SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - In just a few hours, the Louisiana State University Tigers will battle it out against Clemson for the BCS National Championship.
While most fans are down in New Orleans, there’s still a good share of dedicated ones right here in Shreveport.
“(On) March 5, 1993 I met my wife so my true indoctrination to LSU began March 6, and it’s grown ever since,” said Mark Ford.
Ford’s father was in the Air Force so he grew up living in different places. After marrying his wife, he began collecting all sorts of tiger memorabilia.
“My most cherished possession is the band cap,” he said.
His wife has always wanted to be in the band and he happened to know someone who found the hat after it fell off the bus on its way to Baton Rouge.
His business is decked out with signed footballs, pictures and has some of the rarest items a fan could find. He doesn’t just collect football paraphernalia, but baseball, basketball and any other sporting team at the University.
“We follow the gymnastics, the softball, the girl’s basketball, the men’s basketball, the baseball teams,” he said. “Anything to do with LSU, we’re in it.”
But he’s not the only super fan in the city.
“When I was a kid my first golf bag was an LSU bag,” said Meredith Duncan.
Duncan grew up playing golf and ended up attending LSU from 1998 to 2002 where she continued playing the sport. A few months ago she was recently inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
“I really didn’t believe it,” she said. “It was several days before it really sunk in. It really didn’t sink in until after the ceremony and looking at the names on list and seeing the Billy Cannon’s and the Shaquille O’Neal’s and all these huge, huge bigger than life kind of people.”
She ended up passing her love of LSU on to her 15-year-old nephew David Favrot.
“I had no choice...it was kind of passed down,” he said. “Getting to go to all the LSU games just made it that much easier to be a tiger fan.”
Their home is also filled with plenty of LSU items, pictures of the two attending multiple games together and even Joe Burrow’s practice helmet.
“I’m not going to sell this ever one day but I mean I have people...the A&M game I had somebody ask for $7,000 for it in front of my face so I mean that was kind of hard to turn down,"he said. “I mean this is a piece of history.”
Favrot bought the helmet outside of a game one day for $160. He knew something was wrong when he noticed all the scratch marks and thousand dollar plus wiring system was still inside the helmet. They showed the helmet to a friend Duncan knew worked at the university as the head equipment manager who shared whose helmet he had.
“We showed him the helmet and he was like ‘yeah you’re not suppose to have that. We’ve been searching for that for a couple of weeks,’” said Favrot. “'He was like I might need that back,' and we were like ‘nah you’re not getting it back.'”
They have every team member’s signature on the helmet, except Burrow’s. The two have headed down to New Orleans with hopes of seeing him, the other players and hopefully getting tickets into the game.
“This could happen next year or never,” said Duncan. “To have an undefeated season, the Heisman Trophy winner, and the national championship game in our state...it’s not something that happens everyday so we’re going to take advantage of it.”
Duncan, Favrot and Ford have stuck it out during the good times and the bad and they know just had momentous Monday night’s game is not only for the team, but for the entire state.
“This is a historic year for LSU,” said Ford. “We have a coach who has the heart and the understanding that this is not his football team, this is our football team and what it means to the state of Louisiana. To see that program come back to its full potential and everybody in Louisiana is participating in the joy of this season."
No matter the outcome, these fans are rocking with LSU till the very end.
“I’ve bled purple and gold my whole life, I still bleed purple and gold,” said Duncan. “I’ll be a fan for life and I’ll cheer for LSU forever.”