Wednesday, June 06, 2012

D-Day - June 6, 1944

LST on D-Day in Normandy, France - June 6, 1944

Landing Supplies at Normandy, France - June, 1944

General Eisenhower speaks to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne - June 5, 1944

D-Day assault routes into Normandy, France

View of the American Cemetery from the Memorial - Normandy, France

Omaha Beach from Normandy Cemetery - present day

National World War II Museum - New Orleans, Louisiana

D-Day - June 6, 1944

The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between Nazi Germany in Western Europe and the invading Allied forces as part of the larger conflict of World War II. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of northwest Europe, which began on June 6, 1944, and ended on August 19, 1944, when the Allies crossed the River Seine. Over sixty years later, the Normandy Invasion still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy. Operation Neptune was the codename given to the initial assault phase of Operation Overlord; its mission, to gain a foothold on the continent, started on June 6, 1944 (most commonly known by the name D-Day) and ended on June 30, 1944.

The primary Allied formations that saw combat in Normandy came from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada. Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, and an early morning amphibious phase began on June 6, 1944. The “D-Day” forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to establish, expand, and eventually break out of the Allied beachheads, and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944.

The Battle of Normandy was described thus by Adolf Hitler: “In the East, the vastness of space will... permit a loss of territory... without suffering a mortal blow to Germany’s chance for survival. Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds… consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time.”

Check out the article at Wikipedia.

Be sure to visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana for some exciting events going on today!

If you are interested in accurate D-Day and WWII history, I highly recommend the following books by Stephen Ambrose. He has written other WWII books, but those four are by far the most notable and my favorites:

The HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, inspired by Stephen Ambrose's book by the same title, is a must-see for any WWII history buff. I have found the series to be one of the most historically accurate movies made on the topic... I highly recommend checking it out!

There are MANY movies made in the WWII setting, check out World War II on Film at www.worldwar-2.net and the Wikipedia List of WWII Films.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

LSU's BCS loss is mocked in Le Krewe d’Etat Parade

LSU's BCS loss is mocked in Le Krewe d’Etat Parade

LSU's BCS loss is mocked in Le Krewe d’Etat Parade

Krewe of Zulu

Krewe of Zulu

Hail Bacchus!

Hail Bacchus!

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bathed in spring-like warmth and showered with trinkets, beads and music, New Orleans reveled in the excesses of Fat Tuesday.

A seemingly endless stream of costumed marching groups and ornately-decorated float parades led by make-believe royalty poured out of the Garden District, while the French Quarter filled up with thrill seekers expecting to see debauchery.

And they did.

Some in the Quarter had a sleepless night after Monday’s Lundi Gras prequel party. The drinking was in full swing again shortly after dawn, and with it came outrageous costumes and flesh-flashing that would continue until police make their annual attempt to break up the merrymaking at midnight, when Lent begins.

Tom White, 46, clad in a pink tutu, bicycled with his wife, Allison, to the French Quarter. “I’m the pink fairy this year,” he said. “Costuming is the real fun of Mardi Gras. I’m not too creative but when you weigh 200 pounds and put on a tutu people still take your picture.”

His wife was not in costume. “He’s disgraced the family enough,” she said.

Brittany Davies struggled with her friends through the morning, feeling the effects of heavy drinking from the night before.

“They’re torturing me,” the Denver woman joked. “But I’ll be OK after a bloody mary.”

Indeed, the theme of the day was party hard and often.

Wearing a bright orange wig, a purple mask and green shoes, New Orleans resident Charlotte Hamrick walked along Canal Street to meet friends.

“I’ll be in the French Quarter all day,” Hamrick said. “I don’t even go to the parades. I love to take pictures of all the costumes and just be with my friends. It’s so fun.”

Police reported no major incidents along the parade route.

Across the globe, people dressed up in elaborate costumes and partied the day away. In Rio de Janeiro, an estimated 850,000 tourists joined the city’s massive five-day blowout. Meanwhile, the Portuguese, who have suffered deeply in Europe’s debt crisis, defied a government appeal to keep working.

In New Orleans, the streets filled with hundreds of thousands of people.

The predominantly African-American Zulu krewe was the first major parade to hit the streets, shortly after 8 a.m. Most krewe members were in the traditional black-face makeup and the Afro wigs Zulu riders have sported for decades. They handed out the organization’s coveted decorated coconuts and other sought-after trinkets.vIn the oak-lined Garden District, clarinetist Pete Fountain led his Half-Fast Walking Club on its annual march to the French Quarter.

