When Gus Piazza died at just 55, he left behind a ton of great memories, happy sports viewers and more full bellies than you could imagine.
Most people around here knew him as the guy who owned Phi's Oyster Bar.
But sports fans the nation over knew him as the man to call for tickets. Not just LSU tickets, but tickets to just about any major sporting event in the land, especially the Final Four.
Gus always had a supply of tickets to the Final Four and would annually hold court in the coaches hotel as well-wishers and buyers came past to pay respects, and, hopefully, upgrade from the nose-bleed section.
Gus fought far too many health battles the past decade. Diabetes cost him an eye and half a leg. And had his sister not donated him a kidney, we would have lost him long before this.
But none of that stopped the former LSU football equipment manager from feeding hungry LSU athletes, which he did without question, without expectation, just because that's what he did.
When the NCAA investigated LSU in the 1990s for basketball infractions, one of the issues that came up was that athletes ate at Phil's for free. Gus was defiant and never apologized for taking care of the kids.
His longtime friend, Frank Mauberret, said about a gathering Friday at Gus's house after the funeral that everyone told stories but ultimately they were all the same: Gus was a guy who gave so much to so many and loved making people smile.
At the old Phil's restaurant on
"The mistake we made was never finding a writer from
Gus decided to move Phil's to a
"I never knew anybody who would give you everything and leave himself with nothing," Mauberret said. "If Gus had 500 dollars on him and you needed something, he wouldn't say let's take 250 each. He would just give you the 500."
A few rambling thoughts on LSU as we head into Thanksgiving …
Watching Sylvia Fowles last Thursday when the senior All-American ate up
The LSU men's basketball team is in
The LSU football team was really fun to watch against Ole Miss. That game had a little bit of everything, including all the LSU penalties any flag-throwing official could ask for.
This was LSU's fourth time on CBS. Maybe the familiarity has made them relax, but broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson continue to struggle while watching the Tigers …
With one game left, things are starting to clear up. It looks like LSU will play
And speaking of playing badly after playing LSU,
So, since it's Thanksgiving, if you're an LSU fan, give thanks for where your team has been, where it is and where it's going.