Little known fact: The University of Southwestern Louisiana (ULL) was the first school to name its football stadium “The Swamp” in 1988. The more famous Ben Hill Griffin stadium, home of the Florida Gators received its moniker from former Coach Steve Suprrier in 1991.
Class is dismissed…
Fall camp has gone pretty well for the Cajuns as they prepare for the September 3 home opener named Herbert Heymann Football Classic against Boise State. Focus and attention to detail is key for Louisiana as the Broncos come in as the favorite. This isn’t your “cupcake” home opener most FBS teams have grown accustomed to. In recent memory, Boise St. has had the success, on the grand stage, that ULL hopes to reach.
Everyone in Lafayette has been thinking about the opener against Boise State, but Mother Nature has changed that. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall estimates for August 11 – 14, several cities and towns in the southern portion of the state of Louisiana received 25 inches of rain or more.
That’s over two feet of rainfall in a region that received rain 5 – 6 days out of the week throughout the Summer months. Some reports had the total rainfall broken down into gallons with 6.9 trillion gallons of rainfall in one week. 4,000,000,000,000!!! That’s enough water to fill 6,000,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. I don’t think Michael Phelps could navigate those waters, but Ryan Lochte probably could, let him tell it.
Southeastern Louisiana has received the bulk of the media attention and rightfully so. Local media has done a great job at covering and providing information on what the Red Cross calls “the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago.”
But the the devastation in southwestern Louisiana has been overshadowed. Several towns, including parts of the city of Lafayette, had its share of flooding. Highways and roads were closed, homes were destroyed by flood waters and families are still displaced.
Several of the Cajun players felt the need to do something, anything, to help the community. Their sentiments were echoed by head coach Mark Hudspeth. A few phone calls later and 100-plus Cajun football players were bussed to Youngsville (a town south of Lafayette) to help remove debris, carpeting, sheet rock, etc. from the flooded homes.
In less than a month in what will be one of the biggest home games in recent times, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns’ are focused not on X’s & O’s, but on giving back to the communities that have given them so much.
Much respect to the school, coaches and players. Hustle up and bustle up, fight onto victory...