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

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!!!

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

Halloween is the best holiday of the year!!!

Geaux Tigers!!!

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

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!


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.


Monday, September 05, 2011

Still Strong, Still True, Still LSU!!!

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

LSU Football 2011 - Geaux Tigers

ARLINGTON, Texas - Change the season.

Change the venue.

Change the team.

Same. Old. Song.

And if you’re an LSU fan, and by proxy a Southeastern Conference fan, it is yet another victory in yet another big non-conference game with BCS implications that sounds just as sweet.


This is the sound that Oregon fans will have ringing in their ears all the way back to the West Coast. It’s the same taunt they heard in Glendale, Ariz., eight months ago when their Ducks lost the BCS National Championship Game to Auburn.

New opponent. New places. New names. Old potent weapons in Oregon’s high-tech Nike-designed Batman-esque garb like LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, weapons LSU’s offense in stodgy old white jerseys didn’t possess.

It was like it didn’t matter. It was like Oregon’s preseason No. 3 ranking didn’t happen. It was like the good old times for No. 4 LSU after a bad, bad offseason.

It may be rainy in Baton Rouge. It may have been gloomy for the last month or two.

But with Nike’s Phil Knight watching, it was a dark night for Oregon as the Tigers pounded out a 40-27 victory that included a completely cosmetic final touchdown for the Ducks with :13 left.

The Tigers looked at times like a power-hitting outfielder in baseball. There were swings and misses, screwing themselves comically into the ground.

But when Oregon left the ball fat and over the plate, the Tigers knocked it out of Tiger, er, Cowboys Stadium (the place was three-fourths LSU fans), smashing out a few of the massive end zone windows in the process.

How good is Oregon? Won’t know for weeks. How good is LSU? There are more tough tests to come.

But this is what good teams do: the Tigers turned four Oregon turnovers into 21 points. One was on a spectacular fumble recovery by Tyrann Mathieu (does he make any other kind of play?) when LSU’s offense was struggling. Then the Tigers took two De’Anthony Thomas fumbles and used them as fuel for a 14-0 third-quarter burst.

There was still a quarter to play, but at that point the Ducks were cooked.

Credit Jarrett Lee for doing a credible job at quarterback and for tight end Deangelo Peterson (four catches) for being such an attractive target. Credit Spencer Ware and Michael Ford (combined 195 yards rushing, 3 TDs) for wearing Oregon out.

Credit that gritty LSU defense for keeping a jittery Thomas out of his comfort zone all night.

Before the game, the questions were how would LSU be able to hang without the suspended do of Jordan Jefferson and Russell Shepard.

Then they hung 40 on Oregon. Could LSU have expected to fare any better if they had played?

Change is inevitable and sometimes good. But it hasn’t come to college football yet.

Not on this first weekend anyway.

Not on LSU’s watch.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

Great game played by two great teams... but the PAC just can't keep up! Man, I sure do love me some roast duck!!!

Now, after a cupcake or two, it's on to the real competition... regular season in the SEC!


Saturday, September 03, 2011

#4 LSU faces #3 Oregon in the 2011 Cowboys Classic!!!

LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

Jarrett Lee gets the start - LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

Tyrann Mathieu is a beast! - LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

Duck Hunt - LSU vs Oregon - 2011 Cowboys Classic

Third-ranked Oregon and No. 4 LSU have been two of the most talked-about football teams for several months. Sometimes the fact they’re playing each other to open the season Saturday night in Cowboys Stadium has even entered the conversation.

Both teams have made headlines for players running afoul of the law, getting suspended or ruled ineligible, and being involved in NCAA investigations or sanctions, and more.

But now it’s all about the start of the college season, and the Ducks and Tigers are the marquee matchup of Week 1.

“There has never been another game where I have wanted to play more to get stuff out of the way than this one,” LSU center P.J. Lonergan said. “So much has been going on, so much talk about all kinds of different things. I want to go out and play this game and get everybody on a positive note and get this negativity behind us.”

The Tigers have spent much of preseason practice trying to simulate the Ducks’ fast-paced offense in which they try to snap the ball six to eight seconds after the previous play ends. Oregon averaged nearly 50 points per game last season.

Quarterback Derron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, the leading rusher in the country last season, are LSU’s top concerns.

