You were a super cutie and a real heartbreaker, I'm sure. It's a shame that last picture got ruined because it would have been a great one.

I hope Lily enjoys learning the rules of the game LSU style!

Shelly said...

Love, love, LOVE college football! There's nothing like the sights and sounds of football to herald in autumn.

Loved this post- you really took me there with your desriptions and the fun pics!

Ellie said...

Wow, what a lot of people in that first photo. I take it that it is a popular game. Love you memories - good to look back on.
Imagine deleting your post my mistake - did you say aaargh!!! lol.

My Grama's Soul said...

I'm not a real football fan.....in fact....only recently have I even understood the game...(I know....pathetic) LOL...

Glad you love it so.

Loved the polaroid.

xo

Jo

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Sush
What a fun post, filled with details that those of us who did not get to experience the whole college - fotball experience enjoy reading about.

both of my boys played football in high school and one played in college for a year or two, but it isnt' the same as being young and in the middle of it all. :)

Good for you. Blessings to you - Marsha

Leontien said...

That was a great post, and i think i get it... but i would get it better if it was soccer! haha

Hope you have a great weekend!
Leontien

Odie Langley said...

I never really cared anything about college football until my daughter married an alumni from USC and since then I have been a Gamecock fan. She is at the season opener in Charlotte this evening.

karen said...

Sush - what a fun post! Most fun was seeing the old pictures. Even the "aged" Polaroid - was that you, Missy, in the short black dress? Holy cats, we wore them short, didn't we?
Sweet Lily - LSU or die. She'll be shaking the pompoms in no time. LaMar and I went out to grab a bite a little earlier. They had the LSU and Oregon game on, and LSU had just pulled ahead! Now I'm conflicted. My friend Marion's alma mater is Oregon, but now there's you and LSU. I'm gonna have to be Switzerland on this one.

Shady Del Knight said...

KEITH JACKSON: "Whoa, Nellie! Katie, bar the door. Looks like we got us a real barn burner in Cowboys Stadium!"

YAY!!! Tigers prevail!!!

Denise J. Hughes said...

"Football in the South is more than just Game Day. It is a way of life." I love this. I was just telling my husband today that if I could live anywhere in the country, I would want to be sure and live in a college town that LOVES football. I live in L.A. We have two NBA basketball teams, two baseball teams, and two ice hockey teams, but no football team!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

woe is me....football is not in my genes, nor my family, nor even in my town, province or country!!!! I AM CANADIAN. We do Hockey. Your post made me jealous. I guess we are missing out some here, but then, we have Maple Syrup.
Rosemary

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

p.s. I love the title of your blog. As a registered nurse, I know first hand the history and practicality of the motto.
Rosemary

Crystal Pistol said...

Fun post! I've been attending high school football games lately. They are so much fun!

I have a lot of family in S Carolina and they are football CRAZY! Just like you say here. They can't seem to get enough! :) It truly IS a way of life for some.

KBeau said...

Charlie McLendon and my dad grew up in the same small town in Southwest Arkansas--Lewisville. I've heard about Charlie McLendon all my life.