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The Use of Racial Mascots in Sport

By Kyle Huber

 

In the last few years mascots used in athletic programs have come under scrutiny due to their derogatory perceptions. The most common cases are mascots derived from various Native American symbols.

Mascot names include a variety of Native American language such as Indians, Braves, Redskins, Warriors, Chiefs and various tribal names.

Many teams utilize Native American rituals in their cheers and mascot outfits, such as the tomahawk chop, dances, war chants, drum beating, war-whooping and symbolic scalping.

These behaviors are deeply rooted in the Native American culture and many believe these behaviors illustrate the Indian culture as comical and cartoonish.

There are two different views on the use of these racial mascots.

Those who support the use of these mascots claim the images are meant to honor Native Americans, show the power and toughness of them and to enhance athletics by fostering such identities.

Those in opposition find them disrespectful and give false identities to the culture of the Native Americans, by portraying Indians as aggressive fighters and ignore the contemporary lifestyles many Native Americans partake.

The U.S. Commission of Civil Rights in 2001 condemned the use of Native American images and mascots by sports teams, stating such use of mascots, logos and nicknames were disrespectful and stereotypical of the Native American culture.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) also condemns them claiming, “Negative Indian stereotypes- especially those perpetuated by sports mascots- affect the reputation and self-image of every single Native person and foster ongoing discrimination against tribal citizens.”

Florida State University (FSU) has formed a relationship with the Seminole Tribe, who allow the school to use the Seminole imagery as a tribute to their tribe.

Florida State’s mascot is a depiction of Seminole Chief Osceola, portrayed by a student who is a tribe member of the Florida Seminoles, and the fans use the tomahawk chop cheer.

In 2005 the NCAA condemned college mascots who used Native American symbols by prohibiting, “colleges or universities with hostile or abusive mascots, nicknames or imagery from hosting any NCAA championship competitions,” also banning of displays of hostile references by mascots, cheerleaders, dance teams, band and team uniforms at NCAA championships.

So schools can keep their Native American mascots, but cannot not display them at any championship events.

In the past forty years, several universities have changed their school mascots and nicknames.

In 1973, Stanford changed their “Indian” imagery and changed to their school color, Cardinal. In 1975, Syracuse changed from “Saltine Warriors” to “Orangemen,” but changed again in 2004 to “Orange.”

In the 90’s Marquette’s changed from “Warriors” to “Golden Eagles” and Miami University, Ohio changed from “Redskins” to “Redhawks.”

Some of the more recent name changes include the University of Louisiana-Monroe change from “Indians” to “Warhawks” in 2006, and the University of North Dakota dropped their nickname the “Fighting Sioux” in 2012 and currently do not have a nickname.

In 2007, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini got rid of their dancing Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek.

Northwestern State Demons still use Native American imagery within their program.

Since 1960, the winner of the Northwestern State – Stephen F. Austin football game wins the Chief Caddo trophy.

The trophy is a 7-foot-6 wood carving of Native American Chief Caddo, to honor the Native Americans who first settled in the two communities and provided safety for the early settlers.

There are fewer teams with Native American imageries in professional sports, including the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs and most scrutinized, Washington Redskins

The Redskins have had their mascot name since 1933, when the club’s name was changed from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins.

In 1992, Suzan Harjo and six other Native Americans filed a petition to the Trial Trademark and Appeal Board (TTAB) to terminate the use of Redskins by the club.

The TTAB issued a cancellation of the mascot, but in 2003, a District Court reversed the decision, due to the TTAB’s lack of evidence of disparagement, allowing the Washington Redskins to keep their name.

The most recent outcry has been from President Obama, who said that if he were the owner of the Washington Redskins, he would consider changing the name. However, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has continuously stated that he will not change the name.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) says, “The Washington Redskins are the worst…There is nothing more disrespectful or demeaning than to call an Indian a redskin.”

In 2002, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) asked all news organizations to stop reporting on sports teams who used Native American imagery.

