Tomorrow (Sunday) is my last day as an LSU Tiger football season ticket holder.
For the last 13 years I've watched nearly every LSU home game from the same seats in Tiger Stadium - Section 17, Row P, Seats 11 and 12. I'm so accustomed to seeing plays unfold from the upper left corner of the south end zone that watching football from any other position doesn't seem right.
Like many other Louisiana natives, I grew up dreaming of having season tickets in Tiger Stadium. To many, having seats in "Deaf Valley" is a point of pride and a mark of success.
I first bought my tickets when the Tigers were in a slump. I was making peanuts at the time and really couldn't afford them, but I managed to find ways to pay for them anyway.
I was sitting in those seats for some amazing moments. Perhaps the most memorable was in 1997 when I rushed the field with 85,000 other fans after the Tigers beat the No. 1 ranked defending national champion (and arch rival) Florida Gators.
There also have been poignant non-football moments that brought me to tears, like when the crowd sang the national anthem for the first time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and when the chancellor of Appalachian State University made an on-field presentation of $20,000 raised by his students for LSU Katrina victims.
Having season tickets also gave me great opportunities to do one of my favorite things with important people in my life, such as my parents and niece and nephew.
Over the years, I've come to know the people who sat near me like family. At the first game of each season, we'd catch up on each other's lives, like cousins gathering at a family reunion. I watched the two boys who sat behind me grow up.
Me in my seat in Tiger Stadium for the first LSU home football game after Hurricane Katrina.
On Monday, my claim to seats 11 and 12 expires. Luckily, I have several great ticket connections, so I won't have any problem landing seats for the one or two home games I will manage to attend each season in the future.
I hope the next occupants of seats 11 and 12 appreciate them as much as I did. It's the next best thing to a spot in heaven.