Sugar Bowl president Jack Laborde talks about his athletic exploits, the perks of wearing the blue blazer and the changes coming to the BCS.
You played football at Jesuit and Tulane. How much have your exploits grown over the years?
I have fond memories of the coaches and the teams that I was fortunate to be a part of, along with the accomplishments in high school and college, including a Liberty Bowl victory in 1970. But the real enjoyment is how you improve athletically as you age. Funny how that works.
What’s your fitness regimen now?
Walking in the park, the treadmill and elliptical machines and light weights — hopefully three times a week — and bad golf.
What got you interested in being a Sugar Bowl member?
I was asked by a Jesuit and Tulane football team member if I was interested.
What’s the best perk about being the president?
Getting to meet the impressive commissioners, school presidents, athletic directors and coaches who are integral in running today’s college football. The respect for representing such a fine organization and being an ambassador for our great city and the great feeling experienced as the Sugar Bowl was successful in being awarded the Big 12/SEC championship game.
Do you ever wish that you got to wear flashier jackets when you’re on scouting trips?
No, ours are just fine.
What’s your favorite Sugar Bowl moment?
1960, LSU vs. Ole Miss. Went with my dad, who didn’t do this often due to his job. Still have the game pennant in my files.
If you could swap places with any current or former athlete for a day, who would it be and why?
Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. I would love to understand what they see prior to the snap when changing plays and formations. That would be fun. As a prior quarterback, I didn’t have much of that “vision.”
As an ex-Tulane player, how much impact do you hope the school’s new stadium will have?
Hopefully it will help bring the students back attending the events. Nothing makes a player feel better than filled seats in a stadium.
What do you think about college football going to a four-team playoff in 2014?
It’s what the fans wanted and will surely result in great teams competing to win a national championship — hopefully to be played in New Orleans.
What’s your prediction for Wednesday’s Florida-Louisville game?
A hard-fought contest with the fans having a wonderful time in the Crescent City. Nobody puts on a better mega spectacle than the Sugar Bowl Committee, Allstate and the Big Easy.