LSU Versus Alabama

This coming weekend, is my birthday. It is also a nostalgic weekend for me as the memories of my youth are front and center in my mind. It is the weekend that the fighting Tigers of LSU meet the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. Ranked number one and two in the nation, the two powerhouse teams will fight it out for the privilege of being ranked the best of the best. My query is who do I root for?

In 1964, I was a freshman at LSU. Football was big stuff and every weekend revolved around the football game. Tiger Stadium was known as “death valley” and held 82,000. People from all over the state filled the small city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana each weekend and it was a party atmosphere. My parents came up every weekend and held season tickets for over twenty years.

It was also the weekend of my 18th birthday and on the Friday night before the game. I had a date with a boy named Nomie Namie. I remember when I met him. It was my first day at LSU. I was with my roomate, Caren Nowak and we both asked to see his drivers license. What kind of name was that? You had to have been there. Anyway….Nomie and I were off to the Cornel’s Club which was the “in” place everyone went back then. It was the place I learned to drink beer, which I had never had before. Being the sophisticate from the big city of New Orleans, beer had not been a part of my repertoire; but now a college girl, I drank what the crowd drank. Of course I drank it out of a glass not a bottle!

I was having so much fun dancing and drinking and thinking how could life get any better….I didn’t notice the big burly guy standing behind me. He proceeded to pour an entire bottle of beer over my head. I later found out he was on the football team and if I had known that fact earlier, I would have called the coach to inform him of his player’s shenanigans. Thinking back, someone surely put him up to it. Either he was drunk or just plain crazy. For whatever reason he did it, it created a vivid memory of my eighteenth birthday that I remember to this day.

That next year I attended the University of Alabama. I had switched schools. By the by, people poured their bourbon straight into their coke bottle…no glass…no ice. I guess I was a snob back then. I found it say the least.

I had become infatuated with the cutest, cutest boy and let us just say,it was a religious issue. My parents were not happy with my choices and would not let me go back to LSU.

My earliest memory at Alabama was during my first week. I had walked into what was called the “soup store”, the eatery in the student union where everyone hung out. It was extremely crowded and very loud and noisy. I was talking with some friends when all of a sudden; a hush fell over the crowd. I turned around to spy all eyes on a skinny tall guy with greasy black hair who looked like a “hood”. I said to the girls, “who is that?” They looked at me and said with dreamy eyes, that’s Joe Namath! I replied, who is Joe Namath? Well… I dropped a few points in their minds that day as stupid me didn’t know that Mr. Namath had just been drafted by the New York Jets and would go into the history books as the highest paid athlete in history up till that point in time: he had been offered four hundred thousand dollars. I kept up with the world of football from that day forward.

Football really was “king” at Alabama. The legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant was the coach and everyone said he walked on water! A few years later I had a private audience with him and it was very exciting. What do you say to a legend? I said, LSU could really use you. Would you consider changing schools? He just stared at me…

Memories memories, but I’m still in a quandary as to who I will root for. In my mind it’s a toss up. So I say, “Let the best team win!” Roll Tide and Geaux Tigers!

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *