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Photo by:Martin McCallister, LSU Athletics Student Photographer
Testimonials: What They Say About Tiger Stadium
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Published: July 01, 2013, 12:00 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

A small sample of quotes from national media, LSU football players, opponents and other college football personalities who experienced Tiger Stadium:

 

“I wanted to always go to a school that had a fan base that supported the team through thick and thin and that’s definitely LSU. There’s no place like Tiger Stadium. I swear it shakes. How could you not want to play for a school like this? Best place in the country to play football.”
- NFL Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson

"I absolutely love doing games in Baton Rouge. Night games in Tiger Stadium are a spectacle and the food choices all around are fantastic! One thing is certain: if I ever choose to feature a tailgating spread for Taste of the Town, LSU will be at the top of the list."
-- Todd Blackledge, ESPN analyst 

“Greatest sporting event I have ever been to....It was a wall of sound beginning at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was a transformative experience. There have been a lot of great events, but I have never seen anything like it. It was an experience I can’t stop thinking about.”
-- Chad Millman, ESPN The Magazine Editor in Chief

“It’s like walking into a movie set. Your ears become sensitive to what you hear and the thousands of people around you are screaming at the top of their lungs. It’s mindboggling to see this as you walk through those doors and onto the field.”
-- DE Tyson Jackson

“LSU students are the best. Part of being the best, is knowing when to be loud, when to be quiet and where to channel your energy. When they are on, they just wreck the other team.”
-- All-American DT Glenn Dorsey

“The most spirited student section in America.”
-- ESPN The Magazine (Aug. 25, 2008)

“Nothing like tailgating on the Bayou. LSU is my personal favorite. Maybe it's my penchant for the spicy stuff. But there's nothing like sampling a little gumbo, a little jambalaya and then diving face-first into a shrimp boil. The aroma just walking through the parking lot to Tiger Stadium stays with you the whole day, and the LSU fans get there early and stay late.”
-- Chris Low, ESPN.com (Sept. 26, 2008)

“Usually when the opposing team does well, the crowd quiets down. All I began to hear was a chant ‘L-S-U, L-S-U.’ It got louder and louder and louder. It was the loudest I’ve ever heard a stadium.”
-- Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt (on the 2003 LSU-Georgia game)

“I get asked about the best games I’ve called, and as far as college football goes, the Florida-LSU environment (2007) was as good as I’ve ever been around. I had always heard about night games at Tiger Stadium and had never gotten the chance to call one. It was really special to be a part of that and then the game, my gosh, how can anybody ever forget that. The fourth quarter and LSU’s final drive, that’s something I’ll always remember.”
-- Verne Lundquist, CBS Sports

“We are going to Baton Rouge and one of the most storied stadiums in the country, a place I can truthfully say is the loudest place I’ve ever been.”
-- Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt (prior to 2008 game)

"Best scene in college football is at LSU on a Saturday night."
-- the late Beano Cook of ESPN

“The toughest place to play in the SEC is LSU, Death Valley. The fans there are relentless. They don’t stop at all. They keep going.”
-- Former Arkansas All-American RB Darren McFadden

“It was electric. When Death Valley is rocking, it seems as if it might actually take flight. On Saturday, I went back to Baton Rouge to see Alabama barely beat LSU, and was, once again, reminded that Tiger Stadium is the best place in the world to watch a sporting event. … I’m not sure what it was like to walk into the Coliseum, but I bet it was something like this.”
-- Wright Thompson, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com (Nov. 10, 2008)

“Best gameday atmosphere – LSU. Tiger fans tailgate with ferocity, dance like no one’s watching and well have an affinity for creative beverage-making and drinking. The frequency of night games in Tiger Stadium only multiplies the fun.”
-- Dave Curtis, The Sporting News Today (July 8, 2009)

Best stadium – Tiger Stadium, LSU. The pregame festivities. The deafening noise – there’s no other place like it. … it’s in the freakiest, funkiest, most frenetic place in all of college football.”
-- Matt Hayes, The Sporting News Today (July 8, 2009)

