Author Archives: crawford

A Tiger Returns Home To Give Back

By Serena Crawford

A Louisiana native, a two time SEC champion, with one national title, and two time super bowl champion. Corey Webster who grew up in a small town outside of New Orleans by the name of Vacherie began to catch the eye of in state college football coach Nick Saban, while playing as an all-state quarterback at St. James High. Webster was recruited out of High School as a wide receiver, however went on to become one of the top defensive backs in college football. Being one of the Defensive Backs who began LSU being considered the DB-U of college football. During Webster’s time at LSU under Saban he had the honor of not only winning two conference championships and one national championship, but as well being named a Jim Thorpe award semi-finalist two years in a row. Which is the highest honor a defensive player can be considered for in college football.

In 2005 Webster was drafted by the New York Giants, where he went on to win two super bowl championships. In the NFL that’s a near impossible achievement for any NFL player. Webster played his last year in the NFL for the Giants in 2013. Soon after Webster decided to return back home to Louisiana.

However his reasons for returning back to Louisiana instead of staying in New York may surprise many who do not know him.

“I will always have ties to Louisiana and I want to impact the next generation in Louisiana in a positive way,” Webster said.

Currently Webster is making constant efforts in order to impact this generation and the next. This past year he attended his first semester at LSU as a Graduate Student in order to receive his Master’s in Liberal Arts.

“I’ve been a lifelong learner and education is very important to me,” Webster said.

Even though he is involved with other professions and endeavors he believes attending Graduate School will only assist in the professions he currently obtains.

“I want to be very educated on everything I have going on. Like my financial information, CWF Foundation, and other organizations I contribute my time and effort to. So, I’m always willing to learn as much as I can,” Webster said.

Since being in the NFL Webster has been involved in the act of giving back. While playing for the Giants, Webster was involved in many charities such as Thanksgiving food drives for chosen families and donating coats to under privileged kids in New Jersey, just to name a few.

Webster has brought back the spirit of giving to Louisiana. He not only assists in helping with his high school alumni and LSU, he is currently involved with POPB. Program on Personal Branding which gives former professional athletes the opportunity to learn how to leverage their association with the NFL to launch their next career. Life after the NFL. This program began in 2010 as Webster works along two other colleagues. Dray Louviere who is currently an LSU graduate student, and Dr. Thomas Karama a professor in the LSU Marketing Department.

Louviere assist’s in planning the POPB seminars for former and current athletes.

“Corey has been our connection in finding former players that need assistance now that they are finished with their profession football careers,” Louviere said.

Louviere had many commemorating things to say about working alongside Webster.

“Corey brings experience and knowledge of what the players that come through our seminar have gone through. Corey really displays a passion for this program because he just wants to help former players succeed in their future endeavors,” Louviere said.

Louviere notices that because of Webster joining the POPB, that the program has grown enormously,

“Before Corey joined the program, we had a missing piece that we needed in order to be successful. Now that Corey is part of the program, he brings us the connection to all of the players that need assistance because those players trust Corey,” Louviere said.

The POPB most recent client was former LSU Tiger Marcus Spears, assisting in his brand with his current position at the SEC Network. Spears a former teammate of Webster’s at LSU. Both Webster and Louviere only see this program continuously growing. Many could agree that they aren’t looking for praise for their efforts, conducting this program for self-benefit, they really want to help others.

“The next generation is the future so it’s vital that I invest in it. More people should live their lives with the future generations in high importance that would ultimately help transform the world into a better place” said Webster.

Currently the POPB is also assisting in forming a brand for student athletes.

Webster will influence not only the next generation, but also his peers and those who came before him can look up to his actions and follow in his giving footsteps. Many may not realize that most players who decide to retire from the NFL or if their careers come to an end to unfortunate circumstance, aren’t sure which direction to take in order to obtain a career.

Because the money that they were making while playing in the NFL won’t last forever, so there has to be a backup plan set in place. The Program on Personal Branding will allow for these former professional athletes to figure out what career path to take after football.

Webster and his colleagues are making efforts to make sure that these athletes have a life after football. Many people in the business aren’t really concern with such things. That says a lost about Webster and his character, being that he wants to do all he can in order to help others.

LSU Sports Shop Has A New Look

LSU Sports Shop

By: Serena Crawford

 

lsujersey

Sports fans across the country show their support not only by attending gaming event, but also by wearing their team’s colors from jerseys to miscellaneous items. These items can be bought online and at on site stores, throughout the entire year. On April 16, 2009, LSU made fan sportswear shopping convenient for fans by opening an onsite store on campus across from the stadium. However, LSU did not stop there. They opened sports shops inside the stadium as well as 18 shopping stands throughout the entire stadium. This is a brilliant idea that allows the sports shops to have a constant revenue even while fans are watching the game.

Surprisingly, some of the heaviest traffic which occurs during football season actually does occur during the game. LSU Sports Shop property manager Tyler Paulus, who has been managing the property for nearly 2 years, says their busiest days are during football season on Friday-Sunday.

“On Saturday’s the locations inside the stadium experience a lot of traffic based off of the weather, weather plays a big factor in our sales” said Paulus.

