Callin’ Baton Rouge: Towson vs. LSU/RIP Bubba Smith

August 4, 2011

As an alumnus of THE Towson University I cannot tell you how giddy I was to see that the athletic department had scheduled perennial SEC powerhouse LSU (as in the Louisiana State University, three-time national champs) for 2012.

Oh, I’m not giddy for the game itself, it’s likely to be a slaughter of epic proportions – think somewhere in the neighborhood of 77-7 as a probable score – but of the mere idea that the school is aiming this high.

Oh yes, the wife and me have already discussed this as our fall vacation for next year, as it combines the best of all worlds. The wife gets to visit Louisiana, which she is fond of, with a trip to New Orleans on the agenda.

I get to see my alma mater visiting one of college football’s most venerable venues: Tiger Stadium aka Death Valley, a stadium so loud it once triggered an earthquake. We both get to drink beer and eat Cajun food.

My alma mater gets to make a lot of money for the privilege of being LSU’s tune-up game for Florida.

It’s a win-win for everybody, except maybe the LSU fans that would rather see their school play Tulane than some obscure FCS school in Baltimore.

I also can’t wait to get there and ask somebody from the school why they picked LSU. I mean that is aiming quite high. I must give our athletic department credit, they are going all the way on this one. In 2013, let’s schedule Ohio State, their program may be in such shambles we could actually keep it close for two quarters.

I made the first TU related road trip two years ago, when Towson played Northwestern. That was a hell of a good time, even though the Tiggers got stomped badly (47-14).

The word we got was that Northwestern was a pretty dry campus, perhaps the only place in Chicago that didn’t drink, so the Towson alums that made the trip were about the only ones with beer. We tailgated at a golf course about a half-mile from the stadium.

That was the first game the Tigers busted out their new uniforms and I remember continuously remarking throughout about how sharp they looked. I did manage to capture one of our two touchdowns that day on video.

I didn’t go to last year’s game against Indiana because, well, if there is a town more nondescript than Evanston, it’s Bloomington, Indiana.

Thankfully, the athletic department is aiming higher than mediocre Big Ten schools. This year, we get Maryland in College Park, which should be insane. I can’t wait to joke with my UMD buddies about how Gary Williams would rather retire than play Towson in basketball.

And of course, the following year, it’s on to Death Valley and if we have nothing else going for us, when LSU fans do their “Tiger bait” chant at us, we can firmly respond, “Your Tigers or ours?”

September 29, 2012 can’t get here soon enough.


RIP Bubba Smith

Finally, I must give a hearty farewell to the late Bubba Smith, the ex-Baltimore Colts defensive tackle, who most people my age remember playing Hightower in the “Police Academy” movies.

Besides the “Police Academy” films, my main exposure to Bubba were his commercials for the local law firm of Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg and Katzenberg, especially the ones where Bubba passes the torch to Ray Lewis.

My other favorite Bubba moment was his appearance on the 1970 Colts “America’s Game” episode. For my money, this one was the best episode of the series because the players interviewed (Bubba, Mike Curtis and Bill Curry) seemed so distraught over winning the Super Bowl.

All three of them talk about how their Super Bowl V ring should have been complimented by their ring from Super Bowl III, which they lost to the Jets. For my money, I have never seen a group of athletes in any sport so flippant about winning a championship and that’s what makes the episode so good.

RIP Bubba.


  • Ryan Mavity has been a reporter with the Cape Gazette since February 2007. He covers the city of Rehoboth Beach, Baltimore Ravens football and Delaware State University football. He lives in Georgetown with his wife, Rachel and their son, Alex.

    Contact Ryan at