“For those of us from other parts of the country, a trip to the Bayou is a culinary treat. Gorge yourself on crawfish, jambalaya and shrimp creole, both at the restaurants and at the nation's best tailgating scene. For sightseeing, visit Mike the Tiger's habitat, spend some time at LSU Lake or perhaps take a day trip to New Orleans, just more than an hour away.”
-- Stewart Mandel, SI.com (July 15, 2009)

“The noise is what I remember the most. We played at Michigan the following season. Their place held more fans but wasn’t anywhere near as noisy. Oregon, in our conference, could be loud. But the atmosphere at LSU was different from anything I’d ever experienced at a college road game. I can still see that tiger before the game.”
-- 1983 University of Washington kicker Jeff Jaeger

“I hear that night games at LSU are exceptional. They are a rowdy crowd, which is awesome. I know the last time Vanderbilt was there they were shaking and rocking our bus. Word travels.”
-- Vanderbilt center Bradley Vierling (before Vanderbilt faced LSU in 2009)

“My personal favorite remains Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, first home game after Katrina vs. Tennessee on a Monday night. Getting goose bumps typing about it. It was so loud and emotional that I think everyone was exhausted by the second half.”
-- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports

“(Tiger) Woods pumped both fists and yelled, as jacked as you'll ever see him. But the crowd explosion drowned out whatever was coming out of his mouth. It was the closest golf has ever come to sounding like fourth-and-goal at LSU's Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.” 
-- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports on Tiger Woods’ putt to force a playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open (June 14, 2008)

“Three SEC coaches I spoke with who have worked in other leagues say that Tiger Stadium is, by far, the loudest stadium in the country.”
-- Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com (Oct. 1, 2007) 

“Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It’s like being inside a drum.”
-- Paul “Bear” Bryant, Former Alabama Coach

“My first on the bucket list will be a night game at LSU. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there. Of all the things in college sports, that would be No. 1.”
-- the late Beano Cook on ESPN Radio

 “LSU students are the best. Part of being the best, is knowing when to be loud, when to be quiet and where to channel your energy. When they are on, they just wreck the other team.”
-- All-American DT Glenn Dorsey

“We are going to Baton Rouge and one of the most storied stadiums in the country, a place I can truthfully say is the loudest place I’ve ever been.”
-- Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

“It has turned the knees of All-Americans to goo. It has caused coaches to lose their coaching minds. Dark. That combined with Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night is something loud, strange and holy. There is noise in stadiums everywhere from Eugene to Tuscaloosa. Only in Baton Rouge is there a living, breathing being lurking in its grand, old stadium.”
-- Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com, Oct. 8, 2009

“What makes LSU is the environment and the fans and those guys wearing the jerseys. They’re really good players.”
-- Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer (Oct. 8, 2009)

“LSU fans have descended upon Dallas and reminded us of this truth: when it comes to partying, they're the pros and we're all amateurs.”
-- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports (Sept. 2, 2011)

“From Bourbon Street to Baton Rouge, the freaks come out at night in Louisiana. And nowhere are they more raucous and unnerving than at Tiger Stadium
-- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports 

“But for gameday atmosphere, there is nothing quite like Death Valley at night in the SEC. The food, culture, fans, smells and Richter Scale inducing noise echoing from LSU’s Tigers Stadium is second to none. Among the nation’s best college football venue’s, this one might be the best. ”
-- Athlon Sports (June 2013)

“Be it the vast and unique tailgating menu or Richter Scale-inducing fans, few places in the nation can send chills down your spine like a game at Tiger Stadium. As one of the loudest and most rabid atmospheres in the nation, LSU boasts one of the most daunting home-field advantages in college football — especially at night. And, honestly, how many venues have a real live Bengal Tiger roaming the sidelines?”
-- Athlon Sports (June 2013) 

“I love LSU just a little bit more than the others … The heat, the humidity, Mike the Tiger and a stadium so loud you can feel it in your chest cavity.”
-- Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com No. 1 on his Top 25 stadiums (July 27, 2011)

