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  • It’s going to take TWO Honey Badgers for an LSU win

    Jan 6, 2012 CATEGORIES: BCS Championship Game, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Honey Badger, LSU, LSU Fans, LSU Football, LSU v ALABAMA football, Ole Miss Football, SEC Football, Southern Football

    Gods gift to the LSU defense. And offense come to think about his returns...

    HBII. You'll be introduced to him momentarily. Don't you see the resemblance?

    It’s been over a month since I’ve last seen LSU play football in person.  Which is a long time… considering I managed to see the Fighting Tigers play five times this season alone.

     

    No, LSU is not “my team,” but my purple dress sure did get a lot of Ware (see what I did there?) this season as I was lucky enough to be a distant part of the Tiger’s perfect season and impressive display of gridiron talent.

    Take for instance, Honey Badger.   This highly inappropriate, and not Gridiron Belles endorsed, video shows you how Tyrann Mathieu, the mind-blowing-five-foot-nine-almost-the-Heisman-winner-who-leads-the-world-in-tackles-as-the-most-intimidating-cornerback-in-college-football, easily personifies a honey badger found in the wild.

    It’s safe to say that, yes, Honey Badger takes what he wants.  Did I mention that Honey Badger, the player, ranks No.1 Nationally in fumble recoveries and No. 1 in the SEC for forced fumbles?   He does.

    So let’s call a spade a spade.  If you’re an LSU fan, having a honey badger on your team  (among many other talented players) going into the greatest game of college football  history, is a good thing.  Going into the most anticipated National Championship ever played with TWO honey badgers is even better. Allow me to introduce you to “Honey Badger II.”

    THE Honey Badger II

    What I’ve learned from 5 games with the purple and gold is the importance of having a Honey Badger in the stands.   Having a tiger’s eye at midfield in Death Valley is all fine and good. What’s more intimidating is forcing the other team to actually look into the eyes of Mike the Tiger as they tip toe into Tiger stadium. The same goes with Honey Badger Number Two (HBII).  It’s great to have Honey Badger on the field, but HBII really shows his teeth and tenacity to opposing fans at the tailgates and in the stands.

    It's all fun and games until HBII shows up in the Grove

    There is no record of existence of this honey badger prior to his 2011 debut season.  There is no explanation of how HBII and the Honey Badger on the field are able to coordinate their gameday outfits so well.  The only obvious connection is the mutual respect and obsession with winning. And, of course having their pictures taken by fans across the land and, taking with they want.

     

    Honey Badger II is true to his cause even during away games

    HBII unites two fan bases in the Grove

    An early start to his Heisman campaign

    LSU fans smile much bigger when HBII is among them in the stands

    I think that's HBII and Coach Les...

    I'm not sure who is happier

    One last photo-op before HBII took what he wanted and hopped the fence. Who was going to stop the Honey Badger? Exactly...

    All smiles after a perfect season.

    Thanks for all of your hard work this season, Honey Badger (II). What a fan!

     

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

    p.s.– Bama fans, don’t worry, your super fan is coming on Monday!

  • T’was almost the night before Christmas…

    Nov 3, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Championship, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Belles

    COUNT DOWN TO THE GREATEST GAME IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY… SO WE  ARE HOPING.

    What you need to know about  this weekend in Tuscaloosa (Click above for a to-the-second-countdown-to-madness)

    1) Swoozies is hosting a Gridiron Belles book signing on Thursday,  Nov 3 at their Birmingham location in the Summit. They will be offering two prizes for RSVPing to RSVP@swoozies.com and attending–a signed copy of Gridiron Belles and a personalized Tailgate Party Pack! Be sure to get your name in the drawing by coming by, I’d love to meet you!

    Plus!  There is a competition between Auburn and Alabama fans to send in the most responses… I have to dress in the winning team’s colors!

    Come by the Swoozies store in Birmingham on Thursday night5-7!

