The 48th Bayou Classic Grambling Tigers v. Southern Jaguars: The Experience of a Lifetime!

by George Radney

The annual Bayou Classic commemorates historically Black colleges and universities academic achievement, tradition, sportsmanship, marching bands, and friendly competition. 

The “Classic” is an exhibition of high standards and tradition between the two Louisiana HBCU insti-tutions of Grambling State University,  including but not limited to a Battle of the Bands and Greek Show, galas and parties, parade, and other sights, sounds, and food that fill the city of New Orleans.

As a graduate of Canisius College, my familiarity with  the Bayou Classic was via NBC televising the game and watching  analysts by one of my favorites, Ahmad Rashad. Experiencing it live, I realize that the Bayou Classic is more than a game, it’s an experience far beyond what was televised and of course, the game was even more exciting viewing in person. 

George Radney with Journalist Roland Martin at 2021 Bayou Classic

This year the Classic was held November 26 in Caesar’s Superdome in New Orleans. It was  an interesting match up with both head coaches being Interim Head Coach. 

Southern University Coach Jason Rollins was completing his first season as Head Coach and his second season on the Bluff. Grambling State Interim Head Coach Terrence Graves is 25-year veteran Coach in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

This game is always anti climatic being the end of a fabulous weekend, but Southern came back to tie the game under two minutes to play only to lose on a last second field goal by Classic MVP Garrett Urban.  Garrett kicked a record 5 field goals in the game. The passing game has invaded Historical Black Colleges and Universities, which were on display in the game with Grambling State Elijah Walker and Southern Jaguars Ladarius Skelton making quality passes throughout the competition. Ladarius Skelton also could run with deceptive moves helping to get Southern back into the game.

It’s was a very enjoyable game and weekend that all Black people should experience in their lifetime.

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