Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian used an actual caged tiger at practice Tuesday to replicate what his players can expect when they enter Death Valley to take on Louisana State this Saturday, according to a story from Percey Allen of the Seattle Times.
The tiger, an 18-month-old female named Sheena, was placed in a cage about 30 feet from the field where the Huskies practiced Thursday as a proxy to Mike, LSU's latest living Tiger mascot.
But Allen goes on to explain that the Huskies shouldn't be afraid of the restrained beast. Instead, it's the intense fan noise that should have them shaking in their boots. Here's what current Seattle Seahawks and former Florida Gators defensive tackle Jay Howard had to say as a warning about playing in the "sea of noise."
"It's loud all the time," he said. "That's all I can say. The fans are crazy and nuts. They're going to be yelling all game long."
Furthermore, it's been a while since Washington faithful has seen their team make the trip to LSU. The Huskies last traveled to visit the Tigers in 1983 and were annihilated 40-14. Since that time, LSU has recently renovated their stadium to make it the seventh-largest college football collusive in the country, seating a grandiose 92,542 spectators.
So here's to hoping the Huskies aren't too distracting by the living, breathing tiger in the corner so they can mentally prepare for the crowd factor and treat the audience to an at least semi-competitive game. Then again, I don't think anyone wearing purple and gold will mind a blowout as long as they get to taunt the visitors with "Tiger Bait" chants all day.