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Monday, August 29, 2011

The Angola State Prison Tigers, or LSU

This is an excerpt from the book 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis, available now on's Kindle for just 99 cents at:
And you can follow me on twitter: @petedavis1

            Based in Baton Rouge, which is French for “I did not tell him to spike the ball.”
I would like to tell you LSU was the first college team to play a bowl game outside the United States in the 1907 Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba.  But since anyone who has ever traveled to Louisiana knows it is not really a part of America we don’t want to start off with a lie.  Those will come soon enough.
            The ‘people’ down there speak a version of English that is so akin to gibberish that they might as well still be speaking French.  If you saw the Adam Sandler movie ‘The Waterboy’ you might remember an actor portraying an overall-wearing assistant coach who seemed to be making fun of the way Creoles speak with an over-the-top dialect of mush-mouthed utterances.  In reality he is Dean of the English Department at LSU and a much sought after speaker on the local lecture circuit.
            The fact that all of the middle of the country’s detritus is flushed down the Mississippi River to back up in Louisiana may explain the debauchery and depravity of the denizens of America’s Drainhole.
Their current head coach is Les Miles, who landed the job after failing to replace Curley in the Three Stooges.  Despite having won a national title in ’07 he is always on the hot seat because of his questionable decisions on the sidelines, such as showing up.
He was once caught on camera eating grass and it wasn’t even part of a brownie.
            LSU once hired Vanderbilt coach Gerry DiNardo but he was summarily dismissed because he could never bridge the gap with his players.  Not the language gap, the intelligence gap.  But what do you expect from a ‘people’ who find biting the heads off mud-dwelling insects a culinary delight.
Current Bama coach Nick “Lucifer” Saban once coached LSU but left to seek greener pastures in the NFL in Miami, where in one day he met more people who spoke English than in his entire stay in Baton Rouge.
Their colors are purple and gold, the same color as the bruises they wake up with after a game.  And this is just the fans.
Their mascot is Mike VI, or Mike the Tiger, a Bengal/Siberian mix who lives in his own tiger habitat across from the stadium.  His diet consists of feral pigs, bulldogs (English and regular), elephants, other tigers, yellowjackets, gators, and yankees.
Before each home game an agitated Mike is enticed to enter a cage on wheels.  He is then carted into the stadium with six cheerleaders riding on top of his cage…OH MY GOD SOMEBODY GET A GUN….Make that five cheerleaders.
Opposing players must pass by Mike to enter their locker room…OH MY GOD HE’S GOT THE QUARTERBACK….Tradition had it that every time Mike growled the Tigers would score a touchdown that game so fans took to pounding on his cage to rile him up.  Civilization and PETA complained so that tradition has gone the way of other LSU favorites, like bear-baiting and inbreeding.
Mike used to travel with the team, but that stopped in 1970 when his cage overturned on a highway and he escaped long enough to run for governor.
Mike also appeared at the 1984 Mardi Gras parade…OH MY GOD HE’S GOT THE MAYOR…where he blended right in with the drunken carnage.  Pranksters once cut the locks on his cage before the LSU-Tulane game, allowing Mike to roam freely across the campus long enough to become enrolled in the masters program. reported Mike “playfully knocking down several small pine trees” before he was cornered in the track stadium and tranquilized and returned to his cage.  Ironically, this also happened to Huey Long.
The first live tiger mascot, Mike I, was purchased in 1936 from that world famous tiger haven the Little Rock Zoo.  He reigned for 20 years before dying of pneumonia in the midst of a six-game losing streak in 1957.  So great was the love for Mike that school authorities were afraid fans would give up hope, so they were not alerted to his death until after the losing streak came to an end.  Then they gave up hope.  When LSU fans yell “Tiger bait” at you, take them at their word and run.
In 1958, Coach Paul Dietzel decided to motivate a group of players who didn’t get on the field much by giving them a cool name to rally around.  He chose the term ‘Chinese Bandits’ because according to the comic strip ‘Terry and the Pirates’ they were the most vicious people on earth.  The players lived up to their name and the team went on to win their first national championship.  The group even got their photo in ‘Life’ magazine:

                              This photo led directly to our entanglement in Vietnam.
If you like what you've read so far just wait until you see the rest about LSU and all the other SEC schools, as well as Texas, Texas A&M, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami. It's all in 'The Totally Biased Guide to Southern College Football' by Pete Davis and available for the price of a Whopper Jr. on Kindle at:
And you can follow me on twitter: @petedavis1

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