BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When fans stream by the thousands into Tiger Stadium on Saturdays during the football season, they hope to see the real thing, Mike VI, rolling into the stadium in his cage-trailer. They hope he will unleash a terrible roar that will leave opponents quaking in their cleats.
But for the last season of games, Mike sat tight in his million-dollar habitat on LSU's campus near the stadium. That's why LSU President F. King Alexander was the one to speak for the live tiger's keepers, staff and overseers.
"Mike's behavior last year demonstrated that he was unwilling to load for the games," said Alexander. "We hope he will come to the games this year, but we are prepared to revisit our decision in early October if he chooses not to load."
LSU's first three home games will be played Sept. 5 at 6:30 p.m. vs. McNeese State, Sept. 19 at 2:30 p.m. vs. Auburn, and Oct. 3 vs. Eastern Michigan at a time not yet announced.
They will attempt to load Mike in his trailer for all three of those games.
LSU officials must walk a compromise line between what is humane to do with a wild tiger and what fans really, badly want.
If Mike VI, does not choose to join the stadium bedlam, Alexander points out that he'll be in his habitat holding court for fans to visit.
LSU describes Mike's record of appearances this way:
Will he be there for the Tiger's season opener September 5? Only Mike knows.