    2) Gridiron Belles is kicking off the Alabama week with a Friday morning appearance on Birmingham’s CBS 42 “Wake Up Alabama”  at 6:00AM.  If for some reason you are already up, tune in!

    3) I’ll be heading to Tuscaloosa early on Friday morning to stop by Buffalo Phil’s, Dreamland BBQ and Rama Jama.  Please send in info if I should be going anywhere else?  I’ll be tailgate hopping around the Quad on Saturday so let me know where you’ll be so I can come visit and take pictures for the next book!

    This clever and talented BAMA fan is a third grader from Mobile. His teacher gave him an "A," the artist is hoping for a "W."

    4) Just to get you excited, here are some articles that people have sent in about this weekend’s historical matchup. My feet keep dancing and my head wont stop signing a special  combined rendition of “Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer” and “Hey Fightin’ Tigers.”

     

    Articles to read:

    Sports Illustrated

    And the Valley Shook Blog

    ESPN- click on inside Alabama

    Who is Honey Badger? Find out

    I always love reading this BAMA blog

    See you in Tuscaloosa!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

    PS- I can’t really endorse the foul mouthed commentary on the YouTube Honey Badger video, but if you happened to find it, it may help you make the connection about a honey badger and Mr. Matieu

     

     

  • Chance of rain is… Never!

    Oct 30, 2011 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Uncategorized

    Saturday morning came in Baton Rouge with promise of a good time and not a cloud in the sky.

    My opportunity clock (alarm clock to the non optimist) sounded precisely at 7:15am. By 7:45am, I had received a text from “Jim the LSU Tailgater” (as he is identified in my phone) that he and his crew would be arriving at their tailgate within the hour.

    A text at 7:55am from “Mystery LSU Guy” (as he is identified in my phone), told me that not only was the mystery LSU guy (see blog post from the LSU v Oregon game) getting an early start at redeeming himself, but that LSU fans, no matter how late they were out the night before, get out early for every game in Baton Rouge.

    Jim "The LSU Tailgater" and Stan the Man

    My lovely host, Patti, dropped me off at the Parade Grounds around 9 am and set me loose on a self-guided tour through the sporadically placed tiger dens, also known as LSU tailgates.

    I found my way to the famous Indian Mounds and “Jim the LSU Tailgater’s” primo tailgate spot a first down away from the Indian Mounds and directly next to the circle where the team is let off the buses. This is also where the parade of Golden Girls and both Mike the Tigers make their game day debut.

    This is where the fun began.

    I filled up on Boudin balls (thank you for not telling me about these before Saturday…my waist line is now in trouble), met up with my best friend from college (Lauren) and her generous LSU family, chatted with some new media friends and finally, met up with Mr. Mystery Man.

    Mystery Man was accompanied by Larry, Curly and Mo. My first ab workout, from laughter, of many was completed as we parted ways for more tailgate hopping.

    Larry, Mystery Man, Curly and Mo

    Lauren and I walked down the hill for a quick visit with Ms. Aimee, a competitive tailgater.  Yes, that’s right, she enters her tailgates into contest because she’s that good.

    To wrap up our LSU tailgate tour, Lauren and I share an authentic LSU plate of fried catfish, an Abita beer and a shocking 17 point lead Ole Miss has over Arkansas with the lovely Adams family in the parking lot surrounding the stadium.

    It became apparent rather quickly that “Touchdown Tigers!” did not necessarily mean the Auburn Tigers.  (I do wish the announcer had been a bit more specific about his calls.) Posters of “WE WANT BAMA” began to surface in the second half and the crowd in Tiger Stadium grew more subdued than I thought possible. Pretty sure everyone was saving their energy for the other team from Alabama.

    Jambalaya, fried catfish, purple and gold cookies-the perfect LSU plate!

    Four quarters later and day dreams of more boudin balls, I’ll admit I was considering calling it an early night. Thankfully, I recalled my promise of meeting Mystery Man, Larry, Curly and Mo at Mike the Tiger’s humble abode before they were going to take me to my first Walk On’s experience.