Fountain, 82, gave a thumbs-up to start off and his band launched into “When The Saints Go Marching In” as they rounded the corner onto St. Charles Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. It was the 52nd time that Fountain’s group has paraded for Mardi Gras. This year, the group wore bright yellow suits and matching pork pie hats for its theme, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

Costumes were the order of the day, ranging from the predictable to the bizarre.

Wearing a purple wig, New Orleans resident Juli Shipley carried a gallon of booze down Bourbon Street and filled her friends’ cups when they got low. “We’re going to wander all day and people-watch,” Shipley said. “That’s the best part of Mardi Gras — the costumes. They’re amazing.”

Partygoers were dressed as Wizard of Oz characters Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, bags of popcorn, pirates, super heroes, clowns, jesters, princesses and lots of homemade costumes with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

At New Orleans’ antebellum former city hall, Mayor Mitch Landrieu toasted Zulu’s monarchs and special guests. Among them was New Orleans native and former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young who was on a float with National Urban League President Marc Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans, his wife, Michelle, and their two children.

“It’s good to be home,” Young said. And saluting the good weather of the day, he added, “God always smiles on New Orleans when it needs it.”

After Zulu, the parade of Rex, king of Carnival, made its trek down St. Charles Avenue and to the city’s business district. Along the way, parade-goers pleaded for beads and colorful aluminum coins, known as doubloons.

Small groups of families and friends had parades of their own. The Skeleton Krewe, 25 people dressed in black skeleton outfits, wandered along the parade route, heading toward St. Louis Cathedral.

Along the parade route that follows the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, die-hards had staked out prime parade-watching spots as early as Monday. Some had a Carnival-esque tailgate party under way early.

Stephanie Chapman and her family claimed their usual spot about 4 a.m. Tuesday and would be staying for the duration.

“This is a beautiful day and we’ll be here until it’s over. It won’t rain on my parade, but if it does I won’t pay any attention,” she said.

Rain stayed away and temperatures were in the 70s. As the day wore on and drinking intensified, the combination encouraged raunchy acts in the French Quarter, where women bared flesh in pleadings for beads tossed to the street by revelers on balconies.

By midafternoon, some folks were tuckered out.

Alison Scott, 35, of New Orleans, was part of a group that had a small city of tents and canopies set up at Lee Circle. She and her family had been coming to the spot for about 40 years. “Believe me, I’m always glad to get here and then I’m always glad to go home,” she said.

Her 6-year-old daughter, Shannon, was asleep nearby under a blanket of beads.

“She just pooped out. This is the first time she’s stopped. She’s been so excited all day,” Scott said.

In the Cajun country of southwest Louisiana, masked riders went from town to town, making merry along the way in the Courir du Mardi Gras. And parades were scheduled elsewhere around Louisiana and on the Gulf coasts of Mississippi and Alabama.

The celebration arrived in Louisiana in 1682 when the explorer LaSalle and his party stopped at a place they called Bayou Mardi Gras south of New Orleans to celebrate.

Parading and street revelry would give way to Mardi Gras’ elegant side, with the lavish and private grand balls of the Rex and Comus krewes on Tuesday night signaling the traditional end of the celebration.

Mardi Gras gives way to the beginning of Lent, the period of fasting and repentance before Easter Sunday.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

Happy Mardi Gras!!! Hat's off to Le Krewe d’Etat for rubbing more salt in our wounds!

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Game of the Century - Part Deux!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!! Sean Peyton agrees!!!

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!! Lee Corso agrees!!!

Around the Bowl and Down the Hole, Roll Tide Roll!

NEW ORLEANS — The Southeastern Conference cordially invites you to watch the crowning of its sixth consecutive BCS champion.

No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama will meet Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to signal the end of the college football season, much as the Kings of Rex and Comus traditionally meet amid much pomp and circumstance just a few miles away to signal the end of Mardi Gras.

In this case, it is college football royalty meeting in a game for which ticket demand is greater than anyone around here can ever remember witnessing. A huge television audience on ESPN figures to tune in to watch the schools that have the most postseason appearances in New Orleans — No. 15 for the Tigers and No. 14 for the Crimson Tide.

It’s LSU and Alabama meeting for the 76th time, for the first time for a national championship and for the second time in 66 days.

“The LSU-Alabama game has become a good rivalry,” LSU safety Eric Reid said, “so why not play for a national championship?”

