04 C E L E B R AT I NG Y E A R S
THE BIBLE OF LSU SPORTS
NASTY NAZ 2018 - 19 BASKE TBAL L PREV I EW
S I C K D U N K S
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BIBLE OF LSU SPORTS
Published By Kingfish Communications, LLC Business Office 10500 Coursey Blvd., Suite 104
Baton Rouge, La 70816 Phone: (888) 32-TIGER Fax: (225) 297-7539
Tiger Rag Staff President JIM ENGSTER Controller CaROYLN TRAUPMAN
STARTERS // THEN 06
Operations Manager DAWN DICHARRY Marketing Consultant ann edelman Sales Department Local Sales Manager jennifer h. marsh Account Executive KYLE COATS Account Executive STEVE LECHICH Account Executive ROMAN STARNS Editorial Department Editor james moran Assistant Editor TYLER NUNEZ Contributors Jim engster, bud johnson, jim kleinpeter, durand “rudy” macklin, Lyn Scarbrough, PATRICK YARBOROUGH Graphics/Art Department Graphic Designer JOE GALLINARO Photography 247sports, EYE WANDER PHOTO, steve franz/lsu, lsu athletics, lsu sports information, lsusports.net, jonathan mailhes, mlb.com, nfl.com, chris parent/lsu, rivals. com, Scout.com, twitter, TERRILL WEIL, wikimedia commons Disclaimer: Tiger Rag is not affiliated with Louisiana State University, its athletic department, alumni association, fund raising clubs and foundations or any division of the University system. It is privately owned and operated with complete independence from the university and other entities. The views expressed herein are those of the newspaper staff and its contributors and not necessarily those of the university or its employees. Copyright © 2018, All Rights Reserved TIGER RAG (USPS 447-970, ISSN 0744- 7604) is published monthly February, March, May, June, July and December; semimonthly January, April and August; weekly September, October and November by Kingfish Communications, LLC dba Tiger Rag Magazine, 10500 Coursey Boulevard, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, LA 70816-4045. Periodicals postage paid at Baton Rouge, LA and additional mailing offices. POST- MASTER: Send address changes to TIGER RAG, 10500 Coursey Boulevard, Suite 104, Baton Rouge, LA 70816-4045. Cover Illustration BRAD JENSEN/ICON VISUALS
Mailbag/What’s Bugging You? Pres. by Terminix Fan Feeds on the Fly Pres. by BTR Metropolitan Airport
07 08 09 10 14
Name that Tiger/Trivia
Who Said That?
From the Vault Pres. by Campus Federal JIM TAYLOR – by Bud Johnson
STARTERS // NOW 18 Fall Baseball 20
Spotlight: LSU Alternate Uniform The Sitdown Pres. by Hub International Five Things: MARCEL BROOKS
22 26 28
Calendar 2018 BASKETBALL PREVIEW 30 Cover Story: NAZ REID 38 By the Numbers: WILL WADE 39 Coaching Staff 40 Backcourt 42 TREMONT WATERS 46 Frontcourt 50 Roster 51 Schedule 52 JA’VONTE SMART 56 SEC Predictions 58 Lindy’s SEC Overview 60 Q & A: NIKKI FARGAS 62 Womens’ Roster 63 Womens’ Schedule OVERTIME 64 LSU in the Pros 66 Kleinpeter Diary – by Jim Kleinpeter 68 Tiger Tykes 69 Digging Deep Pres. by Crawler Supply 70 Wayde Sims Art Tribute 72 Fitness 74 Food 76 Photo Gallery 78 Across the Board 79 Statistically Speaking – by Jim Engster 80
What They Read Pres. by East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Eye Wander Photo
4 TIGER RAG EXTRA | NOVEMBER 2018 | TIGERRAG.COM
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I agree, leave politics out. You highlighted, “The view here is that Reid is a brave, but misguided man. Kneeling during the anthem is not the answer to societal problems that concern him and many others. Nonetheless, Reid risks his career by kneeling for a cause that is unpopular.” This shows you’re unfamiliar with the reasoning behind the protest. The protest is to shed light on police brutality and racial inequality. It has nothing to do with veterans, armed forces nor the flag. If some distinguished veterans find the action of Reid unacceptable and unconscionable, then they too are blind to the reasoning behind the protest. I’m a big Tim Tebow fan. I love what he stands for and how he carries himself as a man. No one had anything to say when he protest the American flag and National Anthem and took a knee. Since Kaep, E. Reid and a few other black players are protesting something that deserves attention and change, people like you are calling their decisions misguided. No, kneeling will not solve societal problems but it will shed light on the injustices and bring the conversation to light. People must become uncomfortable before certain changes can take place. Their protest have generated millions of dollars and is sparking conversations all over about these injustices. Saying the protest is unpopular, speaks to your views. You find it unpopular because you can’t relate to the cause. You’ve probably never experienced police brutality, unfair treatment or any other unjust act by police or the