    Wait, do you really think those four guys waited at Mike’s house?  Not even close.

    More exploring of LSU’s gorgeous oak-covered campus led me to find the members of the peanut gallery dancing to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is yoooooou”.”  I suppose Christmas is going to come early (Nov 5th) this year.

    A few classic dance party songs later, we were all ready to walk on. To Walk Ons.

    What a place to let my hair down. An open dance floor and promise of a phenomenal 80s cover band coming on at any second, I could hardly stand the wait.  Plus, I have a soft spot for establishments that give you take-home-cups.

    I don’t know the name of the band that covered songs from Purple Rain to Courtesy of the Red White and Blue and every hit in between.  But I do know that thanks to my host Patti, Jim the LSU Tailgater, Lauren and her family, Mystery Man, Larry, Curly and Mo and the unforgettable hot pink leg warmers on stage, the Gridiron Belles trip to Baton Rouge was more than complete.

    Lauren and I have been trying to get to this game for 9 years!

    Since there is never a chance for rain in Tiger Stadium, I’ll be back—because my new favorite place for Saturday nights is Louisiana.

    Geaux Tigers!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

     

     

     

  • Now it means something

    Oct 17, 2011 CATEGORIES: BCS Championship Game, LSU, SEC Football, Southern Belles, Uncategorized

    The Sugar Bowl would be old hat for the Mad Hatter

    Of course every game played before yesterday was an important game.  But now, with the first week of the BCS rankings disclosed, it all finally means something.

     

    In case you missed the breaking BCS poll news last night, LSU, #1 team in the country. Alabama is #.2

    Christmas is coming early, Belles!  LSU and Alabama match up on November 5th in Tuscaloosa. Enter where I start praying to the football gods that somehow both teams could play for the real National Championship on January 9.

    There is an entire chapter in my book dedicated to explaining the BCS.  If you still aren’t sure what the BCS means or the implications it has on your season, go ahead and pick up a copy of Gridiron Belles.  Or, just send me your questions and I’ll make sure you understand faster than Jeff Demps.

    Tidbits for BCS conversation:

    -BCS= Bowl Championship Series.  Basically, there are a handful of post season games that are considered BCS bowl games.  The aforementioned rankings (among other things) determine which team will play in which bowl.

    -  The National Championship this year (Sugar Bowl) is in New Orleans.  The last two times the National Championship has been the Sugar Bowl, LSU has not only been a competitor in the game, but has been crowned the victor of said game.  (2003, 2007)

    -  LSU and Alabama play each other on November 5th in Tuscaloosa.  Since the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the BCS are who play in the BCS National Championship, it seems that the title game is going to be played about two months early.  ( Go ahead and cancel all plans you may have on that day.)

    Love it or hate it, it’s time to understand the BCS, where your team stands this season and why moving forward, BCS rankings are the only ones you need to worry about!  I promise you, this ranking means something.

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Starting and Ending Duck Season (A week or so late…)

    Sep 13, 2011 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Swoozies

    When I initially put the LSU v Oregon game on my schedule I thought I maybe made the wrong decision by not kicking off my tour in an SEC town. However, Arlington, TX—“Jerry World” no less—proved to be the perfect backdrop for and early start to duck hunting season as the LSU Tigers defeated the Oregon Ducks 40-27.

    The LSU faithful didn’t mind if they were missing a quarterback or a few other starters.  The purple and gold diehards didn’t mind that they were in Big 12 country. The fans of the fighting tigers were jubilant about debuting their purple and gold for the season opener and the victory on the field was second only to the victory at the tailgates.

    A few examples:

    Ben, the delightful and ever so spirited LSU fan!

    Ben, from New Orleans, was exactly what you expect an LSU fan from New Orleans to be.  Up early, heavily influenced by bourbon, wearing gold and proclaiming a season of victory by his team, all while being a perfect gentleman and hosting the Swoozies and Gridiron Belles.  The Gridiron Tour team had never been more entertained.  I think he even sold a few books for us!