And why not play it in the Superdome, traditional home to the SEC champion as home team in the Sugar Bowl as this BCS title game features conference rivals — not to mention West Division rivals — for the first time?

This game will settle a score that wasn’t quite settled when the No. 1 Tigers edged the No. 2 Tide 9-6 in overtime Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in one of the most-hyped regular-season games ever.

“Nobody has played a game like we have when it comes to being up to the hype — that’s for LSU and for Alabama,” Tide running back Trent Richardson said.

“For us to be from the SEC and the same division, that tells you a lot about our football. Alabama-LSU — that’s just the powerhouse teams right now.”

LSU and Alabama. Again. For the BCS championship, what will be either the Tigers’ third in nine seasons or the Tide’s second in three.

An LSU victory would allow it to stake a claim as one of college football’s greatest teams. A Bama win would make the Tigers one of the most ballyhooed nonchampions ever and renew debate about the validity of the BCS system.

Guard Will Blackwell said the Tigers “kind of have the chip on our shoulder” about having to face the Tide again.

“We went to Tuscaloosa, and we beat them and they get another shot,” he said. “We don’t necessarily see that as fair. We kind of feel like if it were the other way around we wouldn’t be getting this opportunity. But it is what it is; you can’t change it. We’ll accept this challenge head on like we would any other team. We’re just glad we get to play them in New Orleans this time.”

Alabama won national titles in the Sugar Bowl following the 1978, 1979 and 1992 seasons, while the Tigers won BCS titles in Sugar Bowl after the 2003 season and the National Championship Game after the 2007 campaign.

“Whenever the BCS Championship Game is in New Orleans, LSU wins it,” Tigers defensive end Sam Montgomery said. “It’s tradition.”

The November meeting featured national-championship intensity and physicality — “definitely the most physical game I’ve ever been a part of,” Bama guard Barrett Jones said, echoing the sentiments of players from both teams.

A similar bruising battle is expected, though perhaps with a tad more points this time.

“We have to get in the end zone this time,” Tigers running back Spencer Ware said. “It’s a must.”

One visit to the end zone might be all either team needs to bring home the crystal football that is emblematic of college football supremacy.

Bama has the No. 1 defense in the country, LSU has the No. 2 defense and both defenses set the tone in the first meeting. The inability of either team to get in the end zone left it to the place-kickers to handle the scoring, and LSU’s Drew Alleman was 3-for-3 while Bama’s Jeremy Shelley and Cade Foster were a combined 2-for-6 in the most glaring difference in the first meeting.

“If you want a game that’s going to be 45-to-something, put somebody else in the game,” Richardson said, “but if you want a close ballgame that’s going to be well played and be a slugfest — the one thing you’re always going to get out of us is hard-nosed football.”

These teams mirror and respect one another, but they don’t particularly like one another.

“Not at all,” Blackwell said. “They’re Alabama, and we’re LSU. We have to go through each other to win the division. We have to go through each other to win the SEC. This year, we have to go through each other to win the national championship.”

The Tigers (13-0) were the only undefeated team in the regular season and beat eight ranked teams, including the No. 2 Tide and two No. 3s — Oregon and Arkansas. The Tide was dominant in 11 victories and worked its way back to No. 2 after the loss to LSU, thanks to losses by Stanford and Oklahoma State.

“I feel like, if we win this game, we’ll be one of the best teams there ever was,” Blackwell said, “just because of the strength of schedule and the simple fact of having to play them twice in one season.”

These teams have seemed destined all along to meet in this game, in this building, guaranteeing the SEC its sixth consecutive BCS title as soon as the pairing was announced 36 days ago. A rematch was discussed before the first game was even played.

“I guess, if you had to pick two teams for that particular scenario, there would be no two better than LSU and Alabama,” Blackwell said. “There’s a lot of tradition and pride and honor that goes into winning this game.”

Check out the article at The Advocate.

2012 BCS Championship! Geaux Tigers!!! Riding High!!!

NEW ORLEANS — If LSU beats Alabama on Monday in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game, the questions will immediately begin about the Tigers’ place among the all-time great teams.

LSU would become the first team ever to beat nine ranked opponents in one season and the first team since Notre Dame in 1943 with four wins against top-five opponents (No. 2 Alabama twice, No. 3 Oregon, No. 3 Arkansas).

