FEINSWOG: Battening down the hatches

Mint leaves? Check. Sugar? Check. Seltzer (less sodium than club soda)? Check. Rum and vodka? Check.

OK, did my pre-hurricane shopping. Gotta be prepared.


Seriously, by the time you read this, Hurricane Katrina will likely have come and gone. But in the last weekend before LSU begins its football season, Louisiana was battening down the hatches and fearing the worst.


While the football game was the least of everyone's worries, two LSU events were postponed by the impending storm.


First, the school postponed the Taste of Tigers Tailgating event at the Field House, since it was turned into a special-needs shelter.


Then, the Mike the Tiger Habitat ribbon-cutting ceremony for Monday was postponed.


No word for Mike, but he's probably not much for pomp and circumstance. He did, however, move into his new home adjacent to the Assembly Center on Friday and word was he complained about the speed of his internet connection.


There was good news to report from LSU before the storm. The volleyball team avoided the Statesboro blues and opened its season 3-0 by winning all its matches in a tournament at Georgia Southern.


This should be LSU's best volleyball team in a long time, led by a Croatian, senior Ivana Kuzmic, and a Serb, senior Jelena Mijatovic. From the why-sports-are-great department: They're both explosive players whose respective countries were at war in the 1990s. Now they're teammates.


Anyway, back to football, where traffic jams are the norm. It's hard to imagine there won't be some New Orleans fans who evacuate their city, get home after the hurricane, and then battle traffic at LSU on Saturday for the North Texas game. Long week behind the wheel.


Perhaps a football-game traffic jam won't seem so bad this time.


Despite the opponent – UNT isn't exactly a marquee name – the game should be a solid sellout with another 50,000 or so tailgaters hanging out who actually leave and go home or just listen on the radio outside Tiger Stadium.


Things will be a madhouse, of course, especially the way things are going in the west parking lot, where the construction/renovation continues. Cranes and the like simply don't make for good football aesthetics.


Herb Vincent of the LSU athletic department said last week that if all goes well, the stadium should be almost completely finished for the third game of the season, Sept. 24, when Tennessee comes to town.


That is if Hurricane Katrina doesn't slow the stadium progress. Nothing like a hurricane to put a damper on a football season.


And I hope with all my heart that the next storm is much kinder, and that it doesn't come near here and does no damage.


After all, it will be named Lee.




Lee Feinswog is the author of "Tales From The LSU Sidelines," a Baton Rouge sportswriter and host of the television show Sports Monday. Reach him at (225) 926-3256 or lee@sportsbatonrouge.com.

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