    The lovely hosts of a wonderful tailgate (Julee on left, Jim on far right)

    Jim, a LSU extraordinaire from Pensacola, FL and Julee a LSU fan from Dallas, hosted a tailgate of 500 plus people in the middle of a field. Surrounded by fencing. Protected by security.  Yes, law enforcement was needed to protect the perfectly cooked jambalaya and copious amounts of free flowing purple and gold Budweiser.

    I was forced to wear Jim's LSU hat and had to promise to come see a "real LSU tailgate" in Baton Rouge!

    I was assured time and time again that this particular displaced tailgate was calm and that if I wanted to really be wowed, I needed to find Jim and his 500 friends again near the Mounds in Baton Rouge.  If this was tame, I suppose the SWAT team will be in Baton Rouge.

    Jason? Is that you?

    Then there was Jason.  The blind date from Atlanta. Our mutual friends told us about one another and it was clearly romantic destiny if we were both in Texas for the LSU game.  E-mails and numbers were exchanged ahead of time.  Facebook pages were stalked.  We were going to meet up to express our love for college football.  A marriage engagement was clearly pending. And then it happened.   Cell phone service went iffy at best.  Texts went unanswered. Time was slipping away.

    Finally, an update from Jason. “ We are now in Lot 5 right near the stadium.  Next to some boisterous LSU fans.  I’m wearing purple.” Ahhh, his usage of the adjective “boisterous” tells me he’s smart, but his overall message tells me the common sense wagon passed him by…    Being near the stadium, next to drunk and loud LSU fans while wearing purple was the same situation for 93,164 people that day!  How was I supposed to find prince charming with those directions?  And before the National Anthem!?  Again, I am promised a better time and “first date” in Baton Rouge for the Auburn game.  I hope he makes it easier next time and tells me he’s “ wearing an LSU hat and taunting Auburn fans.”

    A full day of tailgating with (and without)  some of the most enthusiastic fans in the land challenged my endurance.  However, one sound of the band, one cheer of the crowd and the first National Anthem of the season, kickoff had never felt so rich as I got comfortable in my seat and ready to watch the Fighting Tigers of the SEC start and end duck season.

    Geaux Tigers!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

     

     

  • Swoozies and Gridiron Bells

    Aug 28, 2011 CATEGORIES: LSU, SEC Football, SEC Stadium Tour, Southern Belles, Southern Women, Swoozies

    Swoozies Photo Shoot!

    Two years ago, my dear friend and loyal Southerner, Lauren Bordelon, recommended that I submit “my story” to Swoozies.  Having never steered me wrong before, I listened to Lauren and submitted my story about my love of tailgating to Swoozies to be on the cover of their fall catalogue. Lucky for me, I was chosen!

    Swoozies treated me to a weekend in Atlanta, a photo shoot with photographer Margaret Lemke and a tour of their anchor store in Buckhead. For those of you unfamiliar with Swoozies, it’s a Southern Belle’s dream come true.  From theme party decor and ideas to delicate and timeless stationary, Swoozies has all of your needs covered for being the proper-theme-party-socialite you are!

    Fast forward two years and one completed book later and voila! Swoozies and Gridiron Belles are teaming up to hit the road this fall.

    Learn more about on the latest Swoozies blog and keep an eye out for their feature article about Gridiron Belles next week.  Because, if we didn’t already tell you, we really want to see you at our tailgates this fall!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

  • My SEC Birthday

    Jul 28, 2011 CATEGORIES: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Gridiron Belles Tour, LSU, SEC Football, Tennessee, Uncategorized

    SEC Birthday Treasures

    SEC Birthday Treasures-- Best Birthday Package Ever!

    I love birthdays.  Always have.  And probably always will–until I start celebrating birthdays that receive their own category at Party City mocking old age.

    It was around the 7th grade that I recall saving my (July) birthday check until late in September.  With the arch-rival match up between the two all boys Catholic schools (St. X and Trinity) just around the corner, I found the strength and common sense to save birthday money in exchange for having the perfect outfit for the Friday night match up.

