Fans' Thoughts and Condolences for Mike V
LSU Sports Interactive
Please check throughout the week for additional postings of condolences.
Juan J. Tanca (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
A very sad day in LSU history, Mike V, you will always be remembered! Forever LSU and Mike V
Daniel Fisher (Baton Rouge, La.)
I moved to Louisiana a few years ago and quickly became an LSU fan. There is nothing cooler than being able to walk on campus and see a beautiful tiger in a beautiful habitat. I worked at the Baton Rouge Zoo the summer they were building Mike's new home. I used to go visit Mike and talk to him and he was always happy to see me. I was saddened to hear of his passing, and I hope the next Mike has a long and happy stay in Baton Rouge.
Johanna Thomas (Akron, Ohio)
We have only been here three years, but Mike has become a member of our family. We were so happy and proud when his new habitat was built and were extremely excited to share Mike and his home with our visitning relatives. Mike will be greatly missed. Even my family in Ohio are sending their thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Mike, we'll miss you.
Alex (Lake Charles, La.)
LSU has lost its king! Mike, we will truly miss you. Your reign as our mascot will go down as one of the most successful in college athletics history. The championship baseball and track programs of the '90's, the championship football program of today, the Final Four basketball teams, on and on. Your rule will never be forgotten. Personally, I will remember you for reminding me who IS king on the campus of LSU. While sleeping on the steps of Tiger Stadium in 2004 awaiting the chance to purchase season tickets, I wondered over to your habitat. You were awake...looking at the line of fans gathering near the fieldhouse in the middle of the night. It was 3am, 95 degrees, 100% humidity. I was considering leaving. Tickets were just not worth sleeping on the sidewalk. As I looked at you with these thoughts, you looked straight back at me. You could sense that I was about to give up. Then you turned around, lifted your tail, and hit me in the face with the "motivation" I needed to complete my quest of acquiring football season tickets. Thank you, Mike V, for I, nor my face, will ever forget what you did for me that summer night. Mike V is dead. Long live Mike VI!
Edward Benedick (Wayne, Pa.)
Thanks for the years of service, Mike. England may have a queen, but LSU has Mike.You ARE LSU. You have seen National championships in Football, baseball, and track and your pride was obvious. You will be missed. EPB ,68
Janet Poteet (Miramar Beach, Fla.)
Mike V, You were the fiercest and most magnificent of mascots. LSU fans everywhere are so proud of you and you represented us well. Our tears are falling and our hearts are bleeding purple and gold for you today. Love to Mike V forever.
Heather Murray (Cornelia, Ga.)
Mike's roar before every home game and his refusal to often come out of the airconditioned part of his new sanctuary will always bring a smile to my face. He was a great symbol and more importantly a "purrfectly" spoiled and regal gentleman. May Mike VI bring not only fear into the hearts of LSU's opponents, but also smiles to LSU fans and the children who continually pass by his habitat, just as his predacessor did!!
Faye Waldrop (New Orleans, La.)
I arrived at a game late one Saturday a few years ago and was rushing to get to my gate for kick off. However, I couldn't get to my gate because everything was blocked off and the LSU police were standing at the barricades. When I asked what had happened I was told, "they're bringing Mike out." Everything stopped while Mike was escorted out of Tiger Stadium. I'll never forget how regal he was as he passed all of his fans. I'll miss you, Mike.
Kathy Timmons (Bradenton, Fla.)
From my first visit to the LSU campus in 1992 to my most recent visit in January, you have been a significant part of my LSU experience. What fun it was to watch you play in your habitat, roar at Mascot Mike, and just relax as I talked to you and as you seemingly listened. My favorite time was when my son graduated from LSU in 1997 and you posed proudly for a picture with him. I am so glad that I got to see you this year in your new home. You looked so regal as you ruled your domain. There is no doubt that you have a special place in Tiger Heaven. I will miss you.
