FLASHBACK: Saturday and Sunday without Saints, Tigers or Wave? It’s not the first time

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Superdome
(Photo: Parker Waters)

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the postponement of LSU-Florida on Wednesday, neither the Tigers, Saints (bye week) or Green Wave (playing Friday night) will play on Saturday or Sunday. This article was first written Oct. 29, 2014:

The Saints are in Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Twenty-four hours later, Tulane plays host to Cincinnati at “Ghoulman Stadium” in a Halloween night special. Meanwhile, LSU takes a week off to get ready for its annual showdown with Alabama.

That means we have a Saturday and Sunday on the calendar with no Saints, no Tigers, no Green Wave. What to do?

Well, we can make a few suggestions on the sports front. The Pelicans are at home Saturday night against Dallas. On the high school front, there’s a huge Catholic League matchup Saturday afternoon between Jesuit and Brother Martin.

The whole thought of a “quiet” weekend got me wondering – how many, if any, times has the schedule had none of the three area teams scheduled to play over the course of the traditional 48-hour weekend?

Of course, there was the weekend after the September 11th attacks, when all sporting events were postponed. The Saints and LSU had their scheduled games moved to the end of the season, while Tulane was already scheduled for an open date.

But in addition to that weekend, there are three other occasions in which we have gone through a Saturday and Sunday with no Saints, LSU or Tulane to watch – going back to 1967, the Saints’ first season.

Byes didn’t become a regular part of the schedule on either the pro or college scene until the 1980s. That was also about the time television started to get a little more involved in scheduling.

In 1983, Tulane and LSU were scheduled to play on Nov. 19 in the Superdome, and it was the season finale for both schools. Earlier that year, TBS – which had an NCAA prime-time television package at the time – requested that the schools move the game to Thanksgiving night, which gave both schools an open date on Nov. 19. The Saints played on Monday night, Nov. 21, against the New York Jets, leaving the weekend of Nov. 19-20 without a local game.

The other two instances were more recent, and much less complicated. On Sept. 25-26, 1999, and again on Nov. 2-3, 2002, all three schools had open dates or byes on their schedules.

There have been at least a dozen other instances where two of the three teams had the week off or played on a different day, including twice last year – Tulane and the Saints shared a bye weekend Oct. 19-20, and Tulane and LSU had the same day off Nov. 16.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

Sales/Content/Production

Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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