No way Tommy Hodson was getting knocked off the wall. Not by “Bad Boy” Isaiah Thomas. Not by anyone. Despite my pushy friend's hard sell, I wasn't going to budge. I was a Bulls fan, anyway—plus, he wanted a Hamilton for the poster of the famous Detroit Piston, and—well, 10 bucks was a lot of money to come by in elementary school.
This was 1988, and I still wasn't exactly sure what the Heisman trophy meant or if Hodson had actually won it. All I knew was I had my first real hero in purple and gold, and the “Hodson Heisman” poster was on my wall to stay.
A month later, I attended the first LSU football game that I can remember. We sat in the nosebleeds, just Dad and me, huddled close and looking down from the edge of the night sky on a field glowing with the sights and sounds of Tiger pride.
Is absolutely everyone in the city cheering beside me? I thought.
The bright lights, the ripple of Dan Borne's announcements echoing through the loudspeakers, the too-steep ascent to our upper deck seats—everything about that game felt huge.
Except for the score.
Clawing through a bag of peanuts, I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a Tiger touchdown. Hours went by. Empty shells cracked under my sneakers with every tackle and snap of the ball.
What's happening? I kept asking Dad.
And then, something happened.
Hodson found Eddie Fuller in the back of the end zone for a score, baptizing me in the mighty roar of a Tiger Stadium gone berserk.
LSU defeated Auburn 7-6.
A few days later, I heard at school that a scientist had detected a very small earthquake after that touchdown.
Wow, I thought. Hodson throws touchdowns, and the earth moves.
Editing this issue and Lee Feinswog's Zach Mettenberger cover story got me thinking about Hodson, who was just 19 years old in 1986 when he threw 19 touchdowns and led the Tigers to their first SEC title in 16 years.
Can “Mett,” our latest young gun, do the same?
A few years after the “Earthquake Game,” my family moved to a new house a couple blocks away. I can't remember why, but the “Hodson Heisman” poster didn't make the trip.
Maybe it was lost, or maybe Michael Jordan swiped Hodson's spot in my expanding sports star pantheon. It was about this time I realized Hodson didn't win the Heisman, either. Andre Ware did.
Posters can be lost, and someone else can be handed a trophy, but there are often things more valuable that cannot be put away or handed to someone else; things like watching Tiger football with your father or seeing your children grow up. Hodson has two now.
He helps run a successful sales company in Baton Rouge, coaches private quarterback lessons, and every summer instructs the best of the next generation at the Manning Passing Academy.
Before we met for the first time in July, I had emailed to warn him that when I was growing up his “Heisman” poster was on my wall.
“I almost brought you one, but I wasn't sure if you'd want it,” he said humbly. “I have a whole stack of them in my attic, but it's a long way up there.”
Of course I do, I thought. You're raising teenage daughters.
You're still a hero.
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Bad Guys, Good Eats! Pop-Up Dinner at Restaurant IPO
Chef and 225 contributor Jay D. Ducote and Chef Chris Wadsworth hosted the Bad Guys, Good Eats! dinner at Restaurant IPO Wednesday night. The dinner was themed around famous movie villains, pairing cocktails and ales with plates of food resembling famous baddies like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and many others. The highlights of the night were the three middle courses—a black bean soup laced with blood sausage to signify Lord Voldemort, a brace of coneys on black eyed peas resembling Sauron, and lamb medallions atop a fava bean puree to pay homage to the famous favorite of Hannibal Lector.
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These swimsuits will keep you stylish all summer long
Better Block BR
On Saturday the two blocks between Bedford and Beverly drives on April 13, 2013, residents will get to see a model of what Government Street could look like if we push local and state officials to update the roadway to a safer, more "complete street" model.