Each week I (Matt) will highlight my LSU gameday experience as I find the Best Places to Watch the Tigers. To request that Matt attend your party, or to suggest Best Places to Watch The Tigers: email email@example.com.
I woke up Saturday morning feeling that perhaps I had consumed one cup of wine too many Friday night – one too many considering I was running a race, that is.
Like a number of other LSU students, I was starting my morning with the Play Dirty Adventure Trail Run at the Baton Rouge Fair Grounds. It was muddy. It was dirty. And it proved to be more foreshadowing than I was hoping in regards to the Tigers’ play in the first half.
My girlfriend was house sitting for a wealthy couple (with a nice pool), who – however naively – mentioned allowing us to invite some friends over. I spared no time in taking them up on the offer: Soon more than a few half naked, extremely muddy Adventure Trail Runners were planning on having a few cold ones, relaxing by the pool and watching the Tigers romp on the Idaho Vandals.
The only problem was that, a number of months before the season, major television networks assumed LSU would murder the Vandals, like Alabama murdered Arkansas (52-0), and so they decided not to televise the atrocity on national television. It actually happens all the time. So LSU has this thing called Tiger Vision, where they televise the game on Pay-Per-View via this particular Tiger Vision network.
We assumed they had the game – and we all know what assuming does – to you and me.
The party was cancelled, but only after I awoke from trying to watch Alabama and Arkansas. In other words, the game was starting and I was recently out of a Best Place to Watch The Tigers.
Time to improvise: we panicked. Then we got in the car and drove to the nearest place with the game: Brew-Bachers. It’s pretty typical for a local burger joint. What wasn’t typical was the complete silence when I walked in.
Not a single table was open, and every eye was on a television. I knew we were late in getting there for the game, so I could tell by the body language of the crowd – composed largely of older people – that this wasn’t ideal.
The score was: LSU 21, Idaho 14.
Never mind that LSU had controlled the game thus far. It wasn’t ideal because LSU had allowed the unworthy (even for television) opponent to march down the field and score and then return an interception 94 yards for what would turn into a touchdown.
This was still subpar.
What was also subpar was that I was still standing. So I immediately bought a pitcher of beer and proceeded to make myself at home with a debatably homosexual female couple (a friend wondered about that, I disagreed), aged approximately 65.
Karen and Julie.
They each took turns filling their glasses to the “one-quarter” mark with Bud-Light and thanking me profusely. It was cute.
I introduced myself to the rest of the people I had stepped over to reach the only few empty chairs in the place and mimicked the rest of Brew-Bachers staring at the game.
It wasn’t long after that moment that Zach Mettenburger hit Jarvis Landry for an 8 yard touchdown (after an easy drive). The place erupted. Karen and Julie screamed (in my ear). Old men whooped and cheered in a collective unison that could never be achieved in a field of tailgaters. The entire place went wild as they briefed sigh of relief. It appeared the Tigers would soon resume their position of complete domination.
And they did.
Not long after half-time, Lavar Edwards blocked a pass from Idaho’s Dominique Blackman, caught it, and stumbled his way 23 yards for a touchdown. He was now the second Tiger to return an interception for a touchdown (Ronald Martin returned one 45 yards in the 2nd quarter), something that hadn’t been done since 1991, when the Tigers took on Arkansas St.
The defense looked good.
And so did some of the Idaho female fans the camera often cut to before commercials.
“Would you look at those hotties! We wouldn’t mind letting some of them come down to LSU!” an older “gentleman” behind me said, perhaps a little too loudly.
I didn’t turn around to see what was going on, but it did bring to mind a public, a run-in I had had with Vandal female last year when I was in Lewiston, ID, where Idaho University is located.
It was about midnight. I was standing in line at the grocery, admiring the blonde coed attempting to buy beer in front of me.
“What’s up man!” she turned around and shouted at me.
“Oh not much, out for a midnight snack,” I smiled at her, she was clearly intoxicated.
“Me too,” she broke out into intense laughter and tried to lift the 30-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon off the cashier’s conveyor belt. The block of beer refused to move and she almost fell into me. I stabilized her.
“Welcome to Idaho University,” I said sarcastically, figuring she was a sort of student.
“Thanks!” she was pleased I had realized her status. “We’re the Partiest girls in the nation!”
By now it was past time for her to check out and the cashier was informing her politely. She fumbled around with a red leather purse and eventually managed to pay, lift the beer, and stumble out of the store to one of her friends.
Now I don’t know what the adjective “partiest” implies, but I can only guess that it is part of the reason for the international stereotype that, as one Austrian man informed me one evening while I was in London, “all American girls vant to do is vrap theer legs around vour face.”
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “And so it goes.”
Idaho University may compete with LSU for Best Places to Watch The Tigers, but they surely couldn’t maintain the façade of competing with LSU on the football field.
ESPN quoted Zach Mettenberger in their recap of the game: “That slow start in the first half I put on myself,” Mettenberger said. “We knew that my mistake really cost us in the first half and we knew we just had to go out and play LSU football in the second half and turn things around.”
And that was basically it. The second half was domination by the Tigers, as evidenced by the final score of 63-14.
With a Southern California loss to Stanford, that should put LSU in the No. 2 spot.
All there is to do now is hope head coach Les Miles was right when he said that his Tigers would learn from the game and move forward; because let’s not forget, I had fallen asleep watching Alabama shut out a top-25 Arkansas team earlier in the day.
Banks of the Bayou >> Best Places To Watch The Tigers, Recapping LSU vs. Washington Gameday