“Tiger Stadium is haunted and all the ghosts favor the home team.”
-- Famed writer and former LSU player John Ed Bradley

“Someone once compared the noise level in Tiger Stadium to a 747 taking off or a Who concert. Those two events are background noise compared to the real thing. You actually need earplugs when watching football.”
-- Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com (Oct. 8, 2009)

“Nobody cooks like the Cajuns. Walking among the tailgaters here is like strolling through one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants. RW once joined a group serving jambalaya, duck and oyster gumbo, stuffed quail, deer sauce picante, wild duck, cochon de lait, Cajun sausage, crawfish etouffee, rabbit, alligator stew and marinated pork tenderloin. And that was for a non-conference game. More important, LSU plays most games at night, which means you have an entire day to soak it in. The only downside is you may not be able to get yourself into the stadium by the time kickoff rolls around.”
-- Jim Caple, ESPN.com (Sept. 26, 2007)

“I have no connection to LSU, but last Saturday's game was the visit I most anticipated on my sports tour down the Mississippi River. These are the most sublime fan experiences in American team sports: An afternoon game in the middle of summer at Wrigley Field, a crisp fall Saturday morning at Notre Dame, a cold winter night inside Allen Fieldhouse. And a balmy Saturday evening at Tiger Stadium, when the grills are firing outside, Mike the Tiger is roaring and the Golden Band of Tigerland is playing the slow, opening chords to "Hold That Tiger" with such passion that they produce goosebumps the size of Mardi Gars beads.”
-- Jim Caple, ESPN.com (2003)

“I know this is a bit redundant, but it is really hard to explain just how loud Tiger Stadium is when you’re standing on the field. The crowd is moving and swaying so much, and in so many directions, it makes the stands look blurry, like a pointillist painting.”
-- Wright Thompson, ESPN.com (Nov. 10, 2008)

“I’ve always loved empty stadiums, none more than this one. It feels alive when it’s packed and now it looks like it’s resting, waiting for next week. This building has seen a lot of things. Billy Cannon’s punt return, a crowd so loud it registered on the Richter Scale up the street at the geology department. It’s as if all that history leaves Tiger Stadium tired and so it needs to recharge until it’s time to wake and do it again.”
-- Wright Thompson, ESPN.com when filing his story (Nov. 10, 2008)

“I grew up knowing a lot about LSU watching them on TV. They were always on TVI had a bunch of friends and family at LSU. It's a cool stadium. I never got to go to it. I heard it's really a special place. It's a big place. It's intimidating. It's loud. We have to play really good there. I'm looking forward to playing there."
-- 2012 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel

“FACT: LSU’s Tiger Stadium at night is the toughest place on the planet to play. You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. The person in the cubicle next to you has heard it. It’s pointless to argue against it: Give 92,000-plus fans in Baton Rouge a full day to prepare, and they’ll bring in the noise and the funk. LSU players and coaches will attest to it. So will opponents. Shoot, even the seismograph in the university’s Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex proves it. No other stadium, no other crowd can put that on a resume.”
-- Ken Bradley, The Sporting News (Nov. 1, 2012)

“Once you can’t hear, it really doesn’t matter how much louder one place is than the other Death Valley, when it gets rocking at night, it’s a different animal. I’ve played there in the daytime as well and it’s just a different animal at nighttime.”
-- 1997 Florida quarterback Doug Johnson

“(The fans) made a difference in the outcome of the game. It was one of those games that (Florida) really did have to beat the team on the field and in the stands.”
-- Former LSU head coach Gerry Dinardo on the 1997 LSU-Florida game

“You know what? I wish I had about 10 snaps left in this body. I’d love to pull the 94 out and suit up for about 10 snaps because there’s no better atmosphere. I’ve played in a lot of NFL stadiums, I’ve played in some Super Bowls, but there’s no atmosphere that I’ve ever been a part of in my life like the one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”
-- Former LSU All-American Anthony “Booger” McFarland

