On a relatively cool Tuesday afternoon, as I took the short walk from Allen to North Stadium drive, the hustle of students attempting to gain access to the buses gave the insight that today’s classes were coming to a close. Those selective few whom decided to make that tortuous walk to the commuter parking lot opted to walk down victory hill. From afar, I witness the slight turning of heads as pedestrians pass the beautiful cream white arched walls hoping to see him. Every so often, people would veer off the sidewalk to walk long red-bricked semicircle that borders the strong curved walls.
The beast whom those meticulously crafted walls contain is our one and only Mike VI. Curiosity rises inside of me as I ponder the question of how Mike impacts the students and fans of LSU. As I took a seat on the only shaded bench, to my disappointment, our beloved Mike was snoozing in his corner hideaway on this beautiful afternoon. The conscientious placement of the lagoon style pool allows Mikes’ visitors to witness him playing in the water. The sculpted landscapes within the walls are the result of practical and logical planning for the inhabitant. I inquired to know how students and fans felt about their safety on campus.
A fan stated, “The technology and developments they have in place today made him the most secure and well cared for tiger ” (Walton). A double gated entrance provides an extra layer of protection in case of a ground escape. The massive interlaced rope structure and high walls diminish the chances of an aerial escape. A fellow student stated, “I am not really concerned about Mike escaping because the level of security in place for him“(Rodick). The fact that Mike is under great security protocol allows the fans and students of LSU to feel protected and unworried when on campus.
Sounds of water cascading down from the imitation rocks, and the chirping of birds offer its visitors a sense of serenity or maybe zest for what is on the other side of those walls. Smiling faces and prideful looks rise as onlookers set their gazes on Mike. Even in an unconscious state Mike affects his visitors. Rodick states that when she visits Mike, the feeling of awe and excitement comes over her. Mike seems to have that variety of effect on the entirety of his visitors. According to Walton, “The feelings of pride and excitement rose inside of me as I watch him. ” Even, his essence affects me.
Mike is a vessel of spirit that strikes pride into his admirers and fear in the hearts of his enemies. Walton stated, “The fear he imposes in the opponent rivals the joy he inspires in all that support him” (Walton). Therefore, his haughty personality never lets a fan or student down. On game day, the atmosphere that surrounds Mike’s habitat is boisterous. Enthusiast constantly swarm the red-bricked side walk that encloses the names of people who donate to Mike’s habitat. The basketball stadium emits loud soulful music and conversations of fans as they gaze into the enclosure surrounds the once nice and peaceful place.
The amount of people slowly increases dramatically as more supports arrive at LSU. Adults’ and children’s excited looks steadily turn to disappointment as they realize that the enclosure is empty. The public’s hope of seeing Mike is not diminished as a fan’s talk about coming back later. Some visitors decided to stay and wait for the reappearance of Mike. However, the stadium gates opened before Mikes returned. The crowd slowly decreasing as fans walk their way into the stadium for the game. Sadly, to everyone’s disappointment, Mike was a no-show.
Walton stated, “You can see the people around you face light up as he makes his route around the stadium. Without him there it feels like a vital part of LSU football is missing. ” Mr. Walton is correct, as I sit in Death Valley, I feel as if there is a missing component in the stadium. The atmosphere was not as hyped as it usually is, especially in the student section. I inquired to know how the students feel and react to Mike when he attends the football games. Rodick states that we are more revved up and from a student’s perspective, it’s more sentimental and exciting, especially for her as someone who comes from out of state.
As the game started, the student’s and nearby fan’s facial expressions showed grave disappointment that our beloved tiger did not want to be loaded inside of his trailer. Walton states, “Seeing him on the field of play on game day is a morale booster for everyone, except for the enemy, of course. ” There seems to be more of an incentive to win if Mike attends a game. Moreover, to lose a game that Mike attends is a form of disrespect towards him. Therefore, the surrounds tend to be more rowdy than a game he does not come to.
That is what Mike is there for, to liven up the crowd of fans and students. However, to everyone as a whole, he is more than that; he’s a friend, and symbol of joy. Mike persuades people unintentionally to feel a certain way when in his presents. Overall, LSU’s main source of pride and sprite centers on Mike. He embodies all that is LSU. The sprite Mike emits engulfs the students and fans. The atmosphere on campus, game day or not, would be almost dismal without his presence. Mike truly does impact the students and fans in the best ways possible through just his mere presence