Elaborate barbecues included stuffed pork on skewers, jambalaya, shrimp, alligator, deep-fried rice balls (mmm), and would you believe this: deep-fried pork fat, which is called cracklin. The ‘gaters had multiple beverages, many with kegs of beer, and televisions for college football viewing. But, what I will never forget is the “Tiger Bait”, “Tiger Bait”, “Tiger Bait” chant and their warm hospitality.
My posse had a late start and arrived on campus at the Chimes and Highlands intersection about 11:30 a.m. via taxi, now dem taxi drivers dat a whole nother story, dat huge accent is pure comedy. Kickoff was at 5 p.m. so we figured we had plenty of time to consume multiple adult beverages and wander the tailgaters.
RV’s at LSU establish their spot early in the week and most tailgaters start the night before the game. We were obviously late arrivals by Tiger standards since a majority of their fans told us they had been drinking since 7 a.m. So anyway, we start walking down Highlands Street across from ESPN Gameday, literally only about 20 feet and Tiger fans started to yell the “Tiger Bait!” chant. Doing our homework and knowing the drill, we approached the group and started listening to these good ole’ boys razz us for a few minutes and then promptly ask us what we wanted to drink. The best part is that my buddy aka “BeaverBobe” has it all on videotape. These fellas had huge accents, were extremely drunk, and definitely entertaining. When we finally decided to wander on they left us with one small request, “Y’ all do us a favor!” “Y’ all beat USC!”
We marched on only to make it by a couple ‘gaters when another “Tiger Bait” chant ensued. We stop talk for awhile, have another cold beverage and move on. Then it’s time for a brief appearance at the ESPN scene, it’s thinned out and we listen to a little bit of the GameDay Radio show going live. As the journey continues, every once in awhile we pass another tailgater doing the whole “Tiger Bait” chant thing, don’t stop and then are chased down by a young innocent female who informs us, “We’all don’t mean it in a bad way!” Or would ask, “Y’all don’t think LSU fans are mean, do y’all?” I made it clear to her, we understood and thought that their fans were incredible. This scene continues for the next couple hours, get reeled in by the bait chant, tailgate awhile and move on. A crazy question we are asked is, “Y’all drive to the game?” Y’all came a long way.” We would just chuckle and found the question amusing.
BeaverBobe still does not have a ticket so we decide to pop into the OSU Alumni function. He scoops up a ticket for face value; we enjoy the air-conditioning of the Fieldhouse for a few minutes, come to a conclusion that alumni functions are lame, and exit. If you have to pay a cover of $6 just to enter the building, what’s the point? In my opinion it’s a huge joke. But that’s neither here nor there, we ramble on and peruse more Tiger tailgaters.
Now it’s about 1:30 p.mm and we are feeling pretty intoxicated and sweating like mad. We stop by a nice shaded tailgate behind one of the practice fields and socialize with some very friendly LSU alumni. They have a great spread of food and introduce us to cracklin. One of the guys is about 400lbs and is a kick in the pants. They feed us, we drink some more, and they tell us to make sure we stop by the tailgate around the corner, that is the nine time reigning tailgating champs.
Yes, you can bleed’ dat! The Krewe of Ragoo, not only is the nine time LSU tailgate champs, but also is sponsored by Abita beer. A ‘gater with a sponsor? Yep, no lie. We venture into the nucleus of this party are razzed a bit then seconds later are offered cold beers. The next thing you know it BeavaBleeda is doing beer bongs. We buy a shirt that says on the back: curley: .25, gerry: .75, Coach Sabin 2,600,000 and below that it says: Being a member of Krewe of Ragoo: PRICELESS.
To be a member of the Krewe it’s just $20 and that buys you a tee shirt, food, and all the beer you can drink at all the home games. What a deal! So anyway, we meet Ragoo, who has a nice sized LSU gut, baldhead, and great smile. He asks us in his boisterous voice pointing to a medal of himself he is wearing, “Who dat dere!” “Who dat dere!” BeaverBobe says “Krewe of Ragoo?” Ragoo then replies back, “Yeah, but who dat dere dough?” “God bless you, dat right!” He even does a beer bong for the Krewe. The most incredible thing at this tailgate was the beer bong apparatus that had a keg shell on a stand with about eight tubes coming out of it. Everyone would poor beer into the top, and eight people would do the beer bong at the same time. Amazing, and yeah BeavaBleeda got sucked into doing one of those too.
It’s almost 3 p.m. now and our posse is barely walking straight. We later make our way to watch the LSU band march down the hill and after that it’s off to the stadium to wait in line for the game. The wait was long and painful, as was the hour delay, and the final outcome, but the pre-game tailgating definitely made up for everything. It’s almost 10 p.m. and we walk through the aftermath of the gaters. I think to myself, well at least we don’t have to clean up this mess.
After the game everyone is cordial and fan after fan lets us know, “Y’all played a good game.” “Y’all got a good team.” “Y’all got a good defense.” “Y’all got a good quarterback.” It’s definitely a nice gesture, but after hearing “Y’all played a good game” 100 times it kind of starts to get annoying. These people are too damn nice!
The taxi cab driver that took us home after the painful loss summed everything
up in one sentence. “Y’all beat us, but we won the game.”
Very true, but at least the LSU tailgating experience and all the “Tiger
Bait” chants is a memory that I will never forget. OSU fans have a lot
to learn about tailgating and hospitality. Maybe we can start a new tradition
called “Beaver Bait!” Just a thought.