DEVILLE: LSU victory caps off BIG weekend

What a weekend!

It feels somewhat strange sitting at my desk this Sunday afternoon writing a column about the events of the past weekend.


Four years ago today, the United States was rocked to its foundations with the attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington D.C. Presently, south Louisiana is still trying to get its bearings after being drilled by Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.


With what is going on around us, it has been hard to talk about football – even in Baton Rouge if you can believe that – or sports for that matter. The LSU community has spent more time helping people in need than talking about who was going to play quarterback. Even the long-running discussion over whether or not the west upper deck would be finished became old hat.


After the season opener versus North Texas was postponed, there was lots of debate over whether or not the Arizona State game would be played, postponed even cancelled. LSU tried until the 11th hour to keep the game as scheduled in Baton Rouge, but with the goings on at the LSU campus coupled with the fact every hotel room in the capital city and beyond was filled with displaced residents due to the hurricane, the game had to be moved.


The fans wanted the game played in Shreveport, Houston and even Ole Miss offered Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, but in the end LSU chose to move the game to Tempe, Arizona, call it a home game for the Tigers, and have all proceeds dedicated to the relief effort.


While it gave the Sun Devils a huge advantage, due to the fact they had already played a tune-up game versus Temple, it was the right decision. While LSU athletic director Skip Bertman and chancellor Sean O'Keefe took a lot of heat over the decision and the move will likely go down as one of the biggest blunders in LSU administration history, the decision turned out to be a successful one because the Tigers won the game.


At Tiger Rag, we always travel with the Tigers during football season. However, due to the last-minute change in plans with the game moving to Tempe, there was little chance we could get all the arrangements made to get to Arizona.


So with the game being moved, I acquired the services of Steve Hershey, an aspiring journalist in Tempe, to help out. Steve covered the game from every angle and did an outstanding job bringing our readers complete coverage of the Tigers rousing victory.


It seemed strange being in Baton Rouge on a Saturday afternoon in September with no game to cover, but it did give me an opportunity to do something I haven't done in five football seasons – watch a game and enjoy it rather than staring blankly at a computer screen while scribbling notes on a pad in some cramped press box.


It was also the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with parents, who were in town from Bastrop, La. along with my brother from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had tickets for my parents, Billy and Beth, and my brother Mark and his wife Stephanie, for Saturday's game in Tiger Stadium along with my new fiancée, Beth Bonner, on whom I popped the big question last Friday night, thus my family being in town.


The situation, while joyous, was dampened a bit due to the events of Hurricane Katrina, but it was nice to get an opportunity to spend time with my family and have my loved ones and closest friends spend this wonderful weekend with Beth and me.


While things went a bit awry with the game being moved and things being a bit tense in Baton Rouge with the influx of displaced residents, the weekend was a wonderful experience capped off by possibly the most exciting football game I have seen in my lifetime – a Tiger victory as well.


It is a weekend I won't soon forget.




We hated to see Jimmy Hyams leave our lineup after 18 years, but we wish him the best in all he does. I would like to take a brief moment to welcome our new SEC expert to the Tiger Rag family. Coming to us from a recommendation from our good friend Lyn Scarborough of Lindy's Magazine, Richard Scott joins our family direct from Birmingham, Alabama. A longtime newspaper sportswriter in Alabama, Scott has also penned two books about Alabama and Auburn football. He is a regular on radio shows around the south and is one of the premiere know-it-alls in SEC country. Check out Richard's first column tomorrow on and feel free to drop him a line welcoming him to the Rag at



Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. Reach him at

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