criminal justice system. Your “privilege” has afforded you better treatment. As the president of Tiger Rag, you should choose your words wiser. I know a lot of people don’t want to read this and I didn’t want to type it. I read these Tiger Rag columns everyday and I couldn’t sit back and let you call a young, black man misguided when he is clearly working for the better of our nation and people as a whole. Respectfully, Reader who won’t visit this site anymore. –DWAYNE N, via TigerRag.com, on Jim Engster’s column titled “LSU remains in national title picture” What started as a criticism of a ball player turned into and anti-Trump article. I have subscribed to the Rag since it started. Are you nuts…ready to retire…of do you think your now an entertainer and following the Hollywood rants… Anti-Trump folks aren’t in the majority in Tiger Land…Say what you want in your paper but it seems to me going against Trump will not be good for business. Nike makes their money off of young people. You on the other hand I would think are dealing with another demographic group. –GREG HAMER, via email, on Jim Engster’s column titled “LSU remains in national title picture” Just read the article about our just departed Tiger. I have read almost all the articles about Jimmy from Houston and B Rouge newspapers. None took on the flavor or depth Jim Engster’s did. I had no idea he knew or hung around with Wendell or Pete. In my humble opinion, both Jimmy and Jerry S should have their statues and their names on our beloved stadium inside walls. Those four, Taylor, Cannon, Casanova & Stovall are LSU heroes and should be treated that way! Nuf said –TOM WOLTZ, via email, on Jim Engster’s column titled “Jimmy Taylor was one tough Tiger”
DEVIN WHITE TARGETING EJECTION “SEC refs are the absolute worst in the country.” – DANIEL MARLER, via Facebook “The sad thing is it didn’t happen ! Never did helmets touch” – RUSS JOHNSON, via Facebook “They need to fix that, repeal it!! Or it will lead to bad blood!! And the fans will get even more crazy” – JON CEFALAU, via Facebook “It’s a terrible call. If the refs can pick up the flag against that Bama player vs Tennessee earlier today, then this call against White should have never happened.....very hypocritical” – DARREN GAGNON, via Facebook “Bad call. Terrible. Players have to learn too, don’t touch qb these days. Dam shame . We need white to play . He is 1 of our leaders” – PETE MOREL, via Facebook “I’m not so upset with the call as I’m with White standing over Fitzgerald after delivering the hit in question. Why in the hell did White have to taunt and show is ass afterward???” – JIMMY BACQUE, via Facebook “The head of sec refs is a Bama grad” – CHRISTOPHER EDWARD WARNER, via Facebook SEC FINING LSU $100K FOR RUSHING THE FIELD “This such a sore loser move someone tell Georgia” – @officialmarcosh, via Twitter “we shoulda save that fine for bama, cause if we beat em, they come out they body, i promise you” – @coachjsmith, via Twitter
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Tiger Rag @Tiger_Rag
FAN F E EDS ON T HE F L Y
James Moran @SmartestMoran
Tyler Nunez @ByTylerNunez
Baton Rouge Airport @BTRairport
Tyler Nunez @ByTylerNunez Wade: “Our guys know their jobs. Now we have to get them to work, play as one. Everybody has a job to do and everybody should be moving.” #LSU
Paul Finebaum @finebaum Just an unbelievable victory by LSU. What a job by Coach O.
James Moran @SmartestMoran Devin White set a record last year by being SEC Defensive Player of the Week four times in one season. Cole Tracy has now been an SEC POTW four times in eight weeks.
Baton Rouge Airport @BTRairport GA Bulldog fans a’coming! Full flights from ATL arriving at BTR today. Delta upgauged all ATL-BTR flights to MD88s, and there is nary a seat to be found.
James Moran @SmartestMoran The SEC has officially fined #LSU $100,000 for storming the field after the Georgia game Last time LSU was fined for storming the field: 2014 Ole Miss game
Devin White @DevinWhite_40 God Give His Toughest Battle’s To His Strongest Soldiers #GetLive40
John Bel Edwards @LouisianaGov Someone is going to have to explain the definition of “targeting” to me. From what I know, that wasn’t it. #GeauxTigers
LSU Basketball @LSUBasketball We see you, Tremont
Baton Rouge Airport @BTRairport LSU Football is heading to Gainesville to take on the UF Gators! #geauxtigers #flyBTR
Tim Brando @TimBrando Reports of LSU’s demise a bit premature ladies and gentlemen. I’ll say it again...Steve Ensminger was an outstanding hire. The Tigers defense also adjusted after the issues against the rush last week and early in today’s game.
For Tiger sports, you’ll get it here. For Tiger fans, we’ll get you there. Proud supporter of Tiger Rag and big fans of LSU sports.