    ( I also conveniently always scheduled a haircut for that afternoon as well, but that’s for another story…)

    Fast forward some 16 years, and my birthdays are still revolving around the gridiron. Only this time, my gifts have started to be accouterments of the SEC rainbow.

    My mama, a generous KY Belle, sent me a package on Monday with the following treasures inside. It was the Mary Poppins bag of SEC goodness and has me almost ready for the tour!

    Orange and white Lilly dress:  My new Tennessee dress!! Perfect for keeping me cool and stylish during the UT v UGA game in Knoxville.

    Spirit Gloves: Look closely, those gloves have pompoms on the finger trips!! Heaven forbid I ever forget my lucky shaker,  these spirit gloves will keep me warm on the Plains during the Iron Bowl!

    Luggage Spotter: This was my dad’s addition to the package, and it’s hilariously practical. An easy way to spot my bag and start conversation while traveling across Dixie. Thanks, Dad!

    Sports Mints: A rather obvious name, but I received a bag of Alabama and Auburn mints.  They make them for every SEC team and these are ideal for your tailgate bin that I talk about in the book.  Who doesn’t want fresh breath after snacking at a tailgate?

    Lilly Pulitzer Calendar:  Lilly has agreed to sponsor a book signing for me next week here in Austin!!! It’s only fitting that all of my stops are kept organized in this preppy calendar.

    Auburn Tupperware:  Where else are they going to put team logos?  Doesn’t matter to me, these are ideal for bringing your gourmet gridiron grub to a tailgate. Get your team’s edition and showcase your spirit and hard work in the kitchen!

    Blue and Orange bracelets:  These Florida orange and blue bangles are going to look great when I am at the Swamp. Anything and everything blue and orange is the norm down there– I’m giddy about that trip.

    Team Colored Unmentionables (not pictured for obvious reasons): What can I say?  A true Gridiron Belle doesn’t stop supporting her team at a surface level!!  Mama also threw in some pretty LSU colored unmentionables for my visit to Death Valley.

    You don’t need a July or August birthday to prepare for the season. All of the summer clothes on sale now are perfect for the first few games of the season in the southern heat. Get prepared!

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh

     

  • Life is hard. Tailgating should not be.

    Dec 20, 2010 CATEGORIES: Food, LSU

    Straight from the Louisiana bayou, Kristin Preau and her father, have made it simple for you to cook up something delicious for your tailgate. They have created just the team spirited iron pot for the job.

    CookMeSomethingMister is a family-run, jambalaya package producing, New Orleans company that got its start as a fundraiser for Katrina. What began as a way to raise money for displaced families and university students has turned into a tailgating industry.

    It took the Preau family, and some outside help, years upon years to perfect the most amazing Jambalaya recipe in the Big Easy. It took even longer to perfect the iron pots that have an LSU logo proudly painted on the cover. But the day finally came and the Preau family has been traveling the southeastern states delivering their coveted jambalaya in their famous purple and gold pots.

    CookMeSomethingMister offers a small but influential line of products for your gameday: different size bags of Jambalaya mix, your entire tailgating cookware needs to whip up said jambalaya, and precise instructions that tell exactly how to make it perfect. “Let the rice cook for about two beers… that’s about 30 minutes. Then, when it’s done, yell, ‘yum yum come get you some’ and you’re all set for a fun tailgate!”

    With instructions that are that simple and fun what’s not to enjoy about the quintessential LSU tailgating dish that has taken out the hard work for you?!

    Visit www.CookMeSomethingMister.com for more information, stocking stuffers or to stock up on next season’s tailgate needs.  Be sure to tell the “Yum Yum Girl” that the Gridiron Belle sent you!

  • Need a Ticket? Call an SEC friend.

    Nov 12, 2010 CATEGORIES: Florida, LSU, SEC

    Among the millions of things I love about the SEC and it’s fans, the thing I really enjoy is the camaraderie between fans of opposing teams.

