Bayou Classic
Grambling

Bayou Classic flirting with a spring fling in 2021

Like the SWAC, the Bayou Classic is postponed until the spring. But how much different would a spring version of the game look?

No SWAC football in the fall impacts a lot of things, including the Bayou Classic.

The game’s organizers announced on Tuesday that they are postponing the event until Spring 2021. An April date is the tentative target, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate.

With the decision of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors to postpone fall sports contests, we are reviewing options for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic that was to be played in November 2020,” organizers said in a statement. “The 47th Annual Bayou Classic has been postponed until Spring and will not be played in November 2020.”

The 2020 game’s status in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this fall was in question even before the SWAC’s announcement. New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell said in April that large events should plan on pushing back. A few weeks later Southern AD Roman Banks said that the game would likely be moved out of NOLA

Here’s more from the release:

 With the planned move of SWAC football to the Spring, we remain optimistic that the iconic Bayou Classic, ranked as the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation, will be played between Southern University and Grambling State University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at some time in the future.

Until then we ask for all Bayou Classic fans to stay safe, wear your mask in public and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We will get past this national pandemic and will celebrate all of our HBCUs traditions – including the Bayou Classic – in an even bigger way.

A different classic

Technically, the Bayou Classic is a rivalry game the weekend after Thanksgiving. But spiritually, it is a family reunion that takes place around a football game the weekend after Thanksgiving. Hundreds of thousands of people converge on the city, bellies still full of turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings to represent their favorite school.

It’s a weekend like none other, and as an outsider, I can attest to that.

The Superdome is expected to undergo renovations next Spring, however, which could lead to the game being played outside of New Orleans for the first time since 2005.

“Obviously, it will not be the Bayou Classic we are used to because of the virus and other factors,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks told the Advocate. “It is a division game that we will schedule. New Orleans will have the right of refusal.”

“We would love to play it in New Orleans, if that can be worked out.”

The spring would make it a different animal, even down to the way folks dress. It would be interesting to see how the game adapts to not being attached to a four-day weekend for the average person. The event’s organizers are now focusing their efforts on figuring out how to maintain the tradition in an unprecedented moment.

“And while Fall football and the Annual Bayou Classic are cultural staples, the organizers of Bayou Classic commit to developing a plan so this important historic tradition continues when it is safe to do so,” organizers said.

One thing is for sure: A spring classic would be too damn hot for those windbreakers veteran alumni love.

Bayou Classic flirting with a spring fling in 2021
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