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NAME THAT TIGER
WhatyeardidLSUmake its firstFinalFour? 1 Whowasthe leadingscoreronthatteam? 2 PeteMaravichneverplayed intheassembly centerthatnowbearshisname.Wheredid LSUplay itshomegamesbackthen? 3 Shaqplayed forTeamUSA in1994and1996. WhowastheonlyotherTigerhoopstertoplay foranynationalteam? 4 Fourplayersaverageddouble-figurescoring onLSU’sFinalFourteam in2005-06.Who werethey? 5 WhowasLSU’s firsteverAll-American? 6
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Below are four unattributed quotes from the world of LSU sports — some modern and contemporary; others dated but iconic. See if you can figure out which former or current Tiger said it! Who Said That? “Probably a bit generous. It’s not where you start it’s where you end. It’s not where you start it’s where you end. Just because you have a number next to you doesn’t mean anything except you probably have a bit of a target on your back.” 4 “I think I would have learned a lot more being around professional athletes. Looking at it now, I don’t really know what I learned, financially, or just being a person at LSU. I think I’ve learned a lot more this whole year in Philly, just being a pro, than I did at LSU.” 3 2 “If there was any doubt, the SEC crew in zebra stripes made it clear Saturday night. The league is in cahoots with the Crimson Tide. Yes, it appears there is collusion.” “Someone is going to have to explain the definition of “targeting” to me. From what I know, that wasn’t it.” 1
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FROM THE VAULT
AT LAST Last month, Jerry Stovall’s No. 21 jersey took its rightful place among the LSU immortals as the school retired his jersey. The former running back and runner-up in the 1962 Heisman balloting joined Billy Cannon and Tommy Casanova on the Tiger Stadium façade. Photo: Jonathan Mailhes
B y H E R B V I N C E N T Editor’s Note: This story appeared in the Aug. 16, 1980 edition of Tiger Rag, which published a few weeks before Jerry Stovall’s debut as head coach. It was reprinted from the SEC Sports Journal. The only thing harder than living up to a legend is fulfilling a fantasy. And for LSU football coach Jerry Stovall the history of what was and the possibility of what might have been both threaten to cloud his first season as Tiger head coach. No, Jerry Stovall does not have a pair
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of big shoes to fill. He has two pairs of shoes to fill--different sizes, different styles. Ever wear a pair of wing-tipped hard soles while you try on some Nike jogging shoes? It’s not easy. But Jerry Stovall will just wear his own shoes, thank you--the same shoes that have been sitting in his closet some 18 years. He’s not going to put on those old wing-tips and try to be the coach that Charles McClendon was for 18 years, in which time Cholly Mac compiled one of the winningest records in collegiate history. Neither will Stovall don the new Nikes and try to coach like the late Bo Rein would have had he not died in a plane accident early this year. Jerry Stovall is certainly not forgetting the Tiger past, and
coaching career has been aimed toward thehead job at LSU. As director of the LSU Varsity Club for the past year, Stovall has been in sort of vice-presidential position. He did not have anything to do with Tiger operations on the football field, but he could be called on at any time to take over. He was finally called on. “Don’t think for a moment that you’re over there in the other office,’’ Stovall said as he motioned toward the Varsity Club headquarters, “and you come in here and you have to start planning to be a head coach. Jerry Stovall bad been plan- ning to be head coach at LSU for a number of years.’’ According to Stovall there are three key steps in starting a successful football program. First is paper organization; a second is “SOMEBODY TOLD ME, ‘YOU’RE AN IDEALIST,’ AND I SAID, ‘THANK GOD.’ WHAT’S WRONG WITH BEING AN IDEALIST? IT’S JUST LIKE WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS, ‘BOY, HE’S FILTHY RICH.’ GREAT! WHAT’S WRONG WITH BEING FILTHY RICH? YOU KNOW, I WISH I WAS A MILLIONAIRE, BUT IT WOULDN’T CHANGE THE QUALITY OF MY LIFE. AS A CHRISTIAN THERE’S NOTHING IN THIS WORLD MONEY CAN BUY ME THAT I DON’T ALREADY HAVE. ” having the right people, or “personalities” as Stovall would say, in the right positions, and the third in motivating these personalities. When he stepped into the head coaching position, Stovall was readily prepared. “People say, ‘Good golly, your organizational structure on paper is pretty extensive. Did you just draw that up?’ Well, heavens no! That comes from visiting with Tom Lan and visiting with quality coaches at the collegiate level and professional levels, watching the good people, going to clinics. You plan all along for your goal.’’ Stovall worked so hard for so long to reach that goal he was not about settle for anything short of it. This is the only coaching job in the world I wanted,’’ he com- mented. ‘’Somebody asked me at a press conference, ‘You mean you would have turned down another head coaching job?’Well, I’ve already turned down five.” Five head coaching opportunities from different universities, though none the caliber of LSU by Stovall’s own admission, is evidence that Stovall is a capable leader. But regardless of his