The Oregonian and the Minneapolis Star Tribune have both discontinued the use of nicknames that are deemed offensive in their publications.

Several football broadcasters and analysts have also stopped using the term “Redskins.”

Analysts Tony Dungy and Phil Simms have elected to simply call the team Washington. “I will personally try not to use Redskins and refer to them as Washington,” said Dungy.

Others such as Boomer Esiason, Jim Nantz and Troy Aikman, say they will continue to call them the Redskins as long as it is their team name. “That’s the name of their team and that’s what I am going to use,” said Esiason.

In 2002, Sports Illustrated took a poll of Native Americans on their beliefs on the use of Native American mascots in sports.

The magazine concluded that the majority of Native Americans were uninterested in the topic and in many instances supported the “honor” aspect of the use of mascots.

There are other ethnic groups that are used as mascots, including the Norte Dame Fighting Irish, Hofstra University Flying Dutchmen, Bethany College Swedes and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

The use of “Cajuns” has been protested by African American activists over the years.

In 1997, Louis Farrakhan protested that the state funding of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette used, “African American and Creole tax dollar to promote a white culture.”

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) has also had to change school imagery. Since 1936, Ole Miss has used the nickname of Rebels.

In 1983, Chancellor Porter L. Fortune prohibited the official use of the Confederate flag on campus, although the students and community continue to display the flag.

They also removed Colonel Reb, an imitation of a white plantation owner from the Civil War era, as the college’s mascot and in 2010 introduced a black bear named Rebel as his replacement.

With the public becoming more aware and sensitive to these racially derogatory athletic symbols, many organizations and universities have done away with them.

“Two-thirds or over 2,000 ‘Indian’ references in sports have been eliminated during the past 35 years,” says The National Congress of American Indians.

This is an unfortunate negative aspect that has overshadowed the many positive influences sports play in today’s society.

Hopefully we will soon be able to find a solution to this on-going debate and worry more about the team performances rather than their names.

Top 10 Rankings: Football Movies

By Kyle Huber

10. North Dallas Forty

The first movie on the list is loosely based off the Dallas Cowboys of the early 1970’s and shows the life of an aging receiver, played by Nick Nolte, who is battered, addicted to pain killers, and battling issues on and off the field. The film has some comedic aspects and provides the realism of professional football in the 70’s.

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9. Any Given Sunday

This movie, which boasts a stellar cast and a long list of former and current NFL personalities, brings viewers into the modern day realms of professional football. From the aging head coach who has to deal with a demanding owner, an over the hill quarterback, and a highly touted rookie, one can see the similarities seen in the media today about the NFL. This hard- hitting movie gives the behind-the-scenes look into an empire that is a professional football team.

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8. The Blind Side

This film is the most recent on this list, and tells the story of NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher. Oher is taken in from the streets by a wealthy white family during his high school days and becomes part of the family. The Blind Side is a family friendly movie that’s message goes beyond the game of football and is a heartwarming tale of perseverance through love and care.

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7. The Longest Yard

Coming in at number 7 are both versions of The Longest Yard. In both the 1974 original and 2005 remake, former quarterback Paul Crew finds himself in jail and is tasked to form an all- inmate football team to play against the prison guards that oversee them. The 1974 film stars Burt Reynolds as Crew, and in the 2005 flim Adam Sandler handles the same role. Both films have almost identical plots, characters, and outcomes. Both casts are full of star actors and star athletes from each time period. The films have great lines, characters, and are a comedic enjoyment for any football fan.

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6. Brian’s Song

Brian’s Song is the oldest film on this list, having been released in 1971. The movie is based on the true story of Brian Piccolo, a running back for the Chicago Bears in the 1960’s. The movie tells the story of the friendship between Piccolo and Gale Sayers, and their time together while playing football for the Chicago Bears, up until Piccolo’s death. An outstanding film that will make even the toughest football fan or player shed a tear.