“These guys run like track players, but they’re agile like basketball players,” defensive end Sam Montgomery said. “They can move very quickly between two yards.”

Defensive tackle Michael Brockers said the key to defending Oregon’s spread option scheme is for the interior linemen to get into the backfield as Auburn did in slowing down the Ducks to win the BCS Championship, 22-19, in January. Those Tigers limited Oregon to 75 yards on 32 rushes.

Another way for LSU to slow down the Ducks would be for its offense to keep the ball away from them as much as possible.

“We really want to control the tempo, and we also want to put up points,” guard Will Blackwell said. “The longer we have the ball, the less they have the ball.”

If LSU can run the ball effectively that will lessen the burden of quarterback Jarrett Lee and an inexperienced group of receivers. Lee ascended to the starter’s position just eight days ago after Jordan Jefferson was suspended after being charged with second-degree battery. Two days before that, Russell Shepard, one of just two receivers with significant playing experience, was declared ineligible for violating an NCAA regulation.

“Obviously your preparation has to change slightly because they’re a little bit different players,” Ducks coach Chip Kelly said of LSU’s quarterbacks. “But LSU is not going to change its entire offense. I don’t think they’ll have a drop-off because I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen of Jarrett.”

Lee, a fifth-year senior who hasn’t started a game since 2009, is 5-4 as a starter.

“I’ve played in big games before,” Lee said. “It’s not like I’m coming into the first team and everything is new to me. I’ve been working with these guys for a long time.”

Lee is less of a running threat than Jefferson is, but he said he feels more nimble after losing 20 pounds since the end of last season.

“I expect a lot out of Jarrett Lee,” coach Les Miles said. “He’s looking forward, and so are we, to seeing him play a full game from start to finish. I expect him to operate the offense better than he ever has.”?

Lee won’t have to face Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris, who had six interceptions and 17 pass breakups last season. Harris, who was second in the country with an average of 18.83 yards per punt return last season, was suspended for this game in June after being ticketed for driving 118 mph on the interstate.

This game also marks LSU offensive line coach Greg Studrawa’s first game as the acting offensive coordinator. Studrawa took on the play-calling duties at the start of preseason camp when it was revealed that former coordinator Steve Kragthorpe would be limited to quarterbacks coach duties after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Kragthorpe will coach alongside Studrawa in the press box.

That’s another of the many unexpected developments that have confronted these teams on their way to this game.

One thing has not changed amid all the recent turmoil - rarely has a game on Labor Day weekend featured as much significance to the BCS title hunt as this one does.

“We’ve put a lot of work and effort into putting ourselves into position to play quality football games and play for championships,” Miles said, “and there are so many things that can derail and distract a team along those lines. I think we’re all really looking forward to playing on Saturday night. I think our team is ready for football.”

Check out the article at the The ADvocate.

If you 'geaux' to Oregon-LSU, here's what you should know

While the LSU Tigers and Oregon Ducks sort out their personnel groupings and matchups, in light of all the offseason suspensions, let’s talk about the LSU people who aren’t listed on the school’s depth chart.

Let’s talk about the people you’ll meet if you go to the game next weekend in Arlington, Texas — the LSU fans.

These are people who conduct tailgating practice every summer. I’m talking about tailgating practice.

They will yell "Tiger bait!" at you if you walk past them in green and yellow. They might even call you a tree-hugging, dope-smoking liberal. But if they have any jambalaya or red beans and rice to spare, they’ll invite you over.

These folks can cook. If you think seasoning means a dash of salt, think again. Start with the holy trinity of Cajun cooking — chopped onions, bell pepper and celery — and get ready to work your way on — quickly — to the strong stuff.

I’ve got two words for you: Cayenne pepper.

Now I’ve really got two words for you: Duck gumbo.

Be afraid. Be very afraid, Ducks. Not of losing the game — of getting too close and being eaten.

Do you know this expression? Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer? Please understand that proximity is your call, your risk.

But I can offer a few suggestions on how to keep it friendly.

Tell them you think Terry Baker never should have won the Heisman Trophy over Jerry Stovall. You’ll be BFFs.

To make sure you get second helpings of jambalaya and andouille, dismiss the AP national championship USC won in 2003 and call LSU the real national champion that season.

If LSU fans are wearing what looks to you like purple and yellow, call it purple and gold. You’ll darn near crack the circle of trust by your when-in-Rome flexibility with definitions of color.