he’s not afraid of introducing some new concepts, but he plans to coach his team the way he has planned the last 18 years. Jerry Stovall will, as Elvis Presley put it, do it his way. When Stovall does it his way, it’s usually done right. Now 38 years old, he was an All-American halfback for LSU in the early 1960’s and was runner-up on the Heisman Trophy ballot his senior season. A native of West Monroe, La., Stovall was also named to the All-SEC team in1961 and 1962 and was voted SEC Player of the Year in 1962. After his tenure at college, Stovall played strong safety for the St. Louis Cardinals where he was selected all-pro in 1967 and 1968. He played in the 1967, 1968, and 1969 Pro Bowls. Stovall retired from pro football in 1971 and began work as an assistant coach at South Carolina before returning to LSU in 1974. He has been in Tigertown ever since. LSU athletic director Paul Dietzel picked Stovall to be the Tiger coach on the spur of the moment when Rein was suddenly killed in early January, but Stovall’s decision that he wanted to be the Bengal coach was anything but sudden. Stovall’s entire
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credentials there are plenty of skeptics that ask if Stovall will be as good as McClendon was or Rein might have been. That doesn’t bother Jerry. “The only pressure I feel right now is now is self-imposed pressure to succeed. I’m a rookie head coach. In the nine years I played pro football, my attitudes changed and matured from the time I was a rookie. I’m sure I’ll make a lot of rookie mistakes as a head coach. The pressure I feel is the increased responsibility. I like that word-- ‘responsibility’--better than pressure.’’ The only things Stovall does not like about his job are the strict guidelines that others have set down for major college head coaches. “Unfortunately too many people judge a football team’s success on how many games they win or lose, and that’s a poor measuring stick. But I acknowledge the fact that it is THE measuring stick.” Stovall’s key to success is organization. He is a perfectionist when it comes to organizing. So how do you take a bunch of football players, a coaching staff that has never worked with those players and a head coach that has worked with neither the players nor the staff and get organized? The Tigers got that out of the way during spring drills. ‘’After a while the players began to learn our coaches,’’ stated Stovall. “See, this is a whole new staff for them, so it’s been a great learning process. It’s been like a marriage. You may date a girl for six years and all of a sudden you get married and you begin to see her in a different dimension.’’ Most of the staff came to LSU from North Carolina State with Rein. Stovall either worked with, played against or was very familiar with everyone on his staff before they came to LSU. The only one he didn’t know was Bobby Morrison who has turned out to be one of his best recruiters. ‘’The biggest problem with getting a quality staff is keeping
it. That’s a problem . . . but that’s a great problem to have!’’ Stovall is also planning on keeping all the traditions that go along with LSU football. There’s been a lot of talk around Tiger- town about the new era in Tiger football. Stovall isn’t· thinking too much along those lines. ‘’Tradition by its nature will keep itself alive. What success we enjoy will be built on traditions. Our bloodline at LSU is very good: it’s one of a champion. ‘’The new era? I’m just committed to continuing the plateau of excellence that LSU has had over the last 35 years.” There will be few changes in the 1980 Tiger football uniform, only subtle ones. The only noticeable variations from last season will be white shoes and purple facemasks. “Some people asked what changes I would make in the uni- form,’’ Stovall noted. ‘’I don’t want to change it. I wore that uniform. That uniform is one of the most respected in college football.’’ He not only respects LSU for what it is, he respects himself for what he is. “Somebody told me, ‘You’re an idealist,’ and I said, ‘Thank God.’What’s wrong with being an idealist? It’s just like when somebody says, ‘Boy, he’s filthy rich.’ Great! What’s wrong with being filthy rich?’ ‘’You know, I wish I was a millionaire, but it wouldn’t change the quality of my life. As a Christian there’s nothing in this world money can buy me that I don’t already have.’’ Yes, it is hard to find a happier man than Jerry Stovall. Who would not be happy after working toward one goal for 18 years and finally realizing that goal? ‘’Many people have said to me that coaching is a labor of love. To me coaching is NOT a labor of love. “It’s not labor. It’s love.’’
