A good friend of mine reached out to me this morning and said, I have a good idea for you for the blog. I respect this person’s creative opinion as much as anyone, so I was all ears. He is a huge sports fan but doesn’t have a favorite college football team. He needed a team to root for, and he informed me that this goes way beyond the College Football Playoff. There are tons of people who don’t have a rooting interest, people who are going to be dragged to a watch party or to a family event where games are on, have no money on the line but they want to be a part of the action, who should they root for?
I love this concept and the idea that people need some help in determining who they should be cheering for. This is going to become a recurring segment on the blog, mostly when a big game is upon us and you need some help determining where their allegiance should be for that game.
Tonight, is the College Football National Championship Game between the Clemson Tigers and the LSU Tigers. The game is being played in the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Normally, I would say pick your favorite of the two mascots, but we have two Tigers here, so if you’re a fan of tigers than this is the game for you, you’ll probably end up happy either way. That isn’t the only similarity between these two programs, they both play in a stadium dubbed “Death Valley”. Where these stadiums and campuses are is largely important to determining who you are going to root for tonight. Let’s examine the locations where these Tigers call home.
Location, Location, Location
First up, the Clemson Tigers, from Clemson, South Carolina. With a total population of only 13,905 this is the perfect small-town, southern, college vibe. I’m going to be honest with you, I have driven through Clemson, South Carolina and if you blink, you will miss it. There is not much to do, they have a cool botanical garden, John Calhoun’s house and a bunch of barns. To eat, check out Pixie & Bill’s or TD’s of Clemson.
The LSU Tigers from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A total population of 229,493 this is the capital of the great state of Louisiana. Welcome to the bayou, Baton Rouge is plopped on the banks of the Mississippi River and is the 99th most populated state in the country. So many notable people from Baton Rouge but some of my favorites would have to be Randy Jackson (What’s up dog?) Pistol Pete Maravich (The greatest passer in NBA history) and Steven Soderbergh who directed Ocean’s 11,12 and 13, Magic Mike (Sup Ladies) and Traffic. What a lineup that is. If you are hungry then you better get your fried seafood and check out Roux 61 or Parrain’s, order up that catfish.
P.T.P – That stands for Prime Time Player
I was born in 1992, so I am going to pick out the best player from each of these schools during my time.
Clemson has one of the biggest PTP’s I have laid my eyes on, B-Dawk, the ballhawk, Brian Dawkins. I get shivers thinking about him laying hits on receivers being dumb enough to enter the same breathable space as him. I can hear John Madden screaming “BOOM” as Dawkins would decapitate Joe Jurevicius. Sweet Mother Cabrini, an absolute legend of the game.
LSU brings a Hall of Famer to the table as well. Kevin Mawae, arguably the greatest center in the history of football. Big time props to K Dubs being of Hawaiian descent, that’s badass. I also love the fact that after his HOF playing career he has jumped back into coaching college football, what an awesome experience for the players at Arizona State to learn from him and Herm Edwards, pretty cool stuff.
They don’t make em’ like B-Dawk anymore though.
You Can’t Make Chicken Salad Out of Chicken Shit
A coach is only as good as his players and you certainly can’t win with a bunch of bums. I have been a college and youth coach for years and it is simple, if you have a great team around you, the coach always looks better. What makes a good coach, is the ability to elevate and put your players in the right situation. We have two very good coaches in tonight’s game, one who is a phenomenal X’s and O’s type and the other who is one of the greatest motivators I have ever seen.
Clemson has Dabo, the no-name coach who nobody wanted, was given an opportunity and has become arguably the best coach in college football. Out maneuvering some of the bets coaches in the game, game plans and big time decision making. Dabo is phenomenal.
LSU has the biggest coaching personality it all of College Football, Coach O, he loves gumbo, he loves yelling “GO TIGERS” and he is another coaching cast-off who has found a home in Baton Rouge. Born and raised in Larose, Louisiana a boy from the Bayou. He is a master motivator and has brough LSU back to prominence.
Both of these guys are super cool to root for but Coach O is one of a kind. You have to go with the Louisiana boy, coaching LSU, in the Natty at the Superdome, how poetic? Coach O, hold that tiger.
“Tradition is tending the flame, not worshipping the ashes”
Howard’s Rock vs Mike the Tiger
Clemson has the rock, they run down the hill, slap the rock and head onto the field of battle. One of the coolest traditions in all of sports, crowd going wild, a team hurdling down a hill together with one common goal in mind. The symbolism screams college football, the pageantry at its finest.
So, LSU has Mike the Tiger. Mike is a real-life, Royal Bengal Tiger. There have been 7 Mike The Tigers, the greatest Tiger being Mike III who reigned supreme from 1958-1976 when he passed away. Mike III had a record of 131-48-7. Our current Mike has been roaming campus since August 21st 2017 and is an awesome Bengal-Siberian mix. In 2005, a $3 million habitat was created for Mike and there is a live webcam where you can watch Mike all day every day. He is currently sleeping in the far corner of his facility as I type this blog. Check it out: https://www.mikethetiger.com/tiger-cam
Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good
The colors and uniforms for both of these teams are iconic. Both primary and secondary logos are great as well. There is just something about purple and gold mixed that makes me think of college football. I think it has to do with how stunning those colors looked on NCAA Football 04’ for the PS2, glory days. It’s all purple and gold in the uniform matchup and I think it is all purple and gold tonight on the field.
So, you wanted to know who to root for? Now you know, the clear favorite tonight is LSU. They beat Clemson in almost every one of our categories we laid out for the big game. What a night of television, we get this game and Episode 2 of the Bachelor. I will have both TV’s up and running so I don’t miss a second of the action. Be sure to follow us on our Instagram page and check out the live coverage during tonight’s broadcasts.