Sandwiched in between church was “The Bayou Classic”. The annual match up between Southern University and Grambling State University in New Orleans, LA.

If you have never experienced a Bayou Classic (or Florida Classic for that matter), you have missed one of the true spectacles on Earth. This is the essence of the “Black College Football Experience”. The Bayou Classic is more than a football game, it is food, fun & drinks, The Battle of the Bands, Greek Step Show, parties, enjoying meeting old and new friends, job fairs, college recruiting, introducing new products and just being a part of the experience.

They say the economy of New Orleans is enhanced by over 40 million dollars each year as a result of the Bayou Classic. That’s a lot of Lucky Dogs and Hurricanes!

Barbara, myself and the grand kids usually go down to the city the morning of the game and walk up and down Canal Street and visit The Riverwalk. After the game we walk through some of the street vendors displays and try to get some bargains.

Before Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Centre, with Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, The Hyatt Hotel and the excellent food court next to the dome was the place to congregate before the game (if you didn’t have a hotel room). All of that is gone now, but we are hopeful that it will reopen before too long.

The crossover from New Orleans Center to the dome is always full of entertainers and sponsors giving away “stuff”. Thousands of people just hover around the booths and you get to see a lot of celebrates. Some of the biggest entertainers come to the Bayou Classic each year.

People that go down early in the week and those that travel down to New Orleans the day after Thanksgiving have a lot of things to do and see. Many of these people never make it to the game. They say normally over 200,000 people come to New Orleans for the festivities. The Superdome only holds about 70,000. The city has everything for entertainment and the food is so good, I always eat too much and still want more.

This year it rained on game day, which meant we did not get to do our walking. We went directly into the dome and watched all of the pre-game show. We watched the people come into the dome. That is a show all its own! Talk about dressed! No money is spared for this once per year fashion show!

Some fans only go to see the half-time show. Grambling’s band is one of the most traveled bands in the country. They have performed all over the world and done many commercials for big time companies in the states.

Southern’s band is world class too. They have one of the largest, and loudest, marching bands in all of college football (FAMU’s band is much larger). Both bands can march and play with the best. I have seen some of the best half-time shows of my life at the Bayou Classic. This year both bands spelled out “OBAMA” on the field and Southern’s band even spelled out “Jan. 20, 2009”. During the pre-game show, Grambling’s band did an all gospel music show. Southern also has a gospel presentation in their repertoire.

The game was won by Grambling this year, GSU Tigers -29; SU Jaguars – 24. Barbara “The Tiger” was very happy. She had a new Grambling shirt hand crafted just for the game. She was so happy about the win that she wore her shirt to church Sunday (casual dress 5th Sunday) to harass all the Jaguar fans, including me.

┬áBarbara’s Tiger Shirt

The pastor failed to mention who won the game (in other years when S. U. wins, he always talks about the victory). He did mention the half-time show but not the score. So Barbara went to the pastor’s study after church and showed him her shirt and told him about his omission! I have told her that one of these days I am going to have to pull some diehard S. U. fan off of her!

The best thing about Grambling winning is, I will have some peace for the next year and my wife will be happy. That is, until we kick the Tigers in the 2009 Bayou Classic!