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Courtesy of LSU Sports Information
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HALL OF FAMER JIM TAYLOR A RUNNING BACK LIKE NO OTHER
By BUD JOHNSON • Special to Tiger Rag
Jim Taylor’s crowd-pleasing running style won him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and captivated fans throughout the National Football League. He was 83 when he passed away Oct. 13. Taylor was famous for attacking defenders. He didn’t run away from tacklers. He ran at them. He would often change directions, lower his shoulder and run over a defensive back. His surprising strength and excellent balance enabled Jim to keep his feet and gain yardage after a collision. “Even if he had a clear path to the goal line, he’d look for a defen- sive back to run over on the way,” Abe Woodson, the San Francisco 49ers’ Pro Bowl defensive back told Bob Carroll for his oral history “When the Grass Was Real” (1993). Taylor’s game was special even for the NFL. Jim helped Vince Lombardi build a dynasty in Green Bay in the 1960s, playing on four NFL championship teams with the Packers. Green Bay won league championships in 1961, 1962, 1965, and 1966. Taylor was rewarded by being the first Packer from those great teams to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976. He was listed at 6 feet and 214 pounds. His achievements as an undersized, over-achieving fullback probably increased the NFL’s use of strength and conditioning coaches. Taylor’s efforts were surpassed by Jim Brown, the Cleveland Browns’ great fullback, a bigger, faster runner. But Taylor by-passed Brown in 1962, ending the big back’s five- year run as the No. 1 ball carrier in the NFL. Taylor ran for 1,474 yards that season. He was also first in rushing touchdowns with 19. He was voted MVP in the league and helped the Packers win the NFL cham- pionship. Taylor treasured that award and the memories of that special season. There was no better commercial for pro football in that period than the 1962 championship game. It was played in 40 mph winds, 13 de-
gree temperatures on frozen turf in Yankee Stadium. It matched Green Bay’s gritty ground game against the New York Giants great defense. Deception was for sissies. Taylor was the major offensive weapon for the Packers. Sam Huff was the primary assassin for the Giants defense. Taylor sustained a seven-inch gash on his elbow that required stitches at halftime. He bit his tongue so badly that he couldn’t talk after the game. Huff pounded his prey from start to finish. But Jim answered with an unforgettable performance, gaining 85 yards in 31 carries and scor- ing the Packers’ only offensive touchdown in the Packers’ 16-7 victory. That game diminished the Jim Brown-Jim Taylor debate. It en- hanced Taylor’s reputation as one of pro football’s toughest players. The game fueled television’s love affair with professional football. Taylor was a 1,000 yard rusher in five consecutive seasons. He was elected to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1960s. He scored the first rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history. Super Bowl Roman Numer- al I, the only one with unsold tickets. Pete Rozelle’s creation hadn’t yet connected with corporate America. His 14-yard TD run in Super Bowl I came in the second quarter of the Packers’ 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL in January of 1967. His old LSU teammate, Johnny Robinson, played in that game for the Chiefs. Jim got his start at Baton Rouge High, where he was a football and basketball star. Incredibly, he played in national high school all star games in both football and basketball — an unheard of accomplish- ment at the time. “My favorite sport was basketball,” Taylor once told this writer. “It helped me improve my balance and my stamina when I was younger. I became a better runner in football because of my balance.” Taylor wasn’t a dominant football player for Baton Rouge High until his senior year. He was never a big talker. But in a close game he
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would assert himself when he deemed it necessary. When his Bulldogs needed a first down, Taylor would push aside sophomore signal caller Warren Rabb, and call his own number in the huddle. He made the high school All-America team and got a scholarship to LSU. His college career got off to a shaky start. In his freshman year of ’54, Taylor was disciplined by none other than Gen. Troy H. Middleton, the university president, who suggested that Jim seek his education elsewhere. He spent 1955 at Hinds Community College in Mississippi and returned to LSU for the 1956 season. The Tigers started out 1-7 that year, and it looked like it might be the last for coach Paul Dietzel, who Taylor called “The Great White Father.” But Taylor’s late season heroics bought time for his coach. Jim played a major role in wins over Arkansas and Tulane. He gained 170 yards in a 21-7 win over the Razorbacks. The win over the Green Wave was even bigger. Tulane entered the game 6-1. They had de- feated both Ole Miss and Mississippi State — teams that had thrashed the Tigers. Tulane led 6-0 at halftime. In the final 30 minutes, Taylor scored a touchdown, kicked the extra point to give LSU a 7-6 lead, and then made two big defensive plays to make sure the Tigers won. He caught Claude Mason from behind to save one touchdown and inter- cepted a pass on the LSU 8 to halt another Tulane threat. As a senior in 1957, Taylor again played a major role in beating arch-rival Tulane. He made touchdown runs of 48 and 32 yards, which gave him 762 yards — best in the SEC — and 86 points — best in the nation. In his last game as a Tiger, he gained 171 yards in 17 tries. Performances like this one helped him to become a consensus All-American. Green Bay selected Taylor in the second round, but he didn’t play much until Lombardi took over in 1959. Before joining the Packers, Taylor started a strength training pro- gram with Alvin Roy, who had trained the US weight lifting team in the 1952 Olympics. Weight lifting became the backbone of Taylor’s workout regimen for the rest of his life. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Pettit preceded Taylor at Baton Rouge High and LSU, and his desire to add weight and strength led him to Alvin Roy. Bob was as an All-American for the Tigers in 1953 and 1954. He enjoyed a Hall of Fame career with the St. Louis Hawks. Pettit witnessed Jim’s growth and development in basketball from an early age. “Jimmy rode his bike onto the YMCA basketball court as a 10-year- old,” Pettit recalled, “and I chased him off. I saw him a few years later and was surprised at how much he had grown. I never raised my voice to him again. “We had a great relationship, both playing at Baton Rouge High and LSU,” Pettit said. “He was a great ambassador for Baton Rouge and LSU.” Taylor’s workout regime was legendary. He had no off season. He