"When LSU plays on Saturday night and the band takes the field plays the first four notes of 'Hold That Tiger' it will make the hair stand up on a dead man's chest."
-- Ed Hinton, Atlanta Journal Constitution

“It all makes a body tingle. These folks go berserk when the band marches on the field. A huge roar is heard for the Invocation, for heaven's sake. They not only know the words to the national anthem, they sing them, loudly. And, when the Tigers win the toss—as happened Saturday—there are tears of ecstasy.”
-- Douglas Looney, Sports Illustrated column on LSU-USC game (Oct. 8, 1979)

“College football is LSU’s Tiger Stadium at night.”
-- Former Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly

“Death Valley in Baton Rouge is the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in. There are very few stadiums in America worth a touchdown, but the Bayou Bengals certainly have that advantage in Tiger Stadium.”
-- Former ESPN sideline reporter Adrian Karsten

“The Scariest Place to Play in America.”
-- ESPN.com (2007)

“Louisiana State University has one of the most beautiful campuses we've ever seen, seemingly built in between beautiful old oaks. As the hours roll by, the noise of LSU tailgating builds. I walk around a bunch of tailgates being introduced to all. I'm offered everything from bourbon (I decline) to beer (I decline) to food (I accept). In minutes I'm eating fried oysters, shrimp, alligator and crawfish. All of them are delectable. We stumble on a tailgate in which the scene is really like Alice in football land. … This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and any self-respecting sports fan HAS to go to a game in Tiger Stadium.”
-- Alex Ferguson, Sky Sports UK (Nov. 9, 2012)

“Unless your with the opposing team, Tiger Stadium at night is football nirvana.”
-- Chris Low, ESPN.com

“I’d been warned prior to my first visit to Baton Rouge that the legendary Death Valley mystique was a myth. The assessment couldn’t have been more wrong. Tiger Stadium was loud as any I’ve heard during the dramatic fourth quarter of Saturday’s LSU-Georgia game (2003), the festivities surrounding it as advertised. The streets were lined with purple and gold. Smoke emanated from the grills in the parking lot. Shouts of “Go Tigers” and “Tiger Bait” echoed from the stadium deep into the heart of the campus. And that was just Friday night.”
-- Stewart Mandel, SI.com

“I can tell you there is no finer stadium to play in. The traditions that they place in that stadium like when they announce that it’s Saturday night in Death Valley, when the band plays, when that crowd stands and cheers for the Tigers, there is no place like it in America.”
-- Head coach Les Miles

“For three hours on Saturday Night, I don’t know that there has ever been an atmosphere in sports that I’ve been a part of that was as memorable to me. I have no dog in this fight. I mean look, I’ve been to games where I’ve watched Maryland win a national championship, that was very personal to me. Makes me think of my dad who left us too soon. I have nothing but being a sports fan on the line on Saturday night. And I’ve never seen something that felt like that. Or heard anything that was as sustained as that. … Everything that was part of the experience, I was told it was going to be awesome. It was better than I was told it was. … There is nothing I would put ahead of that that I’ve EVER seen in any sport. When you’re there, you don’t want to miss anything.”
-- Scott Van Pelt, ESPN Radio on the 2012 LSU-Alabama game

"I think atmosphere-wise, LSU was the best atmosphere that we played in [2012]. I loved playing in that game. It was probably the most fun that I've had playing even though we lost, just because of that atmosphere. It wasn't as loud during the day, but as soon as night struck, it was crazy."
-- Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace at 2012 SEC Media Days

“It was so loud I could barely read the signals. My eyes were vibrating.”
-- South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington at 2013 SEC Media Days

"It's what you'd expect out of Baton Rouge: people tailgating with shrimp étouffée, everything from alligators roasting on a barbecue to dishes that you would get in the French Quarter. These people are serious and they are legit and they're ready to go."
- FOX's Erin Andrews, from GQ.com "The 12 Sports Pilgrimages Every Man Should Make"

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