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5. Friday Night Lights

This movie takes place in Odessa, Texas, a small town in that is racially divided and economically dying; however, there is one night that gives the town something to live for, Friday Night. The film follows the home town high school football team, The Permian Panthers, as they battle through the 1988 season. Whether you ever played under Friday night lights yourself or not, anyone should be able to appreciate this film.

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4. The Program

The Program introduces viewers to the behind closed doors views of a college football team. The film follows the fictional ESU Timberwolves as they deal with the pressures of college football, such as alcohol and drugs, steroid use, boosters paying players, and academic cheating. Many of the issues we see today in college football are showcased in this film.  This is not a heart warming football movie, this is a hard-nosed movie that shows the ugly side of college football,  but it’s a very telling movie which more people should pay attention to.

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3. The Replacements

If this were a Top-10 of football comedy movies, The Replacements would be at the top. It tells the story of the The Washington Sentinels, a fictional professional football team, whose players have gone on strike, so they must now find replacement players to finish the season’s last four games. The film’s best attribute are the actors and witty characters who make up the replacement players, including quarterback Shane Falco played by Keanu Reeves. This movie will have you laughing through the end, so even the least of football fans can enjoy.

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2. Remember the Titans

Just missing the top spot is Disney’s Remember the Titans. This movie could very well be number 1 in many polls, due to it’s family friendly viewing and positive social impact. It is based off the true story of the 1971 T.C. Williams Titans, a racially integrated high school football team in Virginia. With new African-American head coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, the team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other. This is a very powerful film that is touching, uplifting, motivational and inspiring. It will make you laugh, cry, and cheer out loud. Certainly a must see!

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1. Rudy

Coming in at No.1, which should be no surprise, is Rudy. Arguably the best sports movie of all-time, Rudy has captured audiences since it’s release in 1993. The film is based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger and his dream and journey to play football for Notre Dame. Having been told he was too small to play football or not smart enough to make it into Notre Dame, Rudy’s determination to overcome the odds makes this one of the most influential movies ever made. If you have never seen this classic, you are most likely not a sports fan, and if you are a sports fan and have never seen it, then do yourself a favor and do so immediately. The message of the film is to never give up on your dreams, no matter how big or far out of reach they may be.

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Movies that didn’t make the list, but have Louisiana ties.

 

1. Everybody’s All- American

The first movie on this list is the 1988 film, Everybody’s All-American. This movie stars Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange. In the film Quaid plays Gavin Grey, who is an All-American football player at the University of Louisiana. A large portion of the movie is filmed on LSU’s campus and Tiger Stadium. It also includes LSU’s mascot, fight songs, and other LSU symbols within the movie. The movie has some good football action in the beginning, but tapers off throughout the movie; however, it is interesting for LSU fans to see the old uniforms and traditions of the Tigers in that period. 

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2. The Waterboy

The next Louisiana football movie is Adam Sandler’s, The Waterboy. In this slapstick comedy, Bobby Boucher, played by Sandler, goes from the team’s waterboy to the star linebacker for the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs. This movie has some decent hard hitting football action, but it is meant more for comedic purposes. I do warn people from Louisiana that you must have a good sense of humor, since the movie does not make Louisianians out to be the smartest individuals, but none the less it is funny movie and worth to watch.

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3. When the Game Stands Tall

The final movie in this list is When the Game Stands Tall. This movie was just released a few months ago, and shows the journey of  the De La Salle High School Spartans in Concord, California on their record shattering 151-game winning streak. While this movie is about a California team, the movie was shot in Louisiana, and even includes former LSU Tigers as actors such as Josh Jasper, Daniel Graff, Marlon Favorite, and Skyler Green. So there are plenty of reasons to go catch this film if you are from Louisiana.

