Yes, we are still celebrating.
I went to New Orleans to watch the BCS National Championship game, but I didn't have a ticket. I never made it into the Superdome.
Some people, including several who love me, think I am crazy.
I made an effort during the season not to get too blog happy with what some call my LSU football-related shenanigans. But I don't really consider it nonsense.
Some friends and family members couldn't understand why I would drive for hours late at night to make it to Baton Rouge or through the night to Alabama for an away game. One night I went without sleep. Another I slept in a tent in a mall parking lot. Then there was an apartment floor. The most comfortable spot probably was my pal's recliner in exotic Jackson, Miss. Of course, I had to startle said pal awake at 3 or 4 a.m., since he thought I wasn't coming when the arrival didn't happen at a decent hour.
I jogged with a buddy up a winding Tiger Stadium ramp to make it to my nosebleed seat for the Arkansas game in time to hear a player and close family friend recognized on senior day. Fortunately the defensive end was near near the bottom of the alphabetical list of honorees. Between coughs in the chilly November air (since my cross country runner buddy overestimated my fitness), I shouted with glee when they called out the name Zehyoue.
Tuesday I had to make a bleary-eyed, six-hour drive from New Orleans to Shreveport to make it back to work after the big win. But even though the dang BCS didn't shower favor upon me me in the form of a reporter's golden ticket -- the press pass -- Monday night was proof that all my fanatical effort was worth it.
Some fellow Tiger fans and I joked Monday that the BCS National Championship should mean a statewide holiday. (Who was really working anyway?) Yes, it is only a game. But only being a game is what makes it magic. Magic enough to spill onto Poydras and down Carondolet to Mother Clucker's wings where I watched the game, and up to Shreveport and everywhere between.
In a state that is last on a lot of bad lists, where crime is a major problem and children can't finish school, a little magic goes a long way. We are No. 1 at something.
Even converted Tech graduates like my dad can appreciate it. LSU football unites. We may not be able to agree on who the next president should be or what makes good foreign policy. We can't get New Orleans rebuilt or I-49 north finished fast enough. (And by we, I'm not just talking about father and son here.)
When the Tigers play, we all act like a family. Being national champions was enough for Gov. Blanco to declare today as LSU Day. Here's part of her prepared statement:
"They have faced adversity, doubt and criticism from their foes, but their talent and tenacity have proven without question that they are the best team in the country. I encourage fans to join me in celebrating LSU Day by wearing purple and gold to show their pride in our Fighting Tigers!"
So let's band together... and point at people from Ohio and make them feel like they're last in line.