worked out every day, running and lifting weights. He was devoted to increasing his incredible strength and endurance. He wanted to be just as effective in the fourth quarter as he was in the first. He played nine seasons with the Packers, piling up 8,597 yards and scoring 83 touchdowns rushing. He signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 1967, his last season in the league. He was a Pro Bowl player from 1960 to 1964. Taylor played in an age when football professionals weren’t millionaires. He never made more than $30,000 dollars for imitating a runaway freight train. He alone handled contract negations with Lombardi. He did a TV commercial for Coke that ran nationwide. It yielded Taylor only $3,500. He invested wisely in Baton Rouge real estate. In his early years in pro football he started a construction company in the off season, building apartments in his hometown. He frequently employed athletes to do manual labor. Oscar Lofton, a former Istrouma High and Boston Patriot end, worked for Taylor one summer. “The crew was hurrying to finish a job one day when Jim arrived to check on the progress,” Lofton said. “He immediately started pushing a wheel barrow loaded with concrete to help us complete the job. That was typical of Jim Taylor.” Although he played a game that was frequently violent, Jim’s off-the-field life was the opposite. He was a sensitive, gentle man, who loved spending time with friends and family. He would console friends over a lost loved one. One of his favorite hangouts was that senior citizen favorite, Coffee Call, where he could sit for hours visiting with friends or anyone from a nearby table. You would never know that this was the same guy who played in those brutal 1960s duels with New York Giants linebacker Sam Huff. He didn’t watch pro football much in his later years, although he rarely missed a Super Bowl. It was an opportunity to visit with his friends from his playing days. My favorite memory of Taylor is not from his many special games. In 2014, his friend from Baton Rouge High days, Bob Pettit, was being featured at the Andonie Sports Museum at LSU. Jim and his wife Helen arrived early and got front row seats. They were just as attentive as the other fans as Bob answered Jim Engster’s questions about his Hall-of-Fame career. After the program concluded, Pettit sat behind a table to sign autographs. Soon, some fans recognized Taylor and asked for autographs. He joined Pettit behind a table, and the two LSU and professional sport legends sat side by side, signing autographs and talking with fans until the final question was answered. Taylor had come to hear what Pettit had to say, but you could tell by his smile that he enjoyed being recognized and the interaction with the fans just made his day.
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three thoughts: fall baseball
By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Editor LSU’s fall practice season wrapped up in early November with the traditional Purple and Gold World Series, a first glimpse of sorts into a team that’ll begin 2019 with Omaha-or-bust expectations. The core will consist of familiar faces like Zack Hess, Zach Watson, Josh Smith, Todd Peterson, Antoine Duplantis and Daniel Cabrera. Getting Eric Walker back from Tommy John surgery only serves to strengthen the veteran presence on this team. More than anything, the fall — and the home- and-home exhibition games against UNO in partic- ular — offered an opportunity to gauge how LSU’s top-ranked recruiting class can fill holes on the roster and elevate the talent level as a whole. Here’s some of the most pertinent takeaways from the fall as LSU breaks for winter: 1. INJURIES PILING UP The injury bug that ravaged LSU’s 2018 season before it even began has lingered into the fall, much to the chagrin of Paul Mainieri. LSU was without nine pitchers for parts if not all of the fall due to a variety of injuries, Mainieri said, and the staff decided to shut down a handful of key arms late in the fall in the interest of being
precautious. “Between the rain every day and the injuries that we’ve had, this has been the most unique falls that I’ve ever had,” Mainieri said. “But we’re dealing with it.” We’ll take the injury rundown in descending order of severity. Right-handed pitcher Nick Storz underwent a rare surgery to his shoulder/lateral area and could miss all of the 2019 season, Mainieri said. Doctors think it’ll be seven-to-eight months before Storz can resume throwing, which would put his chances of pitching this season in serious doubt. “It was a very complicated surgery that doesn’t happen frequently,” Mainieri said. “You know how there’s Tommy John surgery? They want to call this the Jake Peavy surgery because he’s the most well- known pitcher who has come back from the surgery and had success.” Storz missed most of last season due to a lat injury that was causing him to feel soreness in his shoulder. LSU hoped PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment this summer would be enough to remedy the issue, but a setback in September made surgery necessary.
The hulking hurler came to LSU with plenty of hype and was billed as a potential top-of-the-rotation ace, but health has been a recurring problem since he had shoulder surgery to remove a bone spur last fall. Catcher Saul Garza underwent knee surgery in early October to repair a torn meniscus and will be out for three-to-four months. Mainieri hopes he could be swinging a bat again by early January and be back behind the plate in February. Garza blocked a pitch in the dirt in October and felt his knee lock up, Mainieri said. An MRI revealed the torn meniscus, and surgery was complicated by an old tear that had never fully healed. “That’s why it’s a three-to-four month get back instead of a four-to-five week get back,” Mainieri explained. LSU is already thin at catcher. Freshman CJ Willis can’t throw until the spring due to an injury from his high school days and Bryce Jordan, LSU’s emergency catcher last season, retired earlier this fall. Those injuries left just Brock Mathis and walk- on Braden Doughty to handle various scrimmages behind the plate. LSU worked out freshman infielder Drew Bianco at catcher late in the fall due to those injuries.