    Relax. This statement is in regard to ticket sharing.

    Maybe it’s because I am writing a book. Maybe it’s because the South breeds nice people. Maybe it’s because we all seem to get it—If I have tickets and your team is playing, I fully understand your desire for the tickets and am more than willing to help you.

    Such was the instance with my tickets to the FL v LSU game in Gainesville. I used to have a phenomenal contact to Gator seats at any stadium in the country, but not for this game. So, I put out my feelers and sure enough, a die hard LSU family knew I needed to check off The Swamp from my list. One week later, I received the golden ticket. Two, in fact. Two LSU v FL tickets to get me into The Swamp to help me see the game and reach my goal.

    So is the case of the SEC Championship game. An SEC-LOVING friend of mine, a Georgia fan, has access to some pretty cool all-SEC things. While she will not be a spectator at the SEC Championship game in ATL because she’ll be working the game, she has been ever so kind and willing to put our HER feelers for me, an Auburn fan. Could I be more appreciative?  Not unless they were field passes…

    Why? Why have both of these people ( and so many more) been beyond generous with their tickets and support even though I’m for the other team?

    Because a fanatical Alabama fan empathizes with the fanatical Tennessee fan. ( Well, maybe not Tenessee…). But, the obsession is the same at all 12 schools. Sure, we are loyal to our team through and through. But we are also loyal to our fellow loyal fans of the other team. Tickets are a coveted commodity. Being a part of history in your home or away stadium is worth more than any dollar amount or grudge.

    Let’s face it, it all changes next year—every game switches and you just may need to call a friend from the other team yourself.

    I just hope this generosity and understanding spreads all the way to The Plains where I am in need of a ticket to the Auburn v Georgia game tomorrow!

  • Fire and Brimstone or just SEC football?

    Oct 21, 2010 CATEGORIES: Auburn, LSU

    If you thought the only team in college football that has a religious connection was Notre Dame, you haven’t yet realized that LSU(6) is coming to Auburn(4) to play football this weekend.

    With the highly anticipated Auburn v LSU gridiron show down, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how LSU ended up undefeated in the first place . Surely there is some higher power at play here.

    Yes, I know. This is not a unique thought. This isn’t even newsworthy anymore because everyone knows about Lucky Les’ deal with the devil.

    So here’s the new angle: Catholicism v The Bible Belt.

    In my small to limited research, I have yet to meet a real LSU fan who is not technically a catholic*. I didn’t say practicing, I said technically. As in, technically baptized years and years ago for this sole reason that all of their prayers could be said and answered on Les Miles’ behalf.

    I am wondering if all of those rosaries and prayer chains for LSU wins have actually paid off. Has The Big Guy finally heard them?

    After all, the LSU crowd is loud enough to literally make the earth shake. As they did in 1988. Against Auburn, no Les. (yes, pun intended) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_Game)

    So what happens when BOTH sides of the same war pray to the Big Guy? One en francais, the other in Southern?

    LSU may have the catholic thing but Auburn sits squarely in the center of the Bible Belt. A Belt, mind you, that these Plains people wear proudly, swear by daily and give thanks to. Most of their thanks to said Belt are for nouns, such as: An abundance of toilet paper for Toomers Corner, Eagles, and Big-Guy-Given talent in the form of Cam Newton.
    Oh, and they’ve finally started saying prayers of thanks for Gene Chizik now that they are finished praying for the house of the AD who fired Tommy Tuberville to burn.

    With no intention of getting fire and brimstone on you, it can’t be denied. This game in some way or another involves the devil, the Big Guy and one very sacred good luck Belt.

    All of this fire and brimstone mixed with football sounds like another typical Saturday in Dixie. But with two undefeated teams lining up, the BCS championship game has come early. Doesn’t matter if you scream “Geaux Tigers” or “War Eagle”, we call all thank the Football Gods for one helluva game that’s coming on Satuday!


    *I actually do know 1.5 jewish LSU fans, but that wasn’t going to help the flow of my theory.

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