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Gallery: “SEC Nation” Cast Holds Media Session

By Kyle Huber

 

On Friday evening, the eve of the LSU-Alabama game, some of the cast of ESPN’s “SEC Nation” took questions from the media. Those who partook in the session were Joe Tessitore, Tim Tebow, and Marcus Spears

"SEC Nation" makes its way to Baton Rouge

“SEC Nation” makes its way to Baton Rouge

With Tiger Stadium as the backdrop, the "SEC Nation" cast is set to begin a segment.

With Tiger Stadium as the backdrop, the “SEC Nation” cast is set to begin a segment

The segment as begun.

The segment as begun

This segment features Joe Tessitore, former Florida quaterback Tim Tebow, former LSU Tiger Marcus Spears

This segment features Joe Tessitore, former Florida quaterback Tim Tebow, former LSU Tiger Marcus Spears

Joe Tessitore and Tim Tebow discuss the atmosphere in Tiger Stadium

Joe Tessitore and Tim Tebow discuss the atmosphere in Tiger Stadium

Tim Tebow gives his opinions on the LSU and Alabama key players

Tim Tebow gives his opinions on the LSU and Alabama key players

Only a few fans were out at the "SEC Nation" set Friday evening. This fan chose to show is support for LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins

Only a few fans were out at the “SEC Nation” set Friday evening. This fan chose to show his support for LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins

Joe Tessitore speaks with media on his excitement to be in Baton Rouge

Joe Tessitore speaks with media on his excitement to be in Baton Rouge

Former LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears expresses to the media how much has enjoyed switching to broadcasting

Former LSU defensive lineman Marcus Spears expresses to the media how much he has enjoyed switching to broadcasting

Tim Tebow discusses with the media his experiences in Tiger Stadium and with the LSU fans

Tim Tebow discusses with the media his experiences in Tiger Stadium and with the LSU fans

This production box has the "SEC Nation" stamp of approval

This production box has the “SEC Nation” stamp of approval

A graphic that depicts the states that make up "SEC Nation"

A graphic that depicts the states that make up “SEC Nation”

The "SEC Nation" tour bus parked next to the set

The “SEC Nation” tour bus parked next to the set

The institutions that make up the SEC on the side of the "SEC Nation" bus

The institutions that make up the SEC on the side of the “SEC Nation” bus

The set for side segments for "SEC Nation"

The set for side segments for “SEC Nation”

A fan's view of the "SEC Nation" set

A fan’s view of the “SEC Nation” set

The majestic backdrop for the "SEC Nation" set, a great view of Tiger Stadium

The majestic backdrop for the “SEC Nation” set, a great view of Tiger Stadium

The sun has begun to set in the Western sky, and soon it will be Friday night in Death Valley

The sun has begun to set in the Western sky, and soon it will be Friday night in Death Valley

Video Recap of “ESPN College Gameday” from Baton Rouge

By. Kyle Huber

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LSU vs Kentucky Notebook: Not much of a “cat fight”

By Kyle Huber

It was all Tigers in the battle of the cats Saturday night, as LSU defeated the Kentucky Wildcats by a score of 41-3.

Both Kentucky and LSU entered Saturday night’s game unranked in the top-25 standings. LSU entered with a 5-2 (1-2 SEC) record, while the Wildcats entered with a 5-1 (2-1 SEC) record.

LSU’s defense kept Kentucky out of the end zone the entire night, while its offense and specials teams plays set up for the blowout.

 

Mike the Tiger Continues His Leave of Absence

Another LSU football game in Tiger Stadium, another game with the live mascot Mike the Tiger missing, as Mike again “chose” not to attend.

As discovered by WAFB sportscaster Jacques Doucet in his article on Mike in September, Mike chooses whether or not he attends home games.

He is never sedated nor forced to enter the trailer cage.

Mike the Tiger is currently 0-5 this year in appearances, bringing his appearance statistics to 32 of 48 in his seven-year career as “Mike.”

Perhaps it is time for Mike VI to take a note from former Pope Benedict XVI and retire. Even Derek Jeter knew when it was time to call it quits, so a curtain call for this Mike VI may be coming soon.