Becky & Chris Riley (Laramie, Wyo.)
Mike greeted us when we went to the LSU vs University of Wyoming basketball game. He was one awesome animal, and acutally is responsible for us following LSU sports. We speak often of seeing him and how he greeted fans. Please accept our sincere sympathy!
Sean O’Keefe, Chancellor
Today, a day of great celebration as LSU marks its 262nd commencement, is also a day tinged with sadness as we announce the passing of Mike V, Louisiana State University's mascot of 17 years.
Mike V was donated to LSU by Dr. Thomas and Caroline Atchison of the Animal Zoological Park in Moulton, Alabama. He was introduced to LSU fans as a cub at a 1990 LSU basketball game against the University of Alabama. Our cub was a big hit, and the Tigers went on to defeat the Crimson Tide.
Being hand-raised seemed to have a positive effect on Mike V's disposition; of all the tigers that served as LSU's mascot, he had been described as the easiest to handle, with a calm and friendly disposition.
Mike V lived his last years in great comfort, thanks to the support of thousands of LSU fans worldwide who contributed to the 2001 "I Like Mike" campaign to improve his habitat. Mike V also received the finest care over the years, led by Dr. David Baker and the staff, faculty, and students at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
For nearly two decades, Mike's stately demeanor and mighty roar thrilled thousands of fans, young and old alike, as he represented the majestic spirit of LSU. He will be remembered fondly and greatly missed.
LSU athletic director Skip Bertman
Mike V was a noble mascot who was loved by Tiger fans young and old, and he represented all that is proud and dignified about LSU. Mike has reigned over a magnificent era of Tiger Athletics and he is missed today by LSU fans the world over.
C. Jean Jackson (Baton Rouge, La.)
I have been in the Academic Center for Student-Athletes since 1987, and remember when Mike IV retired to the Baton Rouge Zoo and a young Mike V took over the reins as Mascot. And you never let us down! You did his job with pride - Tiger Pride. You will be remembered by all who knew you - and those who just passed by your cage just to see you and try to get you to roar! And you will be missed by all!
Greg Smith (Dallas, Texas)
I'm so sad to hear of Mike's death. Like all LSU fans, I feel like I lost a close friend. I'll cherish the photos I took after graduation wearing my cap and gown with Mike lurking in the background. Sleep well big guy. You represented our school with dignity and will be sorely missed.
Larry G. Hodge (Pine Bluff, Ark.)
You were a gorgeous representative of a great university. My wife and I bought a brick to help provide you with the home you so greatly deserved. We will miss you on our visits to LSU.
Angelle Guillot (Gonzales, La.)
Mike was the coolest tiger ever! He led us through the successes of all of our athletic teams, the dark times of Katrina and Rita, and he led us into the recovery of our state. He has been a mainstay on campus and a LSU icon. Rest in Peace Mike V, you will be forever missed!!!
Frank Pannebaker (New Enterprise, Pa.)
I am bummed a 20 hour trip to Lousiania and LSU and then to Death Valley is incomplete without a walk to the park to visit Mike.
Dear Mike, May your soul rest in peace. You have been wonderful.
Brant D. Blanchard (Metairie, La.)
So regal, so stately, Mike - you were definately the king on campus. We'll miss you so much.
Christina Hillman-Vincent (Baton Rouge, La.)
Mike, My thoughts and prayers are with you on this sad day. You were a righteous symbol of the loyalty and honor that all LSU students, faculty, and alumni share. Your fans saw you as a beacon of strength and a pillar of victory. Your roar invigorated the most skeptical of fans and intimidated the most confident of opponents. Thank you for your wonderful guidance to triumphant times and your service to the loving fans of LSU. Rest in peace and know you will always be remembered and loved.
Phil (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
RIP Mike. I had the opportunity to spend a half hour at Mike's cage when I last attended a home game in 2005. The LSU nation world wide will miss you.
Ramey Smith (Oxford, Miss.)
