Friday, January 14, 2011

From SI to LSU

Beth wrote an article about the legendary Bruce Mahoney game the other day. The thing she left out of her version (because it's irrelevant) is that she emailed and called ME to go with her before finding someone else. Thank merciful god, I had other plans already. Ugh. Prepster events. If I'm going to stay in the Bay Area I gotta just give into 'em but ugggghhhh.

My experience at The Prep was not unlike Beth's. I've touched on it before but: I was basically wallpaper. I knew from day one that high school was this perfunctory experience that I just had to get through to get to the better stuff. I spent most of my lunches hiding in the library so not to suffer social shame of not having friends while I read whatever book I grabbed off the shelf. I wasn't athletic or dramatic or artistic or super smart. Just WAS. While Beth was watching X-Files, I was sitting at home LOVING the old TBS show "Dinner and a Movie", a meal themed to a movie of the week (OMG did you people know that was still on?!). I watched this mostly alone while downstairs at my house eating homemade nachos. On Fridays. I was also mostly left to my own devices, as parental supervision was...mmmm....lacking. They did their best but, ya know, they were divorced and in their early to mid 30s so, I was on my own a lot. Not that that's bad, I suppose. A little direction might have been nice.

I mean, I wish I had perhaps enjoyed it a little more. If someone had said, "Hey, submit something to the lit journal!" Or "Write for the paper." But they didn't, and I didn't take the initiative, and that's that. Que sera sera. (Also, for those of us that wish we could have do overs? I found an amazing show, obviously from Canada, on Hulu and now have yet another distraction from bar study. It's called Being Erica. It's definitely lifetime type Saturday afternoon watching but I think it's kinda adorbs.)


all of it got to me LSU. One of the few things that I'm not sure even if I had the chance I would change. And that was a really long way of getting to the fact that I was asked the other day about how I ended up going to LSU from the Sunset. It is an anomaly.

Long story short: happy accident. Wanted to go to Tulane, wanted out of SF, didn't get into Tulane, applied to LSU on a whim, got in and thought, "Fuck it. Why not?" So. Ya know. There ya go.

But in my time there I got to be whoever I wanted to be. And mostly it was awesome. I mean, not without its trials as well, sure, but just... So I'm reposting something I wrote awhile ago about becoming an LSU fan and what it means to me. Maybe you guys will appreciate the batshit football insanity a bit more now:

Andy directed me to this post about college football and your secret shames. Then, he responded to it on his own blog. I have now wasted most of my day perusing the comments. And even commenting myself. Which leads me to my first shame:

I have come into my own in a lot of ways. I am definitely more confident, feel more confident. I know, in a way I didn't in my teen years or early 20s, that people WANT to hang out with me and be my friend and listen to what I have to say. I'm not insecure about that. But when it comes to commenting with these super smart sports fans, even if they are basement dwelling bloggers? I feel a little intimidated. They're going to make fun of me! They're going to think what I say is stupid! They will smell my limited knowledge. It shouldn't matter. Really. But it does.

My other shame I shared in the comments: I am excited about law school graduation. A little bit. I am about a thousand times more excited to go back to Baton Rouge this fall and watch my first LSU home game since graduating in '04.

To be fair, I've been to two LSU games since graduation. First was the ASU game that got moved to Tempe because of Katrina. The second was this past September in Seattle with U-Dub. But back in Baton Rouge? Back where they use paddles to stir the butt load of gumbo and jambalaya and you drink all day before teetering into the stadium at night? Shiiiittt. My soul gets happy. The kind of happy that I don't think I could ever explain to anyone. Blissful happy. The kind of happy that people probably feel when in love or something.

The last is this: I didn't know what college football was until 1998. I walked on to campus in Baton Rouge and didn't know the first freaking thing, other than that Army/Navy played in December. (boyz are hot!) I knew nothing about Baton Rouge. I didn't know it's reputation as a party school. I knew nothing of it's history. I didn't know our school coors. I don't think I fully understood where Baton Rouge WAS on a map. But I went there. Random winds of fate and all that.

