Tennessee vs. LSU (plus my take on South Louisiana)

40-13 #feelslike98

I suppose better late than never…

I’m not one for making excuses but I’ll go ahead and make one.
The last week has been nothing short of packed and bandwidth consuming.

I don’t prescribe to the “I’m so busy” talk… everyone is busy.
I’d rather own up to prioritization and getting back to my writing simply could not be a massive priority until the end of this current week.

But here we are again.
More of Nick’s thoughts burning a hole in your brain and concentration.
Thanks for joining us.

Tennessee vs. LSU + My married life

For my faithful readers who don’t already know, I am married to a wonderful south Louisiana queen. We met in the likeliest of places, southeast Michigan, and I made it a point early on to make this girl my wife.

One of my prior posts talks extensively about my love affair with Tennessee football so I’ll spare you today – just read this post to learn more.

Shortly after meeting my wife I discovered her equally unhealthy love affair with LSU football. This sick obsession though is a direct result of her Cajun Louisiana upbringing.

Football, LSU football in particular, is nothing short than a way of life in this uniquely beautiful part of the world. I’ve rarely witnessed a greater roller coaster of emotions than when a group of native LSU fans watch a game – it’s beyond an unhealthy level of stress.

The Tennessee vs. LSU game was a beating handed out by my beloved Volunteers so there’s not much to talk about there. However there is some to talk about concerning yet another south Louisiana experience.

Cajun culture – Looking from the outside

My first trip to my wife’s hometown was eye opening.

I had previously travelled to nearly every other state in the traditional American South. Each had it’s own unique flair but most carried the same overall feel: Drawls and y’alls and fried food and very warm Southern hospitality.

I expected nothing different when I first stepped into the St. Mary Parish.
I was incorrect.

This culture is something like I have never experienced.
Yes, the people are very warm and welcoming.
Yes, the cuisine is delicious and mortality testing.
Yes, the world spins a little slower and nobody seems to be in a major hurry.

Rather it’s the sense of pride in longstanding traditions that still take me by a pleasant surprise. Food is prepared with a sense of generational pride (I find Cajuns to be highly critical of another family’s recipe).

Hometowns are more than just hometowns – they are havens of intense comfort and love. Being in the outdoors is truly a way of life as pickup trucks pulling fishing boats are a commonality.

I’ve visited my wife’s family countless times now and these special features about south Louisiana still captivate me. As an outsider I still don’t fully understand each nuance but I love it.

My own upbringing was far from “regular” (when compared to my friends) with my father’s parents being immigrants; this has always caused me to love seeing “different” people and their cultures.

South Louisiana is truly “different” in every sense of the word.
And it’s simply beautiful.

Coming full circle – Cajun culture + College football + My marriage

LSU games are a celebration of heritage – I highly recommend a night game as they are incredibly intense.

The sprawling tailgates are more than just beer and hotdogs. It is Cajun cuisine to the max with men primarily doing much of the cooking (men being great cooks connects with me as I also love to cook).

Nearly all of the fans shared their warmness with the visiting Tennessee contingent. I’ve read countless stories of Vol fans feeling overly welcomed by Tiger fans and I can fully agree with this as well.

Some dude even offered to share his concession snacks with me – I politely declined.

The Tennessee faithful sang Rocky Top about 398 times and yet the Tiger faithful enjoyed the spectacle as much as humanly possible in spite of the beating taking place on the football field.

My wife was gracious in her defeat. Tennessee has had their fair share of bad run-ins with LSU football in the past 20 years so she allowed me to have my fun.

My in-laws were mostly understanding of my excitement… my father in-law took the loss slightly harder than my bride. I can understand his feelings.

Short-story long:
Get your college football loving self to Tiger stadium.
Better yet, get your butt to south Louisiana.
Not just New Orleans; get into the outlying towns and enjoy Cajun country.

A couple of Nick’s recommendations:

Black Kettle Cajun Meats and Market – Patterson, LA
Indescribable Cajun cuisine

The Crossing Place Fellowship – Franklin, LA
My wife’s home church – beautiful people who love the Lord

Rouses Markets – everywhere in south LA
It’s just a grocery store but way better than Walmart

Caroline’s Cookies – Lafayette, LA
Best cookies you’ll ever buy – pure insanity

French Market Express – Natchitoches, LA
Gas station meat pies – not very healthy but quite delicious

Landry’s Seafood House – New Orleans, LA
Amazing New Orleans cuisine

Destrehan Plantation – Destrehan, LA
Simply beautiful and also where my wife and I were married so it’s always a happy place for me.

Check out my other articles

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