Yesterday, like most of the city of New Orleans, my mother (who is also single) and I trolled the French Quarter to celebrate LSU’s presence in the BCS National Championship. We took part in the festivities of the day by walking from the Superdome to Bourbon and back. We met many LSU fans and even “tiger baited” some good-natured Alabama fans. These memories will be what I cherish most, not the ensuing massacre to come later.
If you need some background on my fanhood, here goes. I come from two generations of hardcore female football fans. I went to LSU from 2002 until 2004 and again in 2007 until 2008. Yes, I was there for both of last decade’s National Championships. I held season tickets for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. I have been to one away game (in Tuscaloosa, ironically) and two post-season games. Not including my season ticket years, I have made it a priority to attend or at least tailgate for countless home games since I lived in Baton Rouge for seven years. I also have a username on www.tigerdroppings.com and frequent www.espn.go.com and www.si.com. I used to like www.fannation.com until it was taken over by pro hockey and soccer. All this, of course, is relative but I just wanted to give some justification as to my rant.
Back to the subject, yesterday started out a heart thumping, exciting day. I blared the pre-game and fight songs in my car, wore gold eyeliner, and even had my nails done purple and yellow. I was representin’ hard. But, that is just how I do it. My mom and I parked undert the I-10 bridge by the Superdome for an easy get-a-way after the debauchery. We crossed the “Stairway to Heaven” and walked around the Superdome and down Poydras to our eventual destination of the Bud Light Tailgate Tent. We encountered as many vendors as fans on the street but that didn’t damper the mood. This is my city, I want people to spend their money! At the Bud Tent we ate roast beef poboys with coleslaw and onion rings (on the poboy of course, damn I love this city) and chicken and sausage jambalaya on the side. We drank free beer/wine and listened to a dj spin some oldies. Once we had our fill of free, we started walking.
The walk to the French Quarter from the Superdome, as any local will tell you, is not close or fun. You’re crossing streets, dodging construction, and that’s when the city isn’t swelled up to a few million drunk people. In other words, it was a blast on gameday. After a while, we made our way down Canal to Bourbon St. and our second destination, Fat Tuesdays on Bourbon. Finally, I got to sit down and have my first Jager bomb of the day. After that, I was all smiles. I laughed and joined in some sorority chicks “tiger baiting” Bama girls and talked it up with Bama fans about my friend posting a picture of the “crying Bama frat boy” on facebook. It was a grand ole time and one you couldn’t have in any other city.
As we walked the long two miles back to the dome, we ecountered more of both fans and I was surprised to see a lot of mixed tailgates. It turns out the fanbases are as similar as the teams themselves. On the way back to Kenner, I blasted 870 AM and listened to Bobby Hebert’s discussion and responses to callers. I have to say, the first part of the day was amazing. Then, I made the fateful decision to go home and shower before my pre-game partying. As a sports fan, and even as an athlete in my younger days, I am extremely superstitious. My nails were done the same way as the first game and I even had on the same underwear (washed, gutter brains). But, a few things were different. My t-shirt was a BCS shirt, and my veiwing venue and drink choice were different. I think, however, it was losing the downtown stench that really caused Les Miles to play JJ for all four quarters. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I watched as many games as I could this season and relished an undefeated regular season and SEC Championship. As a fan, I couldn’t ask for more. Well that’s not entirely true but since I refuse to acknowledge some things, it’s all I’m willing to fess up to. I am ridiculous when it comes to my football, but hey that’s me! As for this season, I will remember it as one of the greatest and I’ll wear my purple and gold as always, with immense pride. The first 12 hours of my day on January 9, 2012 will be remembered as some of the best, and the last 12 hours… well, let’s just say the Jager bomb and Bud Light did their jobs. The end hardly ever represents the journey and yesterday was just another example of that. But, I am a true fan to my soul and will be rooting for the Saints on Saturday with as much fevered anticipation. Don’t give up on something you love, because things rarely turn out the way you want. Sometimes, even on days you can barely get out of bed, you just have to geaux with the fleaux.