Being that Baton Rouge weather is constantly changing regardless the time of season, people may not have come prepared for the rain or cold and need some type of outerwear, Although weather is a big factor in sales it isn’t the only factor.

“A lot of our sales are also based on whether or not LSU is playing a big time opponent, resulting in a bigger crowd” said Paulus.

Sales are broken down by category between men, women, children, and then categorized underneath demographics by tees, jerseys, house ware, and etc.

“Men’s sales ranging roughly to about 30%, women 15%, youth 15%, and novelties 15%” said Paulus.

Also since Paulus has become property manager, the store has become privately owned by an e-commerce company by the name of Fanatics. This company owns stores like the LSU Sports Shop all across the nation for college and professional sports. They sell products for over 576 colleges and that number is continuously growing.

Lead salesman Laila Argrave, who has been working at LSU Sports shop for over 2 and a half years, has seen the outstanding growth of the sports shop since Fanatics became its owner.

“This store is definitely the best it’s ever been since renovations, also we are always coming up with new products to keep the fans happy” said Argrave.

Some of those new products are LSU memorabilia.

“We just started selling worn jerseys which are jerseys that have been played in on the field that are given to us by the athletic department, and they receive a share from the profit” said Paulus.

He assured that these jerseys are cleaned extensively before they are sold. However, some people confuse these jerseys for a different type of apparel.

“We actually get a lot of women who come in and ask to buy the jersey think their jersey dresses, then we have to explain to them that they actually have a jock strap attached” laughing hysterically said Argrave.

However, there are other memorabilia’s from the notably honorable Shaq, such as signed jerseys. Also previously worn helmets signed by former players and Les Miles himself.

LSU Sports shop are constantly finding ways to grow.

“Our newest item are customized jerseys, fans can come in the shop buy a jersey and get customized with their name and number” said Paulus.

Both Paulus and Argrave believe that the sky is the limit for the Sports Shop and that the business will only grow from here on out.

Keep the Class Leave the Trash

By: Serena Crawford

It’s safe to say that the SEC has some of the most passionate fans in College Football. Some may say that this passion can be considered as a gift and a curse. Remember this guy by the name of Harvey Updyke who decided to poison the trees at Toomer’s Corner on Auburn’s campus. Destroying a tradition for an entire university, because of an Alabama lost. Most recently the Ole Miss fan that was caught on camera ranting, and crying hysterically about the Ole Miss lost. During previous years many fans, especially at LSU take certain losses very personal. In 1994 former LSU QB Jamie Howard threw five interceptions during a lost against Auburn. Howard received death threats, and his experience with such vial scrutiny at LSU lead him to actually move away.

On Nov. 15, LSU suffered a tough lost vs. Arkansas, an annual rivalry that fans look forward to at the end of each season. LSU currently leads the rivalry 37-21. However as many SEC fans know for the past 3 years Arkansas’s football program has fallen short of meeting SEC powerhouse expectations. Although the part that hurt many fans the worst, is the fact that Arkansas was on the path of a losing season, until the 17—0 shutout vs. LSU on this unfortunate Saturday night.

Unfortunately post game things took an ugly turn on social media. It’s known that many fans after a lost find a way to let out their frustration. Most fans choose to focus on a particular individual whether it be a player or coach to direct their anger towards and to blame. This time it was LSU’s QB Anthony Jennings. This hasn’t been the first time that Jennings has experienced some type of scrutiny from fans, from being chanted and booed off the field, to receiving nasty tweets on Twitter. Although this time fans, if people could actually call them that, took things to extreme levels. Those tweets will not be quoted in this article due to the explicit content, and the fact that dirt such as those tweets don’t deserve to be replicated.

Jennings who is only age 20 and only a sophomore at LSU, received death threats after the lost vs. Arkansas. Many so call fans took to twitter, threatening to take his life, expressing how bad of a player he is, and taking every stab at his confidence that they could. Yes people have a right to their own opinion and everyone has the right to the freedom of speech. Although many forget that these players or still human just like the fans. An athlete such as Jennings works hard day in and day out to make LSU fans proud, from two-a-days, weightlifting, hours of studying video, and let’s not forget that he is a student first. Which includes him attending class full time and outside tutoring numerous days out of the week. Even with the scrutiny throughout this entire season Jennings still had the respect for LSU, his teammates, and the fans to put on his uniform, and go out on the field and play. Surely there were times he probably would rather just sit on the bench than to take on offensive scrutiny.

So shouldn’t there be a bit more respect for a guy who still goes out on the field and play for fans who may not always support him. Because true fans should love their team win or lose. Taking drastic measures by threatening someone’s life won’t turn a lost in to a win because what’s done is done. Fans should probably take a step back and realize that if Jennings can still go on the field and play for fans who scrutinize him, that those same fans should be able to still support him after a lost. There are other things that actually deserve a lot more scrutiny than Jennings, like the fact that gas is still not a $1.75. That’s something to really be upset about. Fans should realize that kicking someone while their down doesn’t help anyone feel better. Jennings deserves much more respect than having his life threatened over losing a game, try taking a walk in his cleats. Tiger fans let’s show the world more class than trash. Think about it even though Harvey Updyke was completely wrong for poisoning those trees, he wasn’t trying to hurt his own team. So stop the threats and show support.