 

Alumni Teams Return to Tiger Stadium

There were several alumni groups making their way back to Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

More than 60 alumni cheerleaders fluffed up their pom poms and formed a tunnel for the Tigers during pregame.

Also, early in the second quarter, the 1989 national champion LSU cheerleading squad led fans in a “Geaux Tigers” cheer.

Another large alumni group making a showing in Saturday’s game was the LSU Golden Band from Tigerland Alumni Band. Included in the alumni band were former band members, Golden Girls, and Color Guard members.

They took the field with current band members at halftime and performed under the direction of former band director, Frank Wickes.

The final alumni group recognized Saturday were members of the 1964 LSU football team. Members of the team were presented during halftime on the field.

The ’64 Tigers finished the season ranked seventh nationally and defeated Syracuse in the Sugar Bowl 13-10.

 

Miles’ ‘Special Teams’ in His 10 Years

With 5:47 left in the first half, LSU’s defense forced a Kentucky punt, which set up for a Tre’Davious White 67-yard punt return for a touchdown, giving the Tigers a 17-0 lead.

With this punt return for a touchdown, it extended Les Miles streak of having at least one special teams touchdown in each of his 10 seasons under the LSU hat.

This should come to the surprise of no one considering the caliber of returners LSU has had in the Miles era.

With the likes of Skyler Green, Trindon Holliday, Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Odell Beckham Jr., the Tigers have had a stellar amount of talent at the returner position for some time now.

 

Terrence Magee … Number 18

Just in case people forgot which Tiger is wearing the coveted number 18, it’s Terrence Magee.

Magee made a statement in the third quarter, rushing five times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

“Magee isn’t easy to tackle and has great speed. If you don’t tackle him he’s not going down,” Miles said in this post game interview.

Magee exploded through the holes, and left Tiger fans trying to remember who Leonard Fournette was, as he only rushed twice in the quarter.

Fournette may have gotten the start and has certainly attracted the most attention in the running back category for the Tigers. But Magee gave great examples of the reason he was awarded the No. 18 jersey, given each year to a senior who exhibits great team leadership qualities.

 

Stoops Misses a Payday

If the 41-3 beating wasn’t enough to upset Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops, maybe the fact he missed out on a $100,000 payday might.

In Stoops’ contract it states that he receives a $100,000 bonus for every two SEC wins the Wildcats achieve beginning the second SEC win.

If you were starting to feel sorry for Stoops, don’t. He’ll make a guaranteed $11,550,000 over his 5-year contract as the Wildcats head coach.

The Battle of New Orleans’ Catholic League: Jesuit vs. Holy Cross

By Kyle Huber

Friday nights in the fall, no matter in what state, belong to high school football. Even movies and TV shows about high school football have donned the name “Friday Night Lights.”

From state to state, young athletes suit up and play for school, family, and community, against district foes and long-time rivals.

This was the case Oct. 10 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, when the Jesuit Blue Jays and Holy Cross Tigers battled for the 95th time in the state’s longest continuous rivalry and the sixth longest in the United States.

The first game was played in 1922, which Jesuit won 52-0. The two teams have played every year since, including twice in 1963, once in the regular season and again for the state championship, which Holy Cross won.

Even during the 2005 season, only a couple of months after Hurricane Katrina severely damaged both schools’ campuses, the series continued unbroken.

Since 2008, Jesuit and Holy Cross have participated in “The Great American Rivalry Series,” which selects the greatest rivalries throughout the country and is put on by the Marine Corps.

“The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed,” said the series’ website.

Although he is in his first season as the Holy Cross head coach, Eric Rebaudo understands the reputation of the rivalry.

“It’s quite a spectacle,” Rebaudo said. We know what we’re in for, it’s always a battle, it doesn’t matter the records.”

His counterpart, Mark Songy, who is also in the first year of his second stint as the head coach of the Blue Jays, also acknowledges the importance of the rivalry.

