Northern Louisiana. Where the bayou fades into the Lone Star State. Where the creole meets country western. Closer to Dallas than New Orleans, the culture of Shreveport is a mixed one, as the city is located so close to both Texas, Arkansas, and even Oklahoma. Where does your fandom heart lie when you're living in Louisiana, but are 20 minutes from the Texas border, 50 minutes from Arkansas, and a hair under two hours from Oklahoma? The Red River Rivalry probably means just as much to you, your family, and your friends as anybody heading into Death Valley that weekend. Is it Cowboys, Texans, or Saints gear for Sundays? The fandoms of Shreveport are numerous, perhaps buoyed by the fact that Shreveport has no major league team of its own, including college-level.
I know that seems hard to believe, as almost every city you've ever heard of has some kind of college team in town or nearby, but not Shreveport. What makes this fact stranger is the very location of the Duck Commander Independence Bowl itself: Independence Stadium. Built in 1925 and renovated eight times since then, the stadium hosted no major team until the Shreveport Steamer of the World Football League came to town, lasting for just two years. When a stadium's biggest moments came in high school championship games, something just doesn't seem right.
As odd of a history as this stadium has, it's all the more appropriate as a location for the Gamecocks' season finale against the feisty Miami Hurricanes. This season has been a disappointing one for USC, and it's not surprising the reward