I survived Death Valley

25 Oct

That’s what LSU calls it’s football stadium.

GP is a grad student at LSU and managed to procure two tickets for us to go and watch the LSU Tigers beat up on the Auburn Tigers. Tigers versus Tigers. GP tells me that the LSU Tigers are the Bayou Bengals. Oh, honestly. Real tigers don’t live in bayous! Alligators do, and you can catch them there and then roast them while tailgating for the LSU v. Florida Gators game.

Speaking of tailgating, we did. Wow. Just wow. These people know how to do it right. But, to properly set the scene, let me tell you a little about my college experience. GP and I met at a small, private, liberal arts college out in west Texas. Our senior year there were 1152 full time students; I know this number because I was the student body treasurer that year. Our school wasn’t so much big on the football. In fact, our poor team didn’t win a game at all until my senior year. Well, I suppose technically we one a game my junior year, but only because our competition had to forfeit for some reason. So. Very few people went to football games, no one tailgated, and people certainly did not come in their RVs to tailgate and watch the game.

But they do at LSU. Every parking lot was turned into a purple tent city. People dressed in purple and gold were swarming like ants all over campus (some more than others, depending on the level of inebriation). People were blaring music, cooking good food, and watching other games on the TVs they had set up in the back of their SUVs. GP and I hung out with some friends in one of the dedicated RV parking lots.

I saw a lot of people wearing purple and gold striped pants or overalls, one guy wearing some sort of LSU themed fringed pajamas, and a woman drinking good wine through a straw. To each his own, I suppose.

After a bit of fun at the tailgate, we trekked on over to the stadium to watch the game. This place is huge. And loud. And people don’t sit down.

And despite having a lot of fun, I realized that I definitely no longer fit the undergrad mind set. It was the cheers that got me. One starts with the typical chanting of “L-S-U” while the band plays, but then ends with the most glorious sentiment: “Kick their ass!” Charming, no? The second cheer goes with some music from The Wizard of Oz. You know the bit where the bad guy army is marching and singing “oh-we-oh, we-oooh-oh”? Right, so at LSU, you sing along and inject some words like this: “oh-we-oh You suck! we-ooooh-oh You suck!” Fantastic. Apparently, the powers that be have been trying to change it to something less immature for awhile, but it just doesn’t stick. I wonder why drunken college students would be averse to yelling something else?

Also, things get spelled a bit differently down in Cajun Country:

The game was great (LSU won 31-10), the halftime show was a bunch of Van Halen songs (I couldn’t help but wonder how many in the band had ever heard those songs before playing them), and we had some fun friends around us. We’re going again next week, on Halloween, and we’re expected to be in costume. I have no idea what to do. Suggestions?

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