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Abby Hill | | June 14, 2014

Hill: Tiger Town, Nebraska

  Fans from LSU set up their annual tailgate at TD Ameritrade Park.

OMAHA, Neb. -- LSU is not at the 2014 College World Series.

In fact, no team from Louisiana made it to Omaha this season.

However, fans from LSU made it to Omaha. Long-time friends Charlie Radcliffe and K.J. Babin have made the trip to Omaha every year for 20 years, regardless if the Tigers make it or not. 

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"I just love all of this," Babin said. "The three reasons I always come to Omaha are -- baseball, baseball and baseball -- I mean, is there any better reason?"

Babin and Radcliffe host quite the tailgate. So much so, it has gotten the name Tiger Town, Nebraska.

"We joke that if you do not have a Louisiana license plate, you cannot get into this tailgate," Radcliffe said.

Tiger Town has attracted many other people tailgating at the College World Series. Omaha resident Kris R. and her husband met Babin and Radcliffe 10 years ago, and every year they still hang out in Tiger Town before the first pitch.

"They have the best food," Kris said, "but it stretches beyond food. They have the best hospitality. And they come every year."

Radcliffe is the chef of the group and he hauls all of the special ingredients and cooking equipment from Louisiana to Nebraska.

"We trucked all of this food 1,000 miles," Radcliffe explained. "One hundred pounds of sausage, 100 pounds of shrimp and 60 pounds of crawfish. We put it all in the truck."

Saturday's menu included étouffée -- a Cajun dish of rice smothered in crawfish.

Babin and Radcliffe passed bowls of it along with French bread to every passerby; security guards, other fans and media. They encouraged people to stop and sit a spell before the games.

"We like to bring Southern hospitality to the Midwest," Babin said.

Like the relationship with Kris, Babin and Radcliffe have made many friends through the years.

"We met all kinds of people at old Rosenblatt and we have just stayed friends with them," Radcliffe said. "We come to Omaha a few days early and spend time with our friends at their homes before the games start."

Babin and Radcliffe may not be able to cheer for the Tigers while in Omaha, but they have a team in mind.

"On the record, I am pulling for Ole Miss," Babin said. "We got to keep it in the SEC, and I think Ole Miss has the best shot."

Division I
Baseball Championship
June 16 - 26, 2023
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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