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A GOLDEN TIME OF YEAR I WELCOME THE RETURN OF FOOTBALL
While it doesn’t look like this summer heat is going to let up anytime soon, at least September brings with it one source of relief: football season. The Saints and Tigers have been a part of my life since I was just a little kid. Growing up in Baton Rouge, my middle-school friends and I used to walk over to Tiger Stadium and purchase our tickets right there on game day. As I grew older and eventually became an LSU student myself, my game-day traditions became more elaborate. I was a student during the 2003 season, and I’ll never forget the incredible game we played against Georgia that year. My friends and I actually camped out in the parking lot the day before the game, despite 95-degree temperatures. It was a good thing we got there early. That “The student section was packed and stifling, even after the sun set, but we didn’t care. We shouted “Geaux Tigers!” as loud as ever.” game broke all previous records for stadium capacity, with over 92,000 fans crammed into the stadium come game time. The student section was packed and stifling, even after the sun set, but we didn’t care. We shouted, “Geaux Tigers!” as loud as ever. By the fourth quarter, you could cut the tension with a knife. With less than two minutes on the clock, we were tied with Georgia 10-10. Longtime fans will know the moment I’m leading up to: The Tigers were facing third and 4 on the Bulldogs’ 34-yard line, and I was on the edge of my seat. After the snap, quarterback Matt Mauck spent a painfully long time searching for his receivers. Meanwhile, the offensive line was crumbling. I thought it might all be over when Georgia linebacker Odell Thurman came barreling through with no one left to stop him.
I swear you could hear the impact over the sound of the crowd as Thurman connected with Mauck — the crowd was holding its breath. Miraculously, Mauck had lobbed the ball at the last possible second, and time seemed to stand still as it arched its way into the Bulldogs’ end zone. With an incredible sprint and dive, Skyler Green made an incredible game-winning catch that brought down the house. Of course, not every season can be like 2003, but the one constant about being an LSU fan was the joy of tailgating. My friends and I actually managed to buy an old school bus, paint it purple and gold, and make ourselves a true tailgating machine! We drove to games up and down the SEC, but nothing beat the home games in Baton Rouge, where the smell of jambalaya, gumbo, and grilled boudin wafted through the air. Looking back on those college days, I never expected I would mellow out this much. When I first moved away from Baton Rouge, I was surprised to learn that not everyone in Louisiana owns a purple and gold outfit for every occasion. Now, living in New Orleans with a wife (who graduated from Alabama) and two kids, I can say that I’ve toned down the passion quite a bit. That’s just part of growing older, I suppose. When you’re young, it’s easy to throw yourself into fandom at full force, face paint and all. Between cheering on my sons as they start getting into sports and advocating for my clients inside and outside of the courtroom, I’ve got plenty more to be passionate about. But you better believe I’m decking out our kids in full LSU gear for the next game with ‘Bama before their mother can put them in crimson jerseys again.
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