Speaking Out: Changing the Bayou Classic - A Proposal


We have a proposal for the annual Bayou Classic football game, which we think will be better for the event, the teams and the city.  Our suggestion is this: Have the game at the beginning of each football season rather than at the end.

Each Thanksgiving weekend the game matching Southern University against Grambling University is played in the Superdome. The media routinely use all their clichés, such as “all the record books are thrown out the window when these two teams play,” and boosters talk about the economic significance of the event. There are, however, some inherent problems: One is that The Classic isn’t really a classic. Since it always matches the same two teams it isn’t of the same importance as a bowl game. Theoretically both teams can come to the game winless or with mismatched records and still be part of a “classic.” (Last year Grambling had a 9-2 record; Southern went 2-9. Grambling won The Classic 38-17.)

If the game were played as the season opener both teams would take the field undefeated with identical 0-0 records. Injuries would not as yet have taken their tolls.

The anticipated young prospects on the teams could show their stuff. Most of all, the splendid marching bands from both schools could make their seasonal debut.

Played in November,  The Classic is overshadowed for attention by the competition for major bowl games. The timing also creates injury risks should one of the teams be in line to play in its conference championship game a week later (not unlike the Saints having to be cautious about their starters in the final week of the season if they are heading for the playoffs). In the first week legs are fresh and everyone can go full-speed.

From an economic standpoint the game would probably do the city more good in late August or early September rather than in late November. Thanksgiving weekend has a high potential for attracting regional travelers staying three or four nights. The Classic attracts many day-trippers and has more of a spring break atmosphere. Tourism is softer at the end of summer. The business is needed more then.

One other benefit to advancing the game is that it could help the state’s mental health. We are serious! Many Louisianians suffer from “Football Withdrawal.” Each summer we have noticed an increase in people yearning for football season to begin. An early season match-up of two historic rivals would provide a tonic that is truly a classic.

You Might Also Like

A Hurricane of a Different Type

Rum with a tropical swirl

10 Things to Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for events happening in the weekend of July 25-27.

Renaissance Publishing Wins Big at Press Club Awards

The company won eight first place awards and multiple second and third place awards at the Press Club of New Orleans' Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Cool Drinks to Enjoy This Summer

Creative spins on the daiquiri and other cool drinks to try when it's hot.

6 Things To Do in New Orleans This Weekend

Our top picks for this weekend's events.

Add your comment:

Latest Posts

Tastes of Summer

Simple, fresh and local ingredients create the best treats of the season.

Strange, Wonderful and New Wines

New wines to try.

NOTMC scores with 'Travel and Leisure' distinction

An interview with Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation (NOTMC)

City planners: Let the Deutsches Haus Look German

Making the case for architecture that doesn't "mesh well" with its surroundings

I’m So NOLA I Bought a House

I am so New Orleans that I can never even think about living somewhere else. And that’s not a slogan or a social media gimmick. It’s just the truth.