Our thoughts are prayers go out to you. Any school could have a dog or a bird for a mascot, but a Bengal Tiger is one of a kind. Don't think a tiger could have asked for a better life. I am glad that we were able to visit with him last month. Mike was always a treat to watch. We will keep him in our prayers and we look forward to seeing Mike VI in the coming future.
Jaye Lynn Miceli (Baton Rouge, La.)
Not by choice but by necessity, for the past 34 months I have lived in Brookhaven, Miss. As a fanatic bleeding purple and gold tiger fan I log in everyday to LSU's website. I was saddened this morning by the passing of MIKE V. Strange, but I feel that I have lost a family member. He was so beautiful and I know he loved his new home. Curious to know what happened to him or if that is about the normal life span of a bengal tiger. We will miss him and I can't wait to meet our new mascot! We will have to feed him lots of "bait" to get him ready for the upcoming football season, I can hardly wait.
James LaJaunie (Denham Springs, La.)
Mike V was always my favorite of the live mascots I've known. He always seemed so proud of his position and what he represented, always seeming to have his "game face." While I know my comments will echo so many others around the world, I will sorely miss you, Mike, as you were like one of my family - a symbol of a great university and it's powerful traditions. May you rest in peace and thank you for the great memories.
Candace Lawrence (Austin, Texas)
Thanks Mike for the wonderful years you shared. You were my Mike through most of my years and in days at college. I remembered when you were introduced to the LSU family at a basketball game as a cub. Since then, I have watched you grow up and visited you numerous times. Thanks for exemplifying the Tiger spirit.
Nancy Theisen Bennett (Fresno, Calif.)
As soon as I read the news, I started crying. Mike was just 9 months older than my 16 3/4 year old son. As a result, our memories of Mike are vividly tied to our son's first visits to Mike (my husband and I are both LSU alums). One of our fondest memories was being at the cage (it has always been our tradition to go by the cage as soon as we get into Baton Rouge) when the LSU Veterinarian was paying Mike a visit. The Vet applied a balm to the bottom of Mike's chapped paws by way of a long wood dowel with gauze on the end. After gently applying the balm which Mike clearly appreciated, the Vet reached through the bars and scratched Mike lovingly behind his ears. Mike, being the kitty cat at heart, practically purred and loved every minute. It was the sweetest thing. We have donated to Mike's new habitat over the years of fundraising and we will continue to do so, in his memory. You will be missed Mike. Love, Nancy, Bob and John Bennett
Frederick Penland (Texarkana, Texas)
Mike V was a great ambassador to LSU, its students, athletic teams, and the whole state of Louisiana. He will be greatly missed, and never forgotten.
Christie Noel (Opelousas, La.)
I am completely saddened by the passing of Mike V. While I new he was getting older, his death is a shock--it's like he was as much a fixture at the school as the bell tower. I am just happy that my 10 month old got to see his this past Sunday. Mike V will always be in our hearts.
Brian Eskine (White Castle, La.)
Mike V we will always remember, especially the Saturdays starting in September We will always remember your mighty roar when the Fighting Tigers were about to score. We wish you well in your new life above. For all Tiger Fans, we send our Love.
Scotty Drake (Baton Rouge, La.)
How well I remember the day all those years ago at the Assembly Center when they trotted out the little cub that would grow to be Mike the Tiger. Rest well, old friend.
Corey Gautreaux (St. Amant, La.)
I was very saddened to hear the news of Mike's passing. Growing up and having my parents bring me to the campus I always remember seeing Mike V. He will be missed, but I know he will continue to pass on the legacy to Tiger fans all around the world. Geaux Tigers!
Jordan Grace (Baton Rouge, La.)
Mike V you were and are a beautiful tiger, I am 24 years old so you were my tiger for most of my life, was happy to see you get your new home, and always made time to go see you while on my way to campus. You will be missed. Geaux Tigers!