I was raised on the west coast by parents who didn't go to college. My grandfather was a 49ers fan but even he, in liberal SF, gave more time to my boy cousins than me. That and he died when I was ten so it's not like we got to have those conversations. But even then, we kept his season tickets and I never went to a game. The boys did. Occasionally my mom did. I didn't. I think my junior year of HS was my first 49ers game and my mom and I left in the 4th quarter with the 49ers losing to the Rams. They made a comeback and we were already home. I got harassed at school the next day by my Algebra teacher/head football coach: You never leave the game early. It was a lesson I wouldn't forget. (Although amended: non-conference blow out? Leave early.)

My dad was a baseball fan and most summer days in my formative years were spent going to Giants games. Lots and lots of Giants games. (This is well documented.)

I went to HS at the same time Tom Brady was qbing in our conference down the road but never went to a game. I wasn't that girl. In high school, as I have mentioned, I was wall paper. Just there. Not completely invisible but not exactly engaged either. It speaks volumes that my brother is friends with more of my classmates than I am. Hell. I walked on to campus at LSU not understanding why there were Death Valley T-shirts. "Um, don't they know that's in California?" And then: I was converted. I walked into Tiger Stadium in the fall of 1998, it rained, and I was in love. The big giant sign in the inside of the stadium that says, "WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY" made a lot more sense. I couldn't tell you who we played. (A quick Google search lets me know it was Arkansas State.) The game was unimportant. The crowd, the fans, the night game, the rain. That I remember. I remember the opening notes of pre-game. My heart still stops when they play that. Holy cow. Just watching this video gives me chills. And I suddenly bled purple and gold. Forever.

I work out to the drum cadence. Seriously. Put that on and my body thinks it's time to run. Now, like any good convert, I'm a zealot. I absolutely hate when men talk down to me about sports because I have breasts. This part is updated: truly truly a pet peeve of mine. I figure at some point, some guy in San Francisco is gonna know more about college football than me and I'm going to have to marry him on principal. They also start conversations with you, "Oh, LSU fan, huh? I went to SC." That in and of itself gives me pause. I went to school in the SEC, SC is Sakerlina. But in California it usually means the douche is a Trojan. So they've engaged. I'll then ask them about how they feel about the Reggie Bush ruling or what it means to the program to have Carroll gone and Kiffin in and the 2 year post season probation and all I get in return is a blank stare. God forbid I mention a "shared" national title (we got the crystal ball, bitches!).

But even with my convert status: I feel like my fandom is somehow less than everyone who was born and bred a Tiger and can name every QB since the beginning of time. I was not around for Curley Hallmen or Cholly Mac. I came late to this party. I've partied hard while at it (shut it, I know what you are going to say), but I'm a relative newby. So that's my shame. Please, lord baby geebus, forgive me for only knowing about the past 12 years of college football, not the entirety of my life. I plan to make it up to you as a proud disciple for the next however many years you give me.


  1. I didn't really like her article for the obvious reason. I still don't know why I defend a school I want nothing to do with and spit on one I could also care less about.

    I DO know that dinner and a movie is still on. I watched it back then (not consistently, though), and I would catch it now except I hate commercials during movies. Netflix! Comcast On Demand!

  2. Wait, what? You didn't like it because of the rivalry and being on the opposite end of it? Is that the obvious reason? If so: I gotta say, LOL. Because it's not like it was a rip on SH. It was Beth's perspective on being an SI alum and going back and that neither of us, and you too, aren't defined by that experience but simply shaped by it. You should feel as apathetic about the SH experience as we (mostly) do about the SI one.

  3. Oh, and I totally had a crush on the teacher she named in there too. I think everyone did.

  4. Oh no, it's simply that it was about SI and not SH. It was well written - I like her blog. That's what I'm saying: I don't know why I perpetuate a rivalry for 1) a school I don't go to anymore and 2) schools I could care less about. It's not voluntary.

    Hot for Teacher! =P