Our Tailgating group Krewe of Ragoo numbered around
Posted on: September 11, 2011 at 06:59:27 CT
Ozland Tiger LSU
three hundred members. We had own DJ, chef from New Orleans (chef Ray) and our own beer sponsor. We had a four man beer bong, our famous '8 man weapon of mass consumption' and our world famous sacred funnel. We didn't tailgate 'half-ass', we tailgated full blast!
From Olin Buchanan
Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer
Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com.
As a rule, I almost always found (LSU fans) to be extremely friendly.
Oh sure, there was the 1994 trip to Baton Rouge to cover the LSU-Texas A&M season opener. On the slow drive through crowded streets leading to Tiger Stadium, dozens of LSU fans saw the Texas license plates and promptly spat all over the hood of my car.
What did I care? It was a rental.
Over the years I've been invited by Louisianans to crawfish boils, Mardi Gras celebrations, casino trips and days at the horse races. I would gladly toast their hospitality with a bottle of Abita beer.
Marvin Dugas, aka "The Big Ragoo" and the leader of "The Krewe of Ragoo" - the world tailgating champions - once invited me to join a tailgate party before the 2003 Cotton Bowl. The game was scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. kickoff.
"We start tailgating at 7 a.m.," Dugas told me.
"What time do you start for a night game?" I wondered.
"We start tailgating at 7 a.m.," he repeated.
That's just another example of how Louisianans are quick to extend a hand in friendship.
But if you suggest the LSU Tigers shared the 2003 national championship with Southern California, those same friendly people would rather extend a fist in the mouth.
That's a sore subject down there. LSU fans waited 45 years between national championships, and once they got one they didn't want to share.
It matters not to them that USC was voted national champion by the Associated Press. The BCS system put LSU and Oklahoma in the championship game that season, and LSU won 21-14.
From © September 7, 2007
By Kyle Tucker
BATON ROUGE, La.
The 19-year-old piece of paper hardly looks like it deserves this kind of treatment. Kept under lock and key, it's preserved alongside Civil War documents and other artifacts from Louisiana State University's rich history.
But here it is, in LSU's Hill Memorial Library, a faded sheet of graph paper with splotches stretching across it. Running off the right side of the page is a bigger blob. Like an ink stain, really.
"Doesn't look like much, huh?" said Barry Cowan, an assistant archivist at LSU. "But it's really kind of amazing what it represents. About this time every year, folks come in and want to see it.
"To me, it's very cool, because I was there when this happened."
How does a blob happen?
Well, that completely underwhelming spot is the scientific reminder of one of the most overwhelming moments in college football history. For Virginia Tech fans, whose ninth-ranked Hokies travel into the heart of SEC country to face the second-ranked Tigers on Saturday night, it speaks volumes about the wild world they're entering.
On the night of Oct. 8, 1988, LSU trailed rival Auburn 6-0 in the waning moments. Tommy Hodson tossed a game-winning touchdown to tailback Eddie Fuller on fourth down, with 1:47 to play.
"And it was like an explosion," said Cowan, a student in the stands that day. "But that was normal in Tiger Stadium. We didn't know we'd shaken anything."
Shaken something? Yeah, the earth.
That little blue blob, now etched in LSU lore, was created on a seismograph in the school's geology department. It was the recording of a "seismic event."
While folks around here still refer to it as "The Earthquake Game," it wasn't a full-blown shifting of tectonic plates.
"But there were waves going through the earth," said Darrell Henry, an LSU geology professor. "I was amazed that there could be that much energy stored and released from Tiger Stadium."
He might not have believed it had he not seen the famous reading, or heard the deafening roar from his own yard - 2 miles away from the stadium.
"The fans here are absolutely insane," Henry said. "They just live and breathe football."
Marvin Dugas likes to think he helped shake the earth on that famous night. Nicknamed "The Big Ragoo" for a dance-happy character from the "Laverne & Shirley" show, Dugas is the godfather of a locally famous tailgating group at LSU.
The Krewe of Ragoo, about 300 revelers who've been partying together for two decades, plan to kick off festivities for Saturday's 9:15 p.m. game - at 6 a.m.
Giant cauldrons of gumbo will be simmering, as excitement over that night's game also bubbles to a boil.
Dugas, a stumpy man with a shiny bald head and syrupy Cajun accent, was in the stadium for the famous game in ' 88. "You could feel the vibrations. The whole place rattled," he said.
Scientists have debated whether the seismic reading was the result of sheer sound waves - "When the band comes onto the field to start the game, a roar starts and never stops," Dugas said - or the pounding of 79,341 fans jumping together. (The stadium holds more than 92,000 now.)
Neither of those theories includes one very key component, which will be in full effect this weekend.
"Adult beverages," said Dugas. "We attach kegs to an eight-man funnel. Everybody gets on the other end of a tube and we crank it up.
"We'll start early, and by kick-off we'll be... enthused."
The "enthusiasm" around town was already well under way long before game day. Wednesday night, Clota Gearhardt, a 1969 Virginia Tech graduate from Richmond, swung open the door to Walk-Ons, a jam-packed sports bar in the shadow of Tiger Stadium.
With a few hundred LSU fans crowded inside for Coach Les Miles' weekly radio show, Gearhardt and his two friends in maroon stood out. The Tigers faithful stood up and started shouting over and over: "Tiger Bait! Tiger Bait!"
It didn't really bother Gearhardt, who arrived in Baton Rouge with his friends on Monday. He'd heard about this town and figured it would take a full week to truly appreciate the place.
Tech fans love their football too, after all.
"We've had a ball," Gearhardt said. "These folks are nutty. I think I started an uproar."
As the night wore on, though, Tigers and Hokies were sharing beers and bravado and arguing over who has the wildest game-day environment.
The Big Ragoo was in Blacksburg when LSU opened its season there in 2002. He came away impressed.
"But there's nothing in college football that compares to here," said Dugas, noting that on the Bayou, it's more of a game week.
"On Monday, we're ready. Tuesday, we're fired up. Wednesday, the crazy starts with the coach's show. By Thursday, you're ready to go the stadium.
"Friday, it's unbearable. I don't work on Friday. Just can't."
Here, some things are just more important.
Thursday afternoon, in the middle of a work day, a few dozen people were gathered around the team's mascot. Parents brought their children for the show.
There's a new tiger in town, a live one. Mike V, the fifth Bengal tiger whose roars have represented the school and wowed football crowds, died recently. The newest one, by all the breathless accounts around campus, will be the best of all.
Mike V was about 300 pounds when he died. The new guy, just a baby, is already 300 and is expected to hit 700. He is stunning to see, as is his habitat.
In 2005, at a cost of nearly $3 million, the school created a mini-jungle right behind the football stadium, complete with lush vegetation, a wading pool and waterfall.
Most of the money came from fans.
"This stuff is serious," said Michelle Smith, on hands and knees trying to get a peek at Mike VI hiding in the trees. "Football is what people live for. You'll see babies in uniforms and elderly people partying."
Sometimes, you'll even feel the earth move.
Kyle Tucker, (757) 446-2374 firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by Ozland Tiger at 07:01:58 on 09/11/11