While We’re Waiting (#1 in a Series)

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Published: September 21, 2016

At the time of this post we’re still approximately five weeks away from the NBA season which to hoops heads can feel like five years. That’s a long time to wait for your favorite hobby to make its way back to your daily life and sometime after the draft and before training camp we all start fidgeting like we’re barely halfway to our final road trip destination. Fear not, Louisiana sports fan. I’ve got a mini-series designed to make these terrible times less terrible by reminding us of other ways to fill up the sports tank. Today we’re talking about the new book from LSU PressThe Golden Band from Tigerland

True, this book is not about basketball, nor is it about the New Orleans Pelicans. Also true, however, is that regional traditions can (and should) impact one another, especially if they live under the same category, in this case, sports. We are in the midst of building a foundation to the Pelicans history books and having a hell of a time doing so, graphic design and rebranding aside. While I’m an LSU alumni and fan, I do not consider myself an avid consumer of the traditions and rituals associated with LSU sports. I watch the games when I can, I read articles and columns about the team, I briefly considered a Ben Simmons jersey shirt, and want the teams to do well. This book was beautiful (looking at you, Saturday morning pictures) and it was bizarre (looking at you, Huey Long). I recommend it regardless of your affiliation to LSU.

TigerBand

This book not only enlightened me to a world in which I rarely dive into, it also served as a reminder of how dang rich and thick Louisiana sports culture can be. While we have rival NBA fans poking fun at our strange (but true) history, it’s important to note that the college most New Orleanians root for (that’s definitely LSU for all your non-locals) has a series of incredibly interesting historical facts, many of which are documented in this book.

As I soaked in the pages, I thought the Pelicans could learn from the Golden Band in Tigerland. Why not borrow from college athletics and have an in-house marching band? Why not join forces with an organization like Roots of Music and create a Pelicans House Band and why not have that Pelicans House Band march in Mardi Gras parades and why not have this Pelicans House Band be an integral part of the game day experience? Easier said than done, yes, but let’s not forget the foundation was laid for this back during Hugh Weber’s reign. His vision for the Arena included a bandstand where the “parade stand” is currently located (why not both?) and at one point guest musicians were invited to play with a house band located opposite the Pelicans locker room entrance. The idea was scraped sometime around when Benson got involved.

Reading this book (available for purchase here) got my gears turning. The traditions around LSU and its band are so much fun and so vital to the game day experience. It’s hard to imagine Death Valley without them. Imagine if the Pelicans could say the same thing.

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