Brothers plan road trip to Indianapolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; As the LSU men&8217;s basketball team put the finishing touches on its win over Texas last weekend, Ellen Yates, a confessed non-sports fan, knew all too well the Tigers wouldn&8217;t be going to the NCAA Final Four without two of their biggest fans.

&8220;I knew it was coming, I knew they were going to Indiana,&8221; she said.

The &8220;they&8221; she referred to are her husband David and his brother Danny, longtime Tiger fans and future veterans of the Natchez-to-Indianapolis weekend road trip.

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As longtime season ticket holders, the brothers were able to secure a pair of tickets through the Tiger Athletic Foundation. The rest was easy.

&8220;He (David) called and said, &8216;I need to be planting,&8217; and I said &8216;You can forget about planting because we&8217;re going to see the Tigers,&8217;&8221; Danny said.

David, a farmer in Vidalia, was worried about getting his soybeans in the ground at just the right time in order to maximize his yield.

He checked with LSU AgCenter soybean specialist David Lanclos, who gave him the thumbs-up.

&8220;He said not to worry about it and to go up there and watch LSU,&8221; he said.

Lanclos confessed his partisanship but said science also factored into his advice.

&8220;The data we have here suggest the optimum window for planting (Maturity) Group IV soybeans is between April 5-25,&8221; he said.

In other words, Geaux Tigers.

&8220;I told him I hope they win the first game so he can stay up there a few extra days and that once the Tigers win the championship, he can get back home and plant.&8221;

The 50-something Yates boys plan to pull out of town early Friday morning in David&8217;s pickup. Danny, a logging contractor, confessed to having a bit of studying up to do before hitting the road.

&8220;We don&8217;t even know which direction it is,&8221; he said. &8220;We think it&8217;s up north.&8221;

It&8217;s a start.

(The rest is a piece of cake: Take U.S. 84 East to I-55 North. In Sikeston, Mo., get on I-57 North to Mount Vernon, Ill., where you get on I-64 East. In Terre Haute, Ind., take Hwy 41 North until you hit I-70, which will take you right into Indianapolis. You&8217;re on your own for gas, lodging and tickets.)

While there&8217;s no telling how the trip will end, Danny&8217;s wife Jan knows how it will begin.

&8220;When they leave for a game you can hear the LSU fight song all the way to the highway,&8221; she said.

That highway is about a mile from the house.

The enthusiasm lasts all the way through the game, she said.

&8220;When our son Taylor was at LSU, it was cheaper for him to get a student ticket, but he said the student section wasn&8217;t as much fun as his dad and Uncle David,&8221; she said.

Oh dear.

While they thoroughly enjoy themselves at the game, Danny said they didn&8217;t let the losses bother them too much.

&8220;We&8217;re avid fans, but we don&8217;t let it ruin our weekend if they lose,&8221; he said.

Jan Yates said that is true, but &8220;they still do lots of war dances and a lot of praying.&8221;