Normally after Thanksgiving people feast on left over turkey, greens and macaroni and cheese, or maybe some honey smoked ham with a side of your mother’s famous yams. However, on Nov.26 the G-Men as well as the Gram Fam traveled to New Orleans and devoured the Southern Jaguars 36-12 for their post Thanksgiving meal in the 38th annual State Farm Bayou Classic.
“What they (the team) have responded to and what they have done over the last six weeks to me they have written their own legacy,” said head coach Doug Williams. “They written their own history to get off the floor to do what they have done to put themselves in this position shows a lot of character and a lot of heart from a lot of young guys.”
“Super” Mario was beyond spectacular in his homecoming as he completed the game with four catches, three were touchdowns, for 76 yards. His performance earned him the MVP honors.
The game played in the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome is considered the most momentous and historic in-state rivals among HBCUs. The animosity between the two teams isn’t anything new. These teams have been battling each other since 1936, even though it wasn’t officially called the Bayou Classic until 1974, where Grambling defeated Southern 21-0. Grambling State leads the series 20-18.
The history of the Bayou Classic is more than just a clash between Grambling State University and Southern University. The Bayou Classic brings rich historical tradition, family and friends together for entertainment and excitement. The game just caps many festivities on the eventful Thanksgiving weekend in the Cajun Country.
The activities began on Friday with the Greek show and the Battle of the Bands, the show was hosted by Uptown Angela and Wild Wayne. The Louisiana leadership steeper’s, grades 3-12, got the ball rolling. Their performance paid tribute to the fraternities and sororities and the youngsters amused the crowd as they stepped with much energy.
After the youth graced the audience the State Farm sponsors award over $300 thousand to the two schools. A $150 thousand check was presented to Grambling State and Southern was awarded $155 thousand check.
The results from the Greek show competition ended with the Grambling State Sigmas wining third place and $1000 for the men. Their theme was ESPN sports center and they showed video footage of some of their highlights from previous step shows. They stepped over tunes from Kanye West, “All of the lights” and after a PSA they changed comfortably in basketball short and tee shirts as they ended their strut tot Kane and Able “Shake it like a dog”.
Second place and awarded $2000 for were the Grambling State Alphas. They created a chill date setting where a staged couple sat on the couch watching the Wood, where they acted out the characters and scenes, and the Alpha step, where they ended their strutted over Rick Ross “I’m Not A Star”.
First place winners were awarded $3000 were the Alphas from Southern University. Their Five Heartbeat theme captured the attention of the entire crowd as they stepped over tunes of old school classic jams.
Third place and $1000 for the women were awarded to the Deltas of Grambling State. They took the stage in their leotard dresses with a wild comical “BriDezella” theme.
Second place and awarded $2000 was the Southern AKA’s. Their “Takas” theme inspired from the film “Takers” captivated the crowd. They stepped over tunes from Meek Mills and ended with “Tony Montana”.
First place for and awarded $3000 was the Southern Deltas. They told the story of 10 lost divas by the grandmother of the chapter. They got the crowd moving with their zombie act. They amazed the crowd with their death drop.
The tension between the two schools goes beyond the gridiron, in the battle of the bands the two schools to prove who has the sound of the south. The World Famed Tiger Marching Band went head on against the Human Jukebox as they battled back and forth sound for sound. The Southern band opened up with a cameo of someone singing Musiq Soulchilds hit single “Love”. Grambling Band responded with a class act by paying tribute to the Champion family, Robert Champion of the FAMU band died of alleged hazing acts. All night the two bands were devoted to please a crowd of many by bringing wonderful sounds to the ears of the audience and they didn’t disappoint.
“The show was good,” said Rachell Cartwright. “The Grambling Band to me did better because the sound was clear and they played some good songs. Although the Southern band was compelling with the glow shirts and singers, it is battle of the bands it’s not a fashion show or concert!” Rachell is a junior nursing major form Grambling State University.
On Saturday prior to the classic among classics the Fan Fest 2011 was the main attraction. It was sponsored by local New Orleans radio station Q 93.3 and held on Championship Square. The event was free to the public. There was food and fun and entertainment with an amusement park ambiance and concert admission worth performance from artist such as Currency, Mindless Behavior and the headliner Diggy Simmons.
“Other than the fact that it was free they still performed as people paid for it,” said Ahvery Thomas. “It was still a quality show because I went to the concert in Shreveport that cost me about $30 for a seat and the same performance that gave for these people at the Bayou Classic is the same show they gave the people in Shreveport.” Ahvery is a Grambling Graduate student studying sports administration.
After the Fan Fest the G-Men took the field led by freshman quarterback D.J Williams as they demolished the Jaguars to seal a great time in New Orleans.