Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010- The Thanksgiving Boot Bowl

By, Stacy Golleher, SBP Supporter, and Whitney Craig, SBP Volunteer Coordinator 

There are no people on this earth who are more resourceful than Louisianians.  There is no family that loves to yell at LSU Football more than mine.  My family….we’ve majored in breaking the sound barrier.  We celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday by eating and reflecting the gratitude of our blessings and gifts. We celebrate football on Saturday with a gumbo and carrying around an old gold disco boot.  I said we were loud.  Not normal.

My grandmother is a good ole Catholic woman who had had a brood of seven.  My mom grew up with built in playmates and that didn’t change as siblings were married and babies were born.  We got bigger, “badder” and louder.  And we loved every minute of it.  Holidays are full of dancing, music, love, gumbo, drunken chicken and beer. Sigh. It is so great to be a Cajun. 

Years back, the LSU Tigers would play the University of Arkansas Hogs on the day after Thanksgiving (in recent years, it was moved to Saturday).  Since they say that Louisiana and Arkansas look like the shape of a boot, over the course of the years it was called the Boot Bowl.  The winner of the game received a huge trophy in the shape of a boot.  With that big ole tacky boot trophy….comes some serious bragging rights.  In the SEC, that is part of the trinity….God, Food and Bragging Rights.

On that fateful football Friday, being a good Cajun family, we took the leftover turkey and made a gumbo. My dad stirs the rue until is the perfect color of peanut butter - seriously, there is a Jiff can next to the gumbo pot at all times.  Aunt Fran and Uncle Bill had us all over to watch the game.  By halftime my grandmother was giving chest bumps.  (See above about my statement on normal).  I don’t remember who won the game that year but we had the best time pulling for sides…and making fun of Uncle Bill’s Hog Hat. 

The following year, we had already declared this to be the “Second Annual Family Boot Bowl” and all were prepared for screaming, gumbo and SEC madness.  That morning prior to the game, my Uncle Scott mysteriously disappears.  Right before kick off, he pulls out an old nasty disco Gold Boot he found at a thrift store that morning.  Our own Golden Boot.  The Holy Grail.  The winner of the game keeps to keep the boot for that year.  The year and the score is written in Sharpie on the sole of that nasty shoe. 

But the best part of the trophy is the “Presentation to the Champion” ceremony after.  We put the boot on a pillow and parade it around the pool table in the game room where we have gathered to watch the game.  The champion’s fight song is played.  We should be hired to choreograph the Opening Ceremonies of the next Olympics, clearly.

It is so silly, you have to love it.  Except for maybe my cousin, Stacy, who said it was mortifying having to explain to people why a gold boot was proudly displayed on her parents mantle when friends would come over.

My family.  We even love loudly.  We aren't normal...we are colorful. 


Sherry said...

Way to represent! You make your family proud!!!!!!

Fran said...

This sounds like a fabulous and very normal tradition in a very loving and (may I say) good looking family. Y'all did a great job explaining (or defending) our (oops, I mean) "their" tradition.

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