Tiger Stadium Home of The Corn Dogs

“College Game Day” is back in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!
On  Friday Oct. 24, 2014 some of the “ESPN College Game Day” cast took the time to speak without outside media in the LSU Student Union.

There was one question that seem to come up with each cast member and even the Game Day show producer, “Do you think LSU stadium smells like corn dogs?” There were many different responses for this question, and the cast seem to be just as clueless as LSU fans.

Host Desmond Howard being the first to be clueless of the LSU Corn dog epidemic,

” I have been here several times and never heard of that reference, I guess Katy Perry was dialed in” said Howard. Surely if you’re a LSU fan, you have heard of the Corn dog crack that Katy Perry made by throwing the corn dogs at the camera taking a stab at LSU, as she was in favor of Ole Miss during her appearance on” College Game Day”.

That didn’t sit too well with many LSU fans and not many LSU fans really know how that rumor started and how it even has become such a epidemic. Also Lee Fitter the producer of “College Game Day”, who actually picks the special guest for Game Day hadn’t heard of the corn dog smelling LSU stadium.

First let’s put it out there that Fitting didn’t let it out the bag who the special guest is for tomorrow against Ole Miss. However he gave out a few hints, that this person is a male and they have no ties to LSU as a former athlete, or student. So that should narrow it down a bit right? Fitting was also questioned about the Katy Perry corn dog tantrum, and if he knew that was planned.

“I’m sitting there watching this play out, and I’m like wait, what is she doing?” said Fitting. Fitting just like Howard claims that he hadn’t heard about the LSU, corn dog smelling connection before Katy Perry’s outburst on TV. Ultimately not many people know why opposing fans even say that LSU fans, students, oe stadium smells like corn dogs.

Who know’s who started this joke, with there being various myths out there. One being that it all started long ago because of the Ole Miss vs LSU rivalry. Although if you’re a  LSU fan or not it can be considered a pretty silly, and not too clever pun against LSU. Couldn’t people come up with something a bit more clever and original. Maybe something that even actually relates to LSU.

Either way I guess that’s the only bad thing rivals can come up with against LSU, if that’s all they got then LSU must be pretty awesome.

So enjoy “College Game Day” LSU fans and don’t forget to bring that corn dog scent with you.

The Real MVPs

Equipment Manager Cookmeyer

Equipment Manager Cookmeyer

Every Saturday fans from all over the state of Louisiana travel to Death Valley to cheer on their Fighting Tigers.

One of the biggest highlights of LSU games is when Les Miles releases his team from the locker room onto the field. There is an instant wave of excitement flowing throughout Tiger Stadium as the Tigers run out in their purple and gold.

Every single time, their uniforms look as good as the first time they have ever been worn. The question is, how is it that after a hard game, like the one in Houston against Wisconsin, can these uniforms look amazing the next Saturday against Sam Houston State?

The athletes go to school, practice and play games, so there isn’t any possible way they would have time to fix up or clean a jersey or pants. There had to be someone behind them who makes sure that the team looks good every Saturday.

The team behind the football squad at LSU is known as the equipment management team.

Eric Cookmeyer is a student at LSU and a dedicated equipment manager for the LSU football team for nearly five seasons now.

He said a lot of work, time, and patience goes into being an equipment manager.

“We pretty much do any and everything that the team and coaches need us to do, from washing clothes to setting up the field for practice,” he said.

Cookmeyer said he works alongside 11 other equipment managers, each playing an important role as part of their group.

Cookmeyer has the huge responsibility of being what he termed the “inside guy.”

“I am in charge of our warehouse monitoring of what goes in and out, as well making sure our players have the correct equipment they need for games and practices,” he said.

Cookmeyer said the most intense part of his job is definitely game day, whether it’s home or away.

Those days, he said, are like a “marathon.”

Ever wonder how a player is able to return to a game after getting his jersey ripped or bled on? Well, Cookmeyer is the guy who gets their uniform wearable again.

“I have to scrub the blood out,” he said. “For rips I keep a needle and thread on hand, and I always keep backup jerseys for each player.”

Cookmeyer said he has to be just as instinctive as the players on the field; and be prepared for anything to occur.

His job is nonstop because he is directly in charge of all the uniforms. He has to make sure every pair of pants and every jersey is accounted for every week.

“I start at the beginning of each week working on uniforms, and I do this throughout the entire week,” he said.

While fans sleep in or are setting up to tailgate on game day, Cookmeyer is up at 7 a.m. preparing the locker room.

“I go through and make sure everything is in its place, including gloves and shoes, and that shoulder pads are hung up,” he said.

There’s pressure to take care of the equipment needs of close to 100 players, but Cookmeyer said he enjoys every moment.

“I love the excitement of game day,” he said, “getting to know the players, and the guys that I work with are like family. That makes it all worthwhile.”

Cookmeyer hopes to pursue a professional career as an equipment manager for either a college team or an NFL franchise.

One thing is certain: There would be no college or NFL teams to play games without the team of real MVPs working behind the scenes to get them ready.