Call it sunflower gold if you must, but if you simply refer to purple and gold, you’ll be golden.

Boudreaux might be there. Thibodeaux too. Which brings me to another word: Geaux.

You’ve known it all your life as "go." That’s just silly, almost like saying "you guyses’ " when you have a perfectly good word like "y’all" available.

If you hear "Go … Tigers … Go … Tigers," I promise you it’s spelled "Geaux … Tigers … Geaux … Tigers."

"Go" would be like having someone named Thibodo. See how stupid that looks?

Louisiana is a state with a city named Natchitoches (NAK-uh-dish), a waterway named Atchafalaya (uh-chaff-uh-LYE-yuh), a parish (county) named Calcasieu (CAL-kuh-shoe) and a town called Cut Off (Cut Off). Why have a word so simple as "go" when you can complicate it with silent letters?

If you think Les Miles jokes are in order, let someone in purple and gold tell them. Les might be an idiot, but he’s their idiot.

Except, of course, when he’s their hero, their mad genius.

Or he might be both, which is often the case.

They’ll call him "The Hat" because he can’t quite seem to get a baseball cap to fit like everyone else can. An ESPN talking head turned that into "The Mad Hatter," but LSU fans prefer "The Hat," as in "Fear The Hat."

I’ve got another word for you: Lesticles. Don’t look it up, but if you’re good with rhymes, you probably can guess it speaks to Miles’ bravado, dating to LSU’s 5-for-5 conversion rate on fourth downs in a thrilling 2007 victory at home against reigning national champion Florida.

"Onions!" is how Verne Lundquist of CBS describes it.

"Lesticles" is a word that will have you in good stead with LSU fans, provided you wait to giggle until they do.

Some other things you might find interesting about the new friends you’ll make next weekend at Cowboy Stadium:

Louisiana has drive-through daiquiri shops. A big piece of freezer tape over the straw hole of the snug-fitting plastic lid ensures you don’t end up driving with an open container, so rest easy.

Louisiana allows people 18 to 20 to be present in places where alcohol is served, which is why nobody there raised an eyebrow upon hearing LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson was at a bar called Shady’s the week before his 21st birthday.

You can’t buy alcohol if you’re under 21, but Louisiana still has some of the most liberal drinking laws in the country. Remember that when someone calls you the L-word, especially if you’re sitting in Section 420.

One reason LSU fans take scandal in stride is the most celebrated player in school history, 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, served roughly three years in federal prison in the 1980s for counterfeiting.

His Heisman is now on display in a glass case at a Baton Rouge restaurant called TJ Ribs. As far as anyone knows, it’s not counterfeit.

For his part, Cannon has a sense of humor about scandal, but less so when it’s about his. A call to his office Friday morning was answered with the greeting, "Clearinghouse for all rumors about the LSU FIGHTING Tigers!"

Fighting Tigers, you should know, is the official nickname of LSU sports teams. Awkward right about now, huh?

There is an Internet meme, reworked from an original that pokes fun at Nebraska fans, and it suggests LSU fans smell like corndogs. But bourbon might be closer to the truth, in many cases.

Don’t dare suggest there is a better game-day atmosphere anywhere than LSU’s Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night. Don’t hint that any other fan base might be louder or more loyal.

If you point out that Tiger Stadium was half-empty when the Tigers finished their second-half comeback against powerhouse Troy in 2008, please remember that was the loudest, most loyal half-empty stadium in the history of sports.

Oh, and LSU fans love their marching band — just like every other fan base does, only more so. If you see the hair on the back of their necks stand up after the first three notes of pre-game "Hold That Tiger," know that’s a normal reaction.

Did you see the "Seinfield" episode in which Elaine Benes’ boyfriend became transfixed upon hearing "Desperado" by the Eagles? He wouldn’t let her declare it "our song," because it was already his song.

Well, the pregame music the Golden Band from Tigerland plays is "our song" to every LSU fan you’ll meet.

LSU fans, and Louisiana natives as a whole, want you to know they don’t give a nutria’s backside what you think of them. However, they will read everything you post online anyway, because they can’t help themselves.

If they declare you an honorary coonass, don’t be insulted. It’s a compliment, despite what one angry Louisiana historian might say in an official letter of protest. In no way is it intended as a racial or ethnic slur, so if you hear it directed to you, it wouldn’t hurt to wear it as a badge of honor.

