Tulane-LSU rivalry still has life
The Tigers were rated number two in the land. They were looking forward to playing in the college championship game. And the Greenies’ sorry showing in their three prior games offered little hope for an upset.
Besides, Tulane’s new coach, Bob Toledo, sang a sad song all week prior to game time. It was his technique for getting his boys up for the occasion. And apparently it succeeded.
From opening kickoff to the end of the first half, it was nip and tuck. The Tulane defense was sacking the quarterback, something it was not supposed to do. And the offense was picking up yards. At half, Tulane had 8 first downs to LSU’s 4, 126 yards gained to LSU’s 127 and 9 points to LSU’s 10. Not bad for a 42-point underdog.
The second half was a bit different but Tulane was still respectable. Final score, LSU 34, Tulane 9. Except for a pass interception and a fumble in the second half, it would have been much closer and maybe with a different outcome.
The game brought back many memories of victory and defeat - - like when Reggie Reginelli caught a pass and razzle-dazzled through the LSU team at the end of the game to give Tulane a victory over the Orange Bowl bound Tigers. As a final insult, Greenie fans then started throwing oranges at the Tigers out on the field.
Another time, Tulane was a national champion until LSU socked them 21-0 in the final game. And Tulane repaid championship Tiger teams on a couple of occasions during the drought years of the last half century.
In the late forties, the rivalry got fever pitch. Some of the games ended in free-for-alls with fans crossing the field to swing fists. To try and quell the violence, the bands played the “Star Spangled Banner.” While it was played, all of the fans stood at attention. Immediately after the “home of the brave,” however, fists started swinging again.
Then there was the time LSU students sneaked into Tulane Stadium a few weeks before game time and planted grass seed in the middle of the field. By game day, Tulane fans had to look at a big bright patch of green grass spelling “LSU” growing up in center field.
And of course there was the day Mike the Tiger was kidnapped by Tulane students. He later showed up in his cage at Ye Olde College Inn on Carrolton Avenue unharmed.
There has been some question as to whether or not the annual rivalry should continue with the disparity between the teams during the last five decades. The answer to that is not yes or no but how to bring back some of the old excitement that attended the annual affair.
The Greenies don’t have to win every other year - - just make it interesting with an occasional win. And it could have been that way this year without that fumbled ball and intercepted pass.
So let the series continue. And, you Tigers, just wait until next year.
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