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Here’s a rundown of the other various injuries LSU is dealing with: – Sophomore right-handers Ma’Khail Hilliard and AJ Labas still have not thrown this fall, and at this point it is unlikely that either pitches before the spring. Both missed the NCAATournament due to shoulder soreness. – Freshman right-hander Rye Gunter has been out with a stress fracture in his back. He spent much of the fall rehabbing, Mainieri said, but it’s uncertain when he’ll return to the mound. – Freshman right-hander Cole Henry was shut down for the fall due to a stress reaction in his humerus (upper arm). – Senior right-hander Caleb Gil- bert underwent shoulder surgery this summer and junior right-hander Matt Beck was shut down due to elbow soreness. Both will be re-evaluated in the spring. 2. Key Piece Getting Hess, Watson and Duplan- tis back may have been the headline of LSU’s windfall in the MLB Draft, but getting Landon Marceaux on campus shouldn’t be ranked far behind. He turned down a signing bonus in excess of $1 million to enroll at LSU, according to Mainieri. The most polished of LSU’s bumper crop of power arms, Marceaux showed this fall why he’s got the inside track to begin his fresh- man season in the weekend rotation. The rookie right-hander finished off a strong spring with a dazzling display in LSU’s exhibition game against UNO. Marceaux started and fired three shutout innings, allowing just two singles while striking out five with no walks. Marceaux sat 92-94 mph with his fastball while mixing in an overhand curveball and a changeup. The curve- ball was his sharpest pitch against the Privateers, generating a handful of defensive swings and knee-buckling takes. “Threw pretty well,” Marceaux said of his fall. “Throwing all pitches for strikes. It was good to have a few strikeouts and keep runs off the board. I got ahead with every pitch.” LSU’s 2018 recruiting class was rated No. 1 in the country by Baseball America, D1Baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball Magazine, and Marceaux is one of the headliners. LSU opted to shut him down after the start as a precaution to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go when the season cranks up for real in February. “Marceaux is going to be a really
critical guy for us all year,” Mainieri said. “I think he showed what he’s capable of doing, and I think he’s even better than that. He’ll continue to get better, but that’ll be his last outing of fall practice. We’ll shut him down until spring because we know he’ll be ready to go. We’ll take no risk of injury with him the rest of the way.” outfields in the country with Cabrera, Watson and Duplantis, and the ad- dition of speedy freshman Giovanni DiGiacomo only adds depth behind the trio of returning starters. By comparison, the infield is a major question mark heading into the 2019 season. Smith’s health is absolutely par- amount, and so long as he’s healthy, the junior will be LSU’s everyday shortstop. He looked like his old self on the field this fall, though a bruised shoulder did keep him out for a period of time. If Smith can stay healthy, the rest of LSU’s infield will be filled in by a mixture of solid returners and fresh faces. Versatile, slick-fielding sopho- more Hal Hughes could start or serve as a utility glove off the bench. He’s improved his hitting, as evidenced by a strong summer, and could start at second or third base. He’s also the backup plan in the event Smith’s back problems flare up again. Senior Brandt Broussard was putting together a strong 2018 season at second base before suffering a broken thumb. He wasn’t the same player offensively when he returned and finished the season hitting .260 in 52 games. Those two will continue battling for starting spots with Drew Bianco and Gavin Dugas, a pair of true fresh- men. Mainieri likes the punch that Bianco and Dugas bring to the lineup, but he’s been steadfast that he won’t compromise his infield defense. Unlike most recent seasons, LSU has a traditional first baseman in freshman Cade Beloso. Mainieri himself characterized the former John Curtis star as the kind of lefty-swing- ing slugger that LSU fans have been clamoring for the past few years. Beloso will need to prove he can hit high-caliber pitching to keep the job, of course. Whoever doesn’t win the catcher job — Garza, Willis or Mathis — could push for playing time at first if they outhit Beloso. 3. Infield Taking Shape LSU boasts one of the best
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LSU wore these alternate uniforms in a 19-3 victory over Mississippi State on Homecoming weekend as a way of paying homage to the “Silent Season” of 1918. That year LSU didn’t play football as many students and faculty alike left to fight in World War I. There was a lot going on with these all-white uniforms. Here are some of the finer details — and the meaning behind them— that you may have missed. (Details courtesy of LSU Sports Information) HELMET: Reminiscent of French armor and as a nod to Louisiana’s heritage, the helmet is the crowning jewel. Like an iridescent Mardi Gras bead, its color will shift from purple to gold under the bright lights of Tiger Stadium. JERSEY: The number font is indicative of a style that was prevalent in the early 20th Century. The oak leaf pattern in the jersey numbers, collar and pant striping recognizes the soldiers honored in the Memorial Oak Grove on campus. SOLDIER SALUTE: The back of the helmet acknowledges 1918 as the Silent Season and as the year the United States claimed victory in World War I. The American flag decal depicts a 1918 flag with 48 stars, as Alaska and Hawaii had not yet been admitted into the Union. THE UNKNOWN: No nameplate appears on the back of the jersey to pay tribute to the unknownmembers of the LSU community who lost their lives in World War I. lsu honors 1918 “silent season” with alternate uniforms FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT
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HOW DO YOU DO?