The Tigers would also become the first program to win three BCS championships. If Alabama wins, it would join LSU (2003, 2007) and Florida (2006, 2008) with two each. The Crimson Tide also won in 2009.

LSU has already beaten the winners of the Rose Bowl (Oregon), the Orange Bowl (West Virginia), the Cotton Bowl (Arkansas), the Gator Bowl (Florida), the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Auburn) and the Music City Bowl (Mississippi State). The Tigers, also, have already beaten the other team in the national title game, Alabama.

Youth Not Served?

The Tigers are trying to make school history as well Monday. With a win, they would become the first LSU team ever to go 14-0.

At Alabama, 14-0 was done two years ago. The school claims 13 national championships. So Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will try to do history all by himself — so to speak.

McCarron, a third-year sophomore, can become the first sophomore or freshman to ever lead a team to victory in a BCS championship game since the BCS began with the 1998 season.

Both of LSU’s titles were won with upperclassmen at quarterback: junior Matt Mauck in the 2003 season and senior Matt Flynn in 2007.

Drew the Greek?

LSU fans have to be hoping New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is as good picking winners as he is picking apart opposing defenses.

Brees was asked after his team’s 45-28 playoff victory Saturday night over the Detroit Lions who he likes between LSU and Alabama in Monday’s Allstate BCS National Championship Game.

“I’ve got to go with LSU again,” said Brees, who threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns to scorch the Lions. “They’re the local team.”

Brees said he picked the Tigers in their Nov. 5 game at Bama as well.

“Won a little money off Roman Harper,” said Brees, referring to the Saints and former Crimson Tide defensive back. “I hope I can do that again.”

Meanwhile, Saints and former LSU wide receiver Devery Henderson will be back in the Superdome on Monday for the BCS game.

“I feel pretty confident,” said Henderson, who helped LSU win the BCS title eight years ago against Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl.

“Hopefully, my Tigers will come to play,” Henderson said. “If that’s the case, hopefully, it will be an easy win.”

Miles, Mathieu, Moms

Alabama TV reporter Sara Jane Harris got a surprised reaction from LSU coach Les Miles at Sunday’s final pre-BCS news conference when she told him she heard Tigers cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was researching the names of the Alabama players’ mothers to try to help him get in their heads Monday.

“That would be news to me,” said Miles, whose reply drew laughter from the packed assembly of reporters and cameramen. “Gamesmanship is one thing. I think that might be a touch much.”

Saban and Dumb Luck

Alabama and former LSU coach Nick Saban rarely gets enough credit for being an engrossing storyteller when he wants to be.

One story he never tires of telling is the one he tells on himself when he was coaching the Tigers in the 2001 Southeastern Conference Championship Game against Tennessee.

With LSU trailing No. 2 Tennessee 14-7, Saban decided to go for it on fourth-and-inches at the Tigers’ 29-yard line. LSU didn’t get it, and the Volunteers kicked a field goal to go up 17-7 at halftime.

“For the next five minutes of the game, I was like in la-la land, like, ‘Why did you do that? That’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done,’” Saban recalled. “My wife (Terry) even told me, ‘That’s the dumbest call I’ve seen you make.’”

Still, LSU rallied to win 31-20 for its first SEC title since 1988. Walking off the field afterward, Saban’s seniors told him it was the most important decision of the game.

“I said, ‘Really?’ They said, ‘Yeah, because when you did that, we really thought we could win.’

“So even sometimes the dumbest things you do, you never know how people are going to respond to them. And that was one of the dumb ones. … There’s many more in between, incidentally.”

Big 12 Refs to Call Game

An officiating crew from the Big 12 Conference will call the BCS championship game.

It was also a Big 12 crew that called the last BCS title showdown in New Orleans four years ago between LSU and Ohio State.

Entergy Light Show

Entergy is planning a BCS, LSU and New Orleans-themed light show which will be projected on one side of their 28-story headquarters adjacent to the Superdome.

The 12-story-high projections will include images, a BCS welcome message and a continuously updated scoreboard during the game.

The Last Word

“I expect it to be big-boy football. And I’d expect it to be very, very physical.” -Miles on the BCS Championship Game

Check out the article at The Advocate.

This game has such an epic feel to it... Geaux Tigers!!! BEAT BAMA!!! BEAT SABAN!!!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

THANK YOU Veterans!!!

Veterans Day 2011

Veterans Day 2011

For 92 years, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has been a remembrance of those who served America in time of war.

