LSU Brought Great Tailgating Food, and Then Students Trashed the Place

My son and I had tickets to the Rangers game Saturday evening, so I suggested we walk through the notoriously epic LSU tailgating festivities at AT&T Stadium prior to the baseball game. LSU fans bring with them hands-down the best tailgating food ever, and I thought I'd let the kid experience a little of the camaraderie and energy of a college tailgating scene. I'm thinking ahead a little: "See how great college is?"

Good idea, right? Nope. Bad idea. Worst ever. I didn't get good mom points -- I got deductions, as a matter of fact. (So it was a typical weekend.)

It started off well enough. The most southern lot of AT&T Stadium is where the big boys go to play. We're going to go ahead and call this lot the "Alumni Lot," because I've learned that's exactly what it is. And this alumni lot is fantastic. This is for those who can throw down some serious change on party vehicles. No corners are cut; it's an all-out feast.

And the food is like no other. The rich culinary traditions of southern Louisiana are celebrated, usually emphasized by whomever the Tigers are playing. Two years ago when they played the Oregon Ducks, there was duck meat in everything: duck sausage, duck jambalaya, fried duck. This year, with TCU's Horned Frogs on the platter, it was frog legs galore.

After circling the alumni lot, my son and I then walked north toward the stadium, and things got messy. Very inebriated and messy. Which is fine. College game day. It's their world, not mine. Yellow flag on me for thinking otherwise.

We discovered something new, though: Did you know that there's a trail along a creek you can take to bypass all the lots? There is! I found it! It was nice down there. But the trail spits you back into the lots to cross the bridge from the Cowboys side to the Rangers side.

At this very spot, a group of LSU students had created a club of sorts, with a dance floor (under a tarp). Cops were starting to gather nearby. It was hot, there was so much debauchery in the air and kickoff was still two hours away. Long night ahead.

I'm cool with all that. One tiny problem, though: These kids trashed the place. Every cup, can, food container, plate and napkin that had been used for the previous four (five? six?) hours was just tossed on the ground. Real classy-like.

It was so thick you couldn't walk without stepping on trash. When they ran out of room, it appears they started throwing it across the sidewalk, creating an improvised dump.

I've been to more than a dozen big games at the stadium and never seen anything like this. Cans overflow, but people just stack things next to the trashcan.

The photo above is just a tiny part. I couldn't take a picture in the main trashed-out part because we just needed to get through it quickly.

So, yes, I'm a mom. I don't like litter. I was out of my element. But five minutes later, walking in Texas Rangers stadium never felt so good. And you know what made it even better? Waste Management passed around recycling bags and the section we were in filled three huge bags. See, we can drink and clean up after ourselves. Geaux Texas!

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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