During the fall, Saturday nights at LSU are almost sacred, especially when there is a home football game at the storied Tiger Stadium. What makes the night special is the buildup prior, in particular the tailgates. The LSU campus becomes the second largest city in the state with thousands of fans tailgating all over campus in their RV’s and tents, cooking and grilling the local favorites- gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice with sausage and undoubtedly burgers and hot dogs. It is the ultimate experience in college football and to top it off, as the sun comes down, the LSU Tigers march into Death Valley, the “Pantheon made of Concrete and Steel”.
Last fall, one of my experiences of Saturday night football at Tiger Stadium is one that I will never forget. On Saturday November 13th 2010, my life changed for as long as I live. I witnessed true brotherhood, friendship and, most important of all, union. I was invited to the Phiota Homecoming Tailgate on campus and at that time I knew little about Phi Iota Alpha. I had learned that they had just returned to campus and personally knew one of them, Marlon “Verdadero” Boutin.
It was my first semester as a fourth year student, and for that long I had never seriously considered joining a fraternity. It was not ‘my thing’. At once arriving to the tailgate, I felt welcomed. Their hospitable approach, which matches how I interact with other people, had a big impact on me. The sense of brotherhood that I perceived when I learned that they had brothers from Georgia and Texas who came to their prime tailgate of the year was something that I really appreciated. In overall I had a great time at the tailgate. The food was delicious and unequivocally the Phiota Punch, too!
After I left the tailgate on route to Tiger Stadium, I had already made up my mind on joining the following semester. The connection that I had with the brothers that day at the tailgate was very strong, and I instantly knew that I would become one of them in the future. At the start of the following semester I recall my brother, Daniel “Cristiano” Toro, contacting me to hang out. To their surprise, I was already committed and didn’t need any recruitment and I just told him straight away that I was going to be part of their educational process if given a bid. I surely did and today I can proudly say that I am a Phiota.
This upcoming Fall I will be welcoming brothers from across the United States and Latin America to our Homecoming Tailgate along with my brothers here at LSU. As chairman of the tailgates, I look forward to hosting an exceptional tailgate for my visiting brothers and our local community, so that they can experience the local culture and the Saturday night atmosphere to the fullest. This year’s Homecoming Tailgate will be on November 12th against Western Kentucky, so mark your calendars. If you would like to join us for that special occasion, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is the schedule for the 2011-2012 season. For all home games, tailgates will be planned so RSVP with us if interested in attending.
By: Miguel “Smygrs” Bermudez
Phi Iota Alpha Inc. at LSU
Date Opponent Time
Sat, Sep 3 Oregon 7:00 pm
Sat, Sep 10 Northwestern St 7:00 pm
Thu, Sep 15 at Mississippi St 6:30 pm
Sat, Sep 24 at West Virginia TBA
Sat, Oct 1 Kentucky 7:00 pm
Sat, Oct 8 Florida 7:00 pm
Sat, Oct 15 at Tennessee TBA
Sat, Oct 22 Auburn 7:00 pm
Sat, Nov 5 at Alabama TBA
Sat, Nov 12 Western Kentucky 7:00 pm
Sat, Nov 19 at Mississippi TBA
Fri, Nov 25 Arkansas 1:30 pm
Home games are in bold.