But the Nov. 11 Veterans Day commemoration began as a day to celebrate peace — the silencing of the guns of World War I, "The Great War," which claimed the lives of more than 15 million soldiers and civilians.

On that day in 1918, at the 11th hour, Germany signed an armistice with the Allied Powers — including the U.S., France, Britain, Japan and Italy — ending major hostilities in a war that nearly wiped out a generation of men.

A full peace was concluded the next year in France at the Palace of Versailles, and the first Armistice Day was proclaimed and celebrated by President Woodrow Wilson on the anniversary of the ceasefire: Nov. 11, 1919.

It was fully established by Congress as a legal holiday in 1938.

But Armistice Day honored veterans of only World War I, essentially ignoring millions of soldiers who served in peacetime or fought in World War II, Korea and other engagements.

So in 1954 Congress extended the holiday to honor all vets, giving it the name Veterans Day, which it has kept for 55 years.

Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are some 23.2 million veterans in the United States. That includes 2.6 million who served during World War II, 2.8 million who served in the Korean War, 7.8 million in the Vietnam War, 5.2 million in the Gulf War and about 1.7 million who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nearly 120,000 are still stationed in Iraq, and about 68,000 will be deployed in Afghanistan by the end of the year, according to the Census.

Just one American veteran who served in World War I is still alive: 108-year-old Frank Buckles, who drove ambulances in England and France after enlisting at the age of 16. Buckles also fought in World War II and was taken prisoner by the Japanese.

Check out the article at Fox News.

Always honor our veterans... they have fought for our freedom and deserve our respect at all times!

For some more very interesting history and personal accounts of WWII, I highly recommend Band of Brothers, Pegasus Bridge, D-Day June 6, 1944, and Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose

Be sure to check out the Patriotic Fact Sheet at the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

Check out today's Google art:

Google Veterans Day 2011

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Friday, November 04, 2011

Saban Bowl V

Around the Bowl and Down the Hole, Roll Tide Roll!
Around the Bowl and Down the Hole... Roll Tide Roll!

Geaux Tigers!  BEAT SABAN!

RUN Saban RUN!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

Beat Saban the Sell-Out!Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban the Sell-Out!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Honey Badger Takes What He Wants!!! Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

Honey Badger Takes What He Wants!!! Geaux Tigers! Beat Saban!

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- The LSU and Alabama showdown promises to be a throwback of old-school football.

Both the top-ranked and barely-tested Tigers, and No. 2 and mostly-unchallenged Alabama are built on power runs and run-stuffing defenses in a time when spread offenses are en vogue and huddles are optional.

“If you want to see 1970s smashmouth,” Alabama tight end Michael Williams said, “then this is what you want to see right here.”

Yes, Saturday night’s game will have a retro look to it.

The vintage philosophies make this one reminiscent of an old Oklahoma-Nebraska or Alabama-Penn State clash. And like those teams, this year’s edition of the Crimson Tide and Tigers - both 8-0 with five Southeastern Conference wins - have racked up double-digit victories.

But neither Alabama’s Nick Saban nor LSU’s Les Miles is bringing the wishbone back in fashion.

Hitting, and hitting hard, well, that is certainly allowed - even mandatory.

“It’s a type of game that ... you don’t necessarily see too often nowadays,” LSU offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert said. “It is a little more old-school, so I think that’ll be something fun to watch for the fans.”

LSU’s Jarrett Lee - supplemented by the more mobile Jordan Jefferson - and Alabama sophomore AJ McCarron have been the league’s most efficient quarterbacks for the top two scoring offenses. However, Alabama ranks 66th nationally in passing offense, LSU 99th.

The Tigers, who have won on five of their last seven visits to Bryant-Denny, do have a significant deep threat in receiver Rueben Randle. The Tide counters with more of a catch-and-run type in speedy Marquis Maze.

Former Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was opposite Saban and Alabama in a pair of 1 vs. 2, SEC championship game matchups, figures McCarron is going to have to hit Maze or some other receiver downfield.

“LSU is going to put nine guys (near the line of scrimmage) and try to stop Trent Richardson, and they have the corners to do it,” said Meyer, now an ESPN analyst who will be in Tuscaloosa with College GameDay. “At the end of the day, for Alabama to score they are going to have to throw it over the top and challenge those LSU corners.”

What fans will see:

- A test of wills. Compact, powerful backs Trent Richardson of Alabama and LSU’s Spencer Ware will be running between the tackles into defensive fronts that typically yield little ground.

Meyer isn’t sure that strategy alone will work for the Tigers.

“LSU is more traditional now,” he said. “They have big backs and they’re going to turn and hand the ball to them and that’s going to play right into Alabama’s hands.

“So I think they’re going to have to come up with a trick play or two.”

- Playmakers on defense. An all-star defender making big tackles, forcing a timely turnover or just laying a resounding hit on some unsuspecting player. For Alabama, the likely candidates include linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower, and All-America safety Mark Barron. For LSU, it might be ball-stripping Tyrann Mathieu, fellow cornerback Morris Claiborne or pass rushers Barkevious Mingo or Sam Montgomery.

- Coaching eruptions. It might come from the ultra-intense, scowling Saban or Miles with his penchant for making seemingly odd gambles pay off.

With both teams coming off open dates, the hype around the game has been frenzied. Alabama’s Williams has heard plenty from friends and family.

“Of course, 1 vs. 2, game of the century and all that type of stuff,” he said. “You’ve got to put out the mental clutter.”

Which isn’t to say Williams isn’t embracing the hype, even while some teammates downplayed it with that “just another game” spiel.

“This is what you come to Alabama for,” the tight end said. “Great opportunity for some players. I know the atmosphere will be crazy. This is what you want to play in. It will be one for the ages.”

It puts the spotlight on a community that was devastated by a deadly tornado in April but has received a regular Saturday pick-me-up from the Tide this fall.

“Every time we have a major event here, I think it makes people feel more and more normal about the way things are going,” Saban said.

This certainly qualifies as major.

If the game lives up to its billing and ends up close, the loser’s national championship aspirations might not be totally diminished. The loser could have an outside shot at a January rematch in New Orleans that really is for the title.

Miles isn’t thinking about that though, he’s content for now to relish a brisk fall Saturday night when temperatures are expected to dip into the 40s. He’s practically poetic about it.

“How wonderful it is in college football that you have two quality teams that represent two great institutions that will take their best effort to the field to decide something that is difficult, clean and pure as a contest,” Miles said. “How wonderful it is for the region to be able to look and enjoy the time of celebration of hard work and team values.

“The school wins, the team wins and the state wins. It is a beautiful time. “

And fans will have a menu of stars to enjoy.

There’s a Heisman Trophy candidate in Richardson, who has scored 18 touchdowns on a team that has yielded a third of that total.

Mathieu drew early Heisman buzz, too. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder with an uncanny knack for big plays has forced an LSU career record nine fumbles in just under two seasons.

Cornerback bookends Claiborne and Alabama’s Maze are also two of the SEC’s most dangerous kick returners.

With that kind of talent on the field, Saban predicts the game will likely come down to turnovers or special teams.

Neither team makes back-breaking mistakes, but LSU hardly makes any - period. The Tigers didn’t commit a turnover in October and have forced 18 this season; they have scored touchdowns on half of the resulting drives.

“Their turnover ratio is off the charts, in terms of their defense and their ball-hawking style of play,” Saban said. “They have lots of guys on defense who can make plays.”

Then again, so does Alabama. LSU’s Hebert said it’s harder for a team to impose its will on such a physical opponent.

“That’s a kind of style where if you can’t physically match up you’re going to find it very hard to be successful,” he said. “And that’s what’s so special about this next game is that both teams physically match up against each other very well.”

Check out the article at The Advocate.

Another year, another epic SEC battle pitting LSU against Alabama on national TV... this one's been dubbed "The Game of the Century!!!" Games like this are why College Football is SO MUCH better than the NFL!

Geaux Tigers!!! BEAT BAMA!!! BEAT SABAN!!!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Iron Maiden's Eddie as the Grim Reaper

The Headless Horseman

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Check out the article at History.com.

Halloween is the best holiday of the year!!!

Geaux Tigers!!!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 LSU Nike Pro Combat Uniform

LSU Nike Pro Combat Uniform 2011

LSU Nike Pro Combat Uniform 2011

LSU Nike Pro Combat Uniform 2011

LSU Nike Pro Combat Uniform 2011

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

BATON ROUGE - LSU along with eight other top college football programs will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2011-12 season.

On Oct. 22, LSU will wear its 2011 Nike Pro Combat System of Dress uniforms for the first and only time when it plays host to defending BCS National Champion Auburn at Tiger Stadium.

Today, LSU revealed the design of the uniform to the public. The uniform design includes a white helmet with the traditional LSU Tigers helmet logo on each side; "old gold" and purple run from front to back and faint Tiger stripes are integrated into the helmet design.

The white jerseys will also include "old gold" piping around the shoulder pads and more subtle Tiger stripes within the purple numerals.

White pants, white and gold-toned shoes, "Eyes of the Tiger" gloves, and an LSU Tiger-themed under-layer complete the uniform design.

LSU's Nike Pro Combat merchandise went on sale to the public on Oct. 10. Fans may purchase this gear at the LSU SportShop on the school's campus or online at LSU Shop.net

Along with LSU, the schools selected to sport the special uniforms include Army, Boise State, Georgia, Michigan State, Navy, Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford.

LSU also helped Nike unveil its latest technology in 2009 when the Tigers faced Arkansas.

Check out the article at LSU Sports.

Sweet looking uniforms!

GEAUX TIGERS!!!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

America Marks 10 Years Since 9/11

Never Forget 9-11

World Trade Center

World Trade Center

Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary - United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the World Trade Center

Never Forget 9-11
Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary - South Tower Collapse
Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary - North Tower Collapse

Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary

Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary

Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary

Never Forget 9-11 - 10th Anniversary

NEW YORK – Americans gather Sunday to pray at cathedrals in their greatest cities and to lay roses before fire stations in their smallest towns, remembering the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Around the world, many others will do something similar because so much changed for them on that day, too.

Ten years has arrived since 3,000 were killed at the hands of a global terror network when terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed into a field in rural western Pennsylvania.

On Sunday, bells will toll. Americans will see new memorials in lower Manhattan, rural Pennsylvania and elsewhere, symbols of a resolve to remember and rebuild.

But much of the weight of this year's ceremonies lies in what will largely go unspoken. There's the anniversary's role in prompting Americans to consider how the attacks affected them and the larger world and the continuing struggle to understand 9/11's place in the lore of the nation.

"A lot's going on in the background," said Ken Foote, author of "Shadowed Ground: America's Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy," examining the role that veneration of sites of death and disaster plays in modern life. "These anniversaries are particularly critical in figuring out what story to tell, in figuring out what this all means. It forces people to figure out what happened to us."

On Saturday in rural western Pennsylvania, more than 4,000 people began to tell the story again.

At the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial near the town of Shanksville, former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden joined the families of the 40 passengers and crew aboard the jet who fought back against their hijackers.

"The moment America's democracy was under attack our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote," Bush said. Their choice cost them their lives.

The passengers and crew gave "the entire country an incalculable gift: They saved the Capitol from attack," an untold amount of lives and denied al-Qaida the symbolic victory of "smashing the center of American government," Clinton said.

They were "ordinary people given no time at all to decide and they did the right thing," he said.

"And 2,500 years from now, I hope and pray to God that people will still remember this."

The Pennsylvania memorial park is years from completion. But the dedication and a service to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks are critical milestones, said Sally Ware, one of the volunteer "ambassadors" who has worked as a guide at the site since the disaster.

Ware, whose home was rocked when the jet crashed two miles away, recalled how hundreds of people flocked to the site in the days afterward to leave their own mementos and memorials. She began volunteering after finding one along the roadside -- a red rose placed atop a flight attendant's uniform.

"It really bothered me. I thought someone has to take care of this," said Ware, whose daughter is a flight attendant.

Now, a decade later, she said the memorial may do little to ease the grief of the families of those who died in the crash.

But the weekend's ceremonies recall a story with far broader reach. The ceremonies honor those who "fought the first battle against terrorism -- and they won," Ware said. "It's something I don't want to miss. It's become a part of my life."

On Sunday, the focus turns to ceremonies at the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C., and in lower Manhattan for the dedication of the national Sept. 11 memorial. President Barack Obama planned to attend events at the sites and was to speak at a Sunday evening service at the Kennedy Center.

The New York ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m., with a moment of silence 16 minutes later -- coinciding with the exact time when the first tower of the trade center was struck by a hijacked jet.

And then, one by one, the reading of the names of the 2,977 killed on Sept. 11 -- in New York, at the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania.

And so arrives a Sunday dedicated to remembrance, with hundreds of ceremonies across the country and around the globe -- from a memorial Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to a ceremony featuring nine-stories-tall replicas of the twin towers on a plaza in Paris.

Check out the article at Fox News.

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since this travesty.

NEVER FORGET!!!

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