The LSU Sports Museum: Genuflection Preferred, but Not Required

There is a time in everyoneÂ’s life when you get to live out the fantasies you have had since grade school. No, IÂ’m not talking about a day at the Neverland Valley Ranch; IÂ’m talking about the day I had frolicking in sports memorabilia from LSUÂ’s past at the Jack and Priscilla Andonie Museum.
As I walked in, I immediately noticed the famous “Go to Hell, Ole Miss” vest worn by former LSU football coach Charlie Mac. I couldn’t believe the vest was still in the same condition as when he wore it. It’s a shame they didn’t wash the thing, though. I see why they keep that display near the front of the museum – pee-yew!As I turned my head to avoid the smell of the vest, my eyes were opened even wider than before as I caught a glance of the bat used by Warren Morris as he hit the winning home run in the 1996 College World Series. As the staff allowed me to inspect the bat, I noticed that it was hollow.As soon as I was about to question the honesty of the home run bat, my sight was nearly blinded by the 2003 BCS National Championship Trophy, located in the center of the museum floor. The “crystal ball” (as I like to call it) beckoned me with its precious glory. I crawled on my knees and touched the precious glory and pride of all of Baton Rouge. Then in haste, I cradled it and kissed it and caressed it. I found myself ever enchanted by the sparkling crystal ball that somehow makes grown men live vicariously through 19-year-old kids on Saturday nights in the valley of the dead.

Just as I was about to lose myself, someone threw a baseball at me. Not just any baseball, but one of the five LSU National Championship baseballs. As I came to my senses, I made my way over to the basketball section and admired the 2005-2006 menÂ’s and womenÂ’s Final Four trophies. It was so amazing, I didnÂ’t even think about all the meltdowns LSU basketball coach John Brady has had over the years, or the complete lack of discipline he imposed over the program while they were in Indianapolis that week. Nah, none of that went running through my head.

As we kept pace, soaking up everything in the place, we stumbled upon the infamous Chinese Bandits hats worn by the famed LSU defense in the late 50s and early 60s. As I held the Chinese Bandit hat, I couldnÂ’t help but wonder if this was a politically correct thing to do. I wonder if current LSU Coach Les Miles would decide to name his defense something as derogatory and racist as that. I bet the Physics and Math Departments on campus would have a lot to say about that.

    Moving along, I compared my shoe to a shoe worn by LSU great Shaquille OÂ’Neal and decided to never bring my girlfriend to the museum. After passing a montage dedicated to the one and only Seimone Augustus, I found my way to a back corner which had some of the oldest memorabilia in the museum. I saw framed in glass a ticket from the first game ever played in Tiger Stadium. I knew that every listener to the Jimmy Ott radio show on 1210AM would give their right arm for that ticket, so I attempted to steal it so I could scalp it on eBay®, but to no avail, as Security quickly gave me the “got my eye on the black guy” look. Dang, this time I was actually trying to steal something.

So I retreated back into the last room in the museum. It’s filled with tons more LSU sports stuff, but it’s also loaded with Xbox 360s™ and PlayStation® 2s, all playing a different, NCAA-licensed video game. As I made wager after wager on the NCAA football game, I eventually took everybody’s money in the museum and knew it was time I hit the road. I pet the bronze statue of Mike the Tiger outside the museum for good luck. I had to wrestle with Mike for some time, as he owed me $20, and I guess he didn’t take too kindly to me asking him for the money on a football bye week.

This article is simply not enough to explain how truly magnificent a video game player I am, even though I am very good at the screen pass with Trindon Holliday (hint hint, Les). We encourage you, if you are a die-hard LSU supporter, to please make a trip out and see for yourself this incredible sight. The museum is located at 3828 West Lakeshore Drive (adjacent to the Lod Cook Hotel). They are open seven days a week and admission is complimentary. For more details, visit their website at www.andoniemuseum.org. Tom Contine, Founding Director of the Andonie Museum, would love to have you over so he can explain, better than I can, the rich and proud, and sometimes funny, history of LSU Fighting Tiger Athletics.