by Doug Ireland
A BLAST FROM THE PAST … FIRST PUBLISHED FEBRUARY, 2020
We’ve seen plenty of Louisiana sports history made recently.
The biggest splash, of course, has been LSU football. Winning the Natty, Joe Burrow ambling away with the Heisman, that’s rare air for Tigers everywhere.
There was next to no drama during, or after, the season. The Tigers never went down to the wire in a game. No two-minute drill to win was necessary.
There was a White House visit with no guests playing politics with no-shows, just Getting the Gat in stylish fashion.
Other than OBJ’s abject stupidity in the post game locker room at the Superdome, nothing happened to make anybody cringe.
Cry? Yes. The horrific plane crash in Lafayette on the morning of the SEC Championship game was devastating to many, LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger among them. The shocking loss of his daughter-in-law, the effervescent, uber talented, Carley McCord, brought the tragedy close to home around the state and the nation.
Crying happily? That was Coach O, a few times – on the field after the Alabama win, during Burrow’s powerful, poignant Heisman acceptance speech, and while receiving the SEC Championship Game trophy, to name three occasions.
History wasn’t reserved for the purple and gold in recent months.
Drew Brees continued to put up passing numbers at a record rate. In the 2019 season, he topped another man who has made Louisiana very proud, Peyton Manning, atop the NFL’s rankings for career touchdown passes.
LSU’s national title was not the only crown claimed by Louisiana in recent months.
A bunch of 12-year-olds, the East Bank All-Stars, did what no other state ball club had managed since 1947. Louisiana won the Little League World Series, and in dominating fashion.
There’ve been some state American Legion teams capture national crowns, and baseball and softball squads of various ages who won the ultimate prize in their sports, in their associations, and each was a fantastic achievement.
But the Little League WORLD Series is truly a WORLD series. And this is the one that captures the imagination of baseball fans, and those who love kids, every August, thanks, nowadays, to ESPN and ABC coverage.
For those New Orleans-area kids to earn their own White House visit was truly an astounding feat.
Those highlights won’t fade away. They’ll be talked about for decades.
And this summer, in time for the 2020 Induction Celebration for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, they’ll be showcased in the stunning museum at the north end of beautiful, historic downtown Natchitoches.
In the meantime, there’s a brand new outdoor sports exhibit to enjoy, telling duck hunting and fishing stories, and lots of programming related to that. Check the FLASH – Friends of Louisiana Sports and History Facebook page, or follow the @LaSportsHall Twitter, to learn more. For induction events, including the Alexandria-based Bowling Bash, visit LaSportsHall.com to get lined up for fun June 25-27.