This adventure ends with me receiving a call from a friend saying, “Dude, I think you and your dad are in Sports Illustrated.” I instantly had to run down to the local store to buy the newest edition of SI. Sure enough my brother, dad, and I were all pictured with Sheddrick Wilson jumping into the stands.
(If you go to page 67 with Sheddrick Wilson jumping into the stands and zoom in, you will see L-R my brother with LSU hat, my Dad with purple hat and yellow poncho, and me blocked out by my dad.) Can’t be mad at your dad.
Most of my memorable games were at Tiger Stadium, but sometimes I ventured into enemy territory.
Growing up in North Louisiana you have certain lines of sports fandom. We have our very own Mason-Dixon Line, and like the Civil War families, might be divided by fan loyalties. Something that has grown very intense the past couple of decades is the Arkansas/LSU border rivalry.
Going to school with many of my friends being diehard Hog fans wasn’t a big deal until Arkansas joined the SEC. After the Hogs moved from the old SWC, suddenly bragging rights were on the line every year.
It also created a unique rivalry in that often I would travel with my Arkansas buddies down to Baton Rouge and spend a day tailgating with the enemy. Laughing as Tiger fans yelled “Tiger Bait” over and over at my friends decked out in their Razorback gear.
My buddies were more than happy to extend the invitation to Little Rock so I could experience some of their home cooking. Hearing “Wooo Pig Sooey” a thousand times will drive any person insane.
Thanksgiving break in 1994 my brother told me he had some tickets to the LSU vs. Arkansas game in Little Rock and asked me to go. Usually I would jump at the chance, but LSU has just fired Curley Hallman and the Tigers were ending a another miserable season.
After using non- rational thought, I decided to go to the game. My dad, brother and I headed for Little Rock which was being hit by a cold front. The temperature dropped and the game forecast was cold, rainy and dreadful.
Already disappointed by the weather, this was not looking like a good idea. LSU got off to a slow start spotting the Hogs a lead, but the 2nd half belonged to the Tigers. Jamie Howard (who I often bash, but has been part of 2 of my memorable games so far) caught fire. After stopping Arkansas with a goal line stand, Howard hit Brett Bech (one of my all time favorites) for a big td pass.
Arkansas fans, who were disappointed in their season, started exiting the stadium in masses. One of my best friends’ dad (who was an Arkansas season ticket holder) invited us to join his end zone seats since the fans had left.
Not long after we arrived at the end zone seats, Jermaine Sharp broke a long td run and was headed right for us. Sharp did his best Lambeau Leap impersonation, and I caught him in my arms and slapped his helmet. This moment had me so pumped at the time, I had forgotten about the cold rain and losing season. What a day!
Going to an enemy stadium is a dicey proposition, but winning and seeing the fans file out as your guy jumps into your arms is priceless.
The Jermaine Sharp leap is undoubtedly what set up the SI shot because not
soon after Sharp’s run, Sheddrick Wilson caught a pass and broke toward the end zone. He jumped into the stands down from where Sharp did which is why I ended up getting blocked out, but still a great moment. LSU sends Curly Hallman and my family home with a 30-12 victory and memories to last a lifetime.
My brother got the article framed for my dad, and it sits proudly on his living room wall.