VERNE LUNDQUIST , legendary voice of the SEC and more, reflects on a lifetime spent in broadcasting
BY JIM ENGSTER
Generations of football fans from all walks of life grew up with Uncle Verne. Whether it was Southeastern Conference football every Saturday afternoon, the pageantry of the Army-Navy game or the tradition unlike any other at The Masters, Verne Lundquist was there to call all the action. The legendary broadcaster still does golf for CBS, but he retired from doing college football games in 2016 and from college basketball after the most recent NCAA Tournament. Suddenly having free time, Lundquist decided to write a book. He joined Tiger Rag President Jim Engster on Talk Louisiana on WRKF in Baton Rouge last month to discuss his legendary career and writing “Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports - From SEC Football to College Basketball, The Masters, and More.” JIM ENGSTER: We’re joined now by one of the best-known sportscasters in the history of broadcasting, Verne Lundquist. His book is “Play by Play: Calling the Wildest Games in Sports - From SEC Football to College Basketball, The Masters, and More.” Good morning to you, Mr. Verne Lundquist. VERNE LUNDQUIST: Good morning to you Mr. Jim Engster, it’s a pleasure to be on the program with you. JE: Well you certainly had a long career, and it all started in radio, didn’t it? VL: It did. The book tells the story of my growi ng up in Austin, and in eighth grade, in junior high school, I was in the speech club. The teacher called me up after class and said that the University of Texas radio
host. That led to a chance to replace the leg- endary Blacker Sherrod as the color analyst on the network. Bill Mercer was the play-by- play guy, and he’d always aspired to do Major League Baseball. And so in the spring of 1972, the Rangers became the Rangers after the Washington Senators moved. The play-by- play job opened, and long story — it’s in the book if you’re kind enough to buy it — legend- ary GM Tex Schramm offered me a chance to become the play-by-play announcer. During the conversation, he asked me where my hope was to be in 10 years. It was my ultimate goal in this business was to become a net- work play-by-play announcer, and said “Well, if you take this job with the Cowboys and do the job, and I obviously believe you can, we’re going to be pretty good, and the networks will find you.” That is what happened. I look back on what has been a thrilling ride, and that decision by Tex to offer me the job was really the key to everything else that happened. JE: Well you’ve done all the sports and worked for most of the networks, and this SEC opportunity came along. You originally thought of it as a demotion? VL: Yup, that’s quite true. I certainly didn’t think that anymore once we got a year in. I hope everybody can understand, I was the No. 2 NFL guy. They had moved me in 1984 from the NFL to college football, and my partner the first two years was Terry Bradshaw. My last partner in the NFL was Dan Dierdorf with luminous names in between. I just felt so privileged because we were the No. 2 team, which means we got really good games every week, and life was good because the hotels were plush, the direct flights were often, the rosters were small and there was a comfort and ease about it. What I remember about the whole process is that I began to hear
house — there was no tel evision department back in those days — and asked for someone to come over and be part of a tape-recorded play. It was a 30-minute play, and they wanted me to come over for two-to-three hours to play this 10-year-old Indian boy. And I did. My dad brought me over that night, and I was just mesmerized by the process and all of the equipment. So I had an early fascination with radio. First of all, I was never an athlete, and I was fortunate enough to realize that at an early age, but I had an intense interest in athletic competition. So I wrote a weekly column for the high school newspaper and I did the same thing at Texas Lutheran when I was there. During that time, I got a weekend job as a radio station announcer — not a disc jockey — on KWEB 1580. After college I spent one year working at a radio station in Iowa and then I came home to Austin. I was the summer replacement disc jockey in 1963, and our entire staff was women from England. The program director had a fascination with their accent, so when one went on vacation, I’d fill in for her and the accent was decidedly different. During that summer, a sports job in television opened up and I auditioned for it and got it. So that was the initiation of what essentially has been 55 years in sports television. JE: You were also the voice of the Cow- boys before you became world famous as the SEC play-by-play person on CBS. You and Brad Sham were quite a pair, weren’t you? VL: Yes we were. I was in Dallas, and this was 1972, and I actually got a job at WFAA-TV, which was the local ABC affiliate in Dallas. It was just a marvelous station, and while I was there, I began my association with the Cow- boys because I was the pre- and post-game
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