“It’s gotten to be so big,” Songy said, “and we are excited to play in it. It’s important to our kids, it’s important to our community, and our alums. I know it’s important to Holy Cross, and they’ll come to play real hard, and we’ll come do the same thing. It’s going to be a wonderful event for all the fans and the players alike.”

However, it seems Songy has done a great job making sure his players don’t get caught up in all of the hoopla and stay focused on the game.

“It’s just another game for us, and we are going to play it like it’s just another game,” said Trey LaForge, Jesuit’s starting quarterback.

Don’t put too much stock in LaForge’s comment. There’s a lot going on and a lot up for grabs to be “just another game,” including year-long bragging rights, district standings, a Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, and a golden football to be housed at the winning team’s school for the year.

Other awards given at the game are: the game’s Most Valuable Player, a recognition of the top student-athlete from each school, and two alumni donned “Legends of the Game” from each school.

This year’s “Legends of the Games” were Frank Massa, a Jesuit graduate of 1954, and Billy Truax, a Holy Cross graduate of 1960.

While the games are usually hard-fought and close, this year’s game was all Blue Jays as they took back the trophies and bragging rights, clipping the Tigers 56-14.

LaForge, earned most valuable player by completing 14 of 18 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns and adding a 5-yard rushing touchdown.

The victory gives the Jays a 55-38-1 hold on the series’ overall record.

Even though there was rain pregame and the game was not close, in true New Orleans fashion, the tradition held strong.

Surrounded by the City Park oak trees and amongst family, friends, and foes, the crowd of approximately 15,000 took part in the festivities to continue the state’s oldest high school football rivalry.

No matter the conditions, records, score, or weather, you can bet that the Jesuit and Holy Cross rivalry will be “under the lights” for many years to come.

The Voice of Tiger Stadium

By Kyle Huber

Over the decades, many new faces have been a part of LSU football. Players, coaches, fans, students, have come and gone through the years.

However, there has been one constant in Tiger Stadium, and that is P.A. announcer Dan Borne.

Borne, who is in his 29th season as the voice of Death Valley, first began his broadcasting career doing play-by-play baseball for Nicholls State from 1964-68, while he attended the university.

Sid Crocker, who worked at a local TV station, was the P.A. Announcer when Borne made his first trip to Tiger Stadium’s press box. Borne says that Crocker told him, “Take a good look, you might be doing this one day.”

When Sid retired after the 1985 season, Dan wrote LSU a letter telling them he would like to be considered for the position.

After hearing nothing for months, then LSU Sports Information Director Jamie Kimbrough invited Borne to meet with him and several colleagues.

“When I arrived, they were very courteous and said, ‘Ok, you can have the job,’ ” Borne said. “I answered, ‘Thanks, but why?’ Jamie said, ‘Because nobody else asked.’ ”

The P.A. announcer gig is not a one-man show, Borne explained. During the games, Borne has two spotters that help him with the game.

Borne has experimented with different spotters throughout the years, and prefers female spotters to males.

“Women spot, but men coach,” he said. “The guys instead of giving me the number of the person who made the run, catch, or tackle, will generally say we should have run ‘52 slant right,’ and of course I don’t want to know that.

“It’s hard to get guys to focus on the game because they think they can coach better than the coach, and the women only care about the numbers.”

So to get all the information correct, Borne listens for his spotters to give him the numbers of the key players on the play, information from press box announcer Jimmy Manasseh, and gleans the stadium’s three video boards to double-check he’s correct.

Over the years, Borne has coined several phrases that have become staples in Tiger Stadium.

Once the coin toss result is announced, Borne announces the weather forecast for the game, with his signature line “Chance of Rain …” in which the crowd responds as one, “NEVER!”

Borne would come to games as a young boy with his aunt and sit in the south end zone.

“From the time I can remember, my aunt would always kid about the fact that it never rained in Tiger Stadium,” Borne said.

The older he got the more he used to hear people say this.

He is not sure of the origin of the saying, but Borne has not always used the now famous phrase.

“I used to give the weather cast pretty straight up, and one day, just unplanned, I just said ‘Chance of rain…never,’ and it just kind of caught on,” he said. “Now people expect it and shout it back.”

Borne continues to be a key aspect of the atmosphere at Tiger Stadium, and ignites the LSU fans throughout the games.

“I just think how blessed I’ve been over the years and how grateful I am to LSU for keeping me around,” he said. “I’ll always appreciate that!”

As long as Borne continues to be the P.A. announcer, it will truly never rain in Tiger Stadium.

Chance of Rain…NEVER!

Courtesy of LSUSport.net

You’re Gonna’ Hear Tiger Stadium Roar

By Kyle Huber

 

LSU football returned to the capital city for its home opener Saturday versus a clear underdog Sam Houston State team.

While the game got out of hand very quickly, the new sounds and sights at Tiger Stadium were enough to grab the attention of a record setting crowd.

LSU unveiled the new addition to the south end zone, which added suites, club areas and seating which, according to LSUSports.net, brings the capacity of Tiger Stadium to 102,321.

Also within the south end zone addition are two 40-by-70 foot video scoreboards at the top of the southeast and southwest corners.

While LSU fans were introduced to the new visual additions to Tiger Stadium, they were also introduced to new audio additions as well. Starting this season, SEC schools will be allowed to play music from their sound systems in between plays.

LSU Director of Fan Experience Jason Suitt plans to take full advantage of this rule change.

“We will now have the ability to supplement what the band does, especially on defense, and allow our fans to get into the game at appropriate times,” Suitt said.

With the band playing in between many of the downs, Suitt assures fans, “The band will pay their traditional down cheers, and we will supplement what they do.”

LSU is also following the lead of other SEC schools that have placed microphones near their bands to amplify them through the stadium sound system.

Using microphones for “the band only enhances what the band already does,” Suitt said.

Anyone who has gone to an LSU home football game has a tough time explaining the feeling one gets when the Golden Band from Tigerland strikes up the first notes of pregame.

While the band is a large component of the great experience of LSU football game day, in-game music from the sound system in Tiger Stadium can add just as much excitement to the atmosphere.

So how does LSU balance the playing of the band and music?

“We give the band the first choice if they want to play in their traditional spots,” Suitt said. “However, if they play and there’s time left in a timeout we usually pick it up and play something.”

The songs played in game are picked depending on the situation within the game. When it comes to picking the songs Suitt said, “it is probably the toughest part about playing music in the stadium.

“There’s such a large demographic in our stadium, music that is more mainstream now was not mainstream with our older demographic of season ticket holders in the stands.

“Obviously you are trying to appeal to in certain situations to everybody, so that makes it tough to pick which genre or songs to play. That’s why we try to hit as many genres as we can.”

Currently the only speakers for the stadium sound system are housed in the north end zone scoreboard.

LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Eddie Nunez said the speakers were installed before the 2013 football season. They were designed by Baker Audio and are Danley speakers.

There are a several problems with having speakers only in the north end zone.

Fans who sit in the north side of the stadium complain of the noise being too loud, and fans sitting on the south side complain about not being able to clearly hear public address announcements, videos and music.

Also, fans have complained that when the stadium is not full, such as Saturday night mid-way through the third quarter of the Sam Houston State game, an echo goes around the stadium whenever music plays or an announcement is made.

According to Nunez, speakers were installed around the stadium, but will never be placed in the south end of the stadium because the sound would bounce off the sound comingfrom the speakers on the north side.

“We are constantly working very hard to get the sound and speakers calibrated enough so everyone in the stadium gets even levels,” he said.

Whether it was the first game of the season in Death Valley, the dominant performance the Tigers put on against the Bearkats, the unveiling of the new south end zone or the sounds of the LSU band and music, Tiger Stadium was roaring Saturday night.