I was already in Baton Rouge so why not head over to Louisiana State University and tour the campus? If you know me then you are aware of, expect, and hopefully have accepted my loyalty to the Southeastern Conference when it comes to college football. From my office I can practically see into Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. I have in the past traveled to the home towns of the Gators, the Admirals, the Dawgs, the Crimson Tide and the Gamecocks so I couldn’t in good conscience pass up a chance to visit the home turf of another conference university.
The first thing I noticed when pulling into the visitors parking area was how neat and well laid out the campus looked. It was a dreary Sunday afternoon with scattered rain showers ever threatening but even so scores of tourists wondered around the tidy grounds snapping photos and admiring the campus. I followed suit and recognized a few of the names ensconced on the buildings. Cox Communications is very prominent in the area and has an impressive structure labeled with their moniker. Huey P. Long’s name fronts the field house. If you don’t know Huey then I encourage you to look him up on the web. Decide for yourself whether villain or people’s champion. Either way you will find him an inestimably entertaining individual at the very least.
Something I didn’t expect to find on the campus were the mounds centerpiecing one of the commons areas. The pair of earthen knolls are estimated to be five thousand years old, pre-dating the great pyramids of Egypt. They were also placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. I had seen several early Native-American mounds in the wilds of Louisiana but these were much easier to reach and observe.
Of course my trans-conference sojourn would not be complete without experiencing the Anderson-Campbell Tiger Walk and paying a visit to Mike the Tiger. Unfortunately, I arrived during Mike’s nap time and he promptly ignored me and the scores of other well-wishers while he got his snooze on. Not to worry, because who in their right mind is going to poke a sleeping tiger with a stick, photo opportunities were had with a bronze casting of Mike and the day was saved.
Maybe I’ll plan a quest to visit/re-visit all the SEC campuses, a fitting pilgrimage dedicated to the only organized sport that keeps me captivated and tuned into my television set every fall. I just need to have a talk about travel subsidies with whoever greatly increased the mileage by adding Mizzou and Texas A&M.
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