If, while you are at the game, you verbalize your knowledge of anything LSU-related, you will soon find out what message board your new buddies frequent online.

"I see SOMEBODY reads the Rant!" Tiger Rant loyalists of will say.

"Looks like SOMEONE has been on the Lair!" a subscriber to The Tiger’s Lair on will say.

"You must read TigerBait," a veteran will say.

And they’re all correct, because nobody could possibly know anything about LSU that wasn’t first reported, conceived or invented on

LSU fans are the greatest in the country, except when they’re not. They can turn on their Tigers at the drop of a Hat.

When you’re winning, it’s the best place to be a coach, former LSU head football coaches have said. When you’re losing, the same coaches went on to say, it’s the worst.

Some wearing purple and gold acknowledge the LSU fan base has no qualms about eating its own.

That might be true, especially if there’s any Cayenne pepper or Tabasco handy.

They are a fun bunch.

Laissez les bons temps rouler means "Let the good times roll." Those were believed to be the first words ever spoken by former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who just got out of prison.

He’s the one who famously said the only way he could lose a certain election was to be caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy.

Edwards is a Cajun. Not everyone from Louisiana is, and you should know that.

The Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will tell you LSU stole "Geaux" and other Cajun ways from them. They can make a good case — and a good jambalaya too.

"Lagniappe" means "a little something extra." You’re sure to get that with just about any LSU fan you meet, whether we’re talking food, drink, conversation or Tiger-baiting.

It’s OK to make eye contact. There’s a good chance you’ll pass a good time (another expression you might hear) if you hang out with the right LSU fans.

When y’all get back, I want to hear all about it from you guys.

Check out the article at the Oregon News Register.

Numbers to ponder...

If you were lucky enough to secure tickets to No. 4 LSU’s opener against No. 3 Oregon on Saturday night, you may very well be on the road to Arlington, Texas, and looking for an easy way to kill time.

Some numbers to crunch as the Cowboys Classic draws near:

16 - Years since LSU lost at No. 3 Texas A&M in the first game of the Gerry DiNardo era. Oregon is the highest-ranked opponent for the Tigers in a season opener since the 1995 Aggies.

9 - Seasons since LSU played the role of underdog in a season opener. Virginia Tech, favored by a touchdown, scored a 26-8 victory over the Tigers to start the 2002 season. The oddsmakers like Oregon by 3-1/2 in this one.

2 - Previous matchups of top-five foes on a neutral field to open the season. The last such meeting came when No. 4 Miami beat No. 1 Auburn at Giants Stadium in a 1984 opener.

16 - Games LSU coach Les Miles has won, in 19 tries, when given two weeks or more to prepare. The Mad Hatter is 5-1 in bowl games and 6-0 in season openers.

65 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU has rushed for more than 100 yards. The Tigers have won 58.

39 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU’s opponent has rushed for fewer than 100 yards. The Tigers have won 36.

34 - Games in the Miles era in which LSU has rushed for 100 yards AND its opponent has rushed for fewer than 100. The Tigers have won all 34.

4 - Punts returned by Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris for touchdowns last year.

0 - Snaps Harris is expected to play Saturday. Coach Chip Kelly suspended the All-American cornerback/return man in June after he was clocked driving 118 mph on an Oregon interstate.

238 - Days since Jordan Jefferson turned in a career performance at Cowboys Stadium to lead LSU past Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

8 - Days before Saturday’s opener Jefferson was arrested for his alleged role in an off-campus bar fight and suspended indefinitely from the LSU football team.

2,040 - Distance, in miles, Oregon fans must travel from Eugene for Saturday’s game.

15,000 - Tickets Oregon distributed to season-ticket holders for the opener.

465 - Distance, in miles, LSU fans will travel from Baton Rouge to watch the game.

37,000 - Tickets LSU distributed to season-ticket holders, the most tickets the school has ever sold for a regular-season away game.

80 - Distance, in miles, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, where LSU hopes to finish its season with a return to the BCS championship game.

10 - Teams that have reached a BCS title game with one loss or more. The other 16 got through the regular season unscathed.

0 - Teams that have reached a BCS title game after losing their season opener.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

I’m so pumped... football is finally here! It’s like Christmas in September!!! I don’t think the Ducks are going to be #3 for long!