To a Louisiana football fan, just driving by empty Tiger Stadium at LSU on a weekday lifts the spirits.  Three national championship banners float gracefully atop the stadium’s rim, bearing witness to the tradition and the state pride that we associate with our LSU brand.

200px-Billy_Cannon_at_LSU

LSU's Only Heisman Trophy Winner Ever, Billy Cannon

But to be IN Tiger Stadium on Saturday game night is really something special.  Happy for me, that’s where I spent my Halloween eve this past Saturday.  The night was particularly memorable, and I’m extra happy I could be there, because October 31, 2009, Halloween night, was the 50th anniversary of former LSU Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon’s legendary punt return to beat Ol’ Miss on October 31, 1959.   That was one of the most famous battles ever played in Tiger Stadium between two bitter rivals who both were at the top of the national rankings that year.  LSU was, in fact, the defending national champ from 1958.

The University commemorated the anniversary during Saturday’s game by showing  this video clip.  To enrich the celebration, Dr. Cannon appeared on the field, fifty years older but still looking every bit the hero.   So sorry I wasn’t there in ’59 (I was 7 years old), but at least I was there these 50 years later.  The occasion was a proud Tiger memory moment.

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