As you leave Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans and head west on I-10 towards Baton Rouge, the landscape becomes apocalyptic. Trees, shredded by hurricanes, dot the swampy land as you drive along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The landscape pretty much represents what’s about to happen to your liver in 70 short miles when you spend two solid days drinking god knows what from LSU fans whose job it is to show northern rookies why Baton Rouge on a Saturday is college football’s best tailgating experience.
There’s no need to write 1500 eloquent words about LSU tailgating using big words. If you want that, we suggest you find a story from ESPN’s Wright Thompson. He can wax about the trees on the LSU campus and how a sunny day on the parade ground is like a slice of heaven. The guy is an insane wordsmith, but he’s not going to tell you stories about Jesse The Cab Driver trying to coax four northerners into visiting the Penthouse out by I-10.
That’s our domain, Thompson.
You came here for the party report and let’s just say our livers took more punishment – in two days – than Wright Thompson has ever endured in his life.
Overall Tailgating Experience Grade: A+
LSU lived up to the hype. When you do these tailgating destination trips, as we do, the stories sound too good to be true. You hear tales of the booze. You hear tales of the crazy bastards cooking (baby elephants, as we heard with our own ears on Saturday – notice the trunk on that hog) whole animals on sidewalks. You don’t believe it until your eyes see it. Hands down, LSU is the tailgating capital of college football. Nobody can mix crazy, southern hospitality and creativity like the Cajuns.
Jesse The Cab Driver
Jesse told us he lives in Mississippi, but drives his cab an hour each way every day to earn a living. His phone plays a duck quack when a text comes in, which happens with great regularity. The speed limits on most city streets in Baton Rouge are 35. Jesse does at least 50 to 55. The guy knows multiple back routes to Walk-Ons and gladly offers his number for return rides. He openly suggests we go watch the strippers at Penthouse.
Ryan The Cooney’s Tailgate Guy
How big is tailgating at LSU? It’s a business. Ryan The Cooney’s Tailgate Guy (below, left, with BC supporter Mikey) and his college buddies have turned their Cooney’s Corner tailgate into a keg pounding machine. We partied with the Cooney’s Corner crew and watched 14 kegs and multiple jugs of Purple Drank disappear. This tailgate also has a food tent with the best jambalaya you northerners will ever taste.
10, 9.5, 10, 9, 10, 8.99, 9.79, 10, random 8, 10, 9.87, 10. You get the idea. Again, Wright Thompson won’t be waxing about the chicks in his upcoming ESPN The Magazine cover story. Eventually all the purple sundresses and boots begin to blur. These girls will drink your ass under the table and slam a Styrofoam mug of jambalaya – and ask for a pull off your bottle of bourbon.
Pay $40 to get onto the parade ground lots and find a random swatch of land. Raise the tent, fire up the propane tanks, tape up a Saban Is A Douche sign, tap a keg and get ripped. Doesn’t get any easier than this place. Observe a few basic parking rules and the school could care less how bombed you get on their campus. Run out of kegs? We hear there are certain individuals who can deliver emergency kegs. Ask around.
A Saturday night in Death Valley is a religious experience. Sure, there are bigger places like Neyland Stadium or Alabama’s Bryant-Denny, but there’s something about the opposing team running by Mike The Tiger’s cage that’ll bring a tear to your eye. Shockingly, this is one of the only places in Louisiana that doesn’t serve alcohol. See below.
• Pace yourself. Purple Drank should be sipped.
• Buy a bottle like this, fill it with bourbon and put it in your pants pocket. The expert LSU drinkers showed us how these booze bags can be easily smuggled into Tiger Stadium via your back pocket. The ticket takers won’t feel your ass enough to detect the booze.
• Free hot dog stands. Certain tailgates take care of the drunks who are jonesing for a quick fix by handing out free meat missiles.
• Stop at a Walmart and get yourself a camo LSU visor. Thank us later.
• 85 and sunny on November 3 is so enjoyable.
• We finished off the trip by heading back to New Orleans on Sunday and getting stupid on hurricanes at Harry’s Corner bar. Again, pace yourself, and be sure to ask the bartender what’s in a hurricane.
“Rum and a bunch of other shit,” the bartender said.
A special thanks to Mikey, Amy, Cruiser, Ryan Cooney, and numerous names that are hard to remember after all the booze kicked in. It was a life-changing trip.