This is the 11th installment of Cajun Tomato’s NYC 100, a daily series chronicling my experiences and observations as a new New Yorker.
Here’s one thing I’ve learned in life: You can take the boy out of south Louisiana but you can’t take the LSU fan out of the boy. That was true in Oregon amid rabid Ducks fans, and it remains so in New York City.
On Saturday afternoon I entered Legends Sports Bar in Manhattan during halftime of LSU’s football contest with Texas A&M. Yes, halftime. I overslept, failing to take into account the subway’s relative weekend sloth. Rookie mistake, I know.
Upon arrival at Legends Sports Bar, I heard Big Tymers’ NOLA rap anthem, “Get Your Roll On”, belting from the venue’s speakers and observed dozens of purple and gold-clad Tigers fans, many of whom were clutching a beer. Behind the bar there were purple and gold signs with the years 1958, 2003, and 2007, representing LSU’s three national championships. It all felt authentic.
And this was just halftime.
Once the third quarter started, the bar’s intensity ratcheted up several notches. LSU held on to a precarious 14-12 lead over A&M. A recording of the LSU’s band boomed every time LSU gained a first down. Fans chanted “Geaux Tigers” as they would at an LSU game. It was clear they were here to watch football. Talking, unless it was about the game, could wait.
The fourth quarter arrived with LSU clinging to a two-point lead. I nursed an Abita Amber. My one semi-complaint with Legends was their beers were expensive. For instance, Guinness cost $7 and Abita Amber cost $6.50. I wrote semi-complaint because it’s New York.
Truth is, you pay for atmosphere at Legends. When Jeremy Hill broke his game-clinching touchdown run late in the fourth quarter the place lost its collective shit. I bounced up and down off the floor, screaming like a bayou freak. Everyone around me did the same. The scene reminded me of being on Bourbon Street watching LSU defeat Florida in 2010 on a fake field goal.
In spending an afternoon at Legends Sports Bar I atoned for my first NYC mistake and enjoyed a nerve-wracking LSU victory with other Tiger fans. There are worse ways to spend fall Saturday afternoons in New York City.
Cajun Tomato’s NYC 100 returns Monday with more adventures and observations. I spent a few hours in Williamsburg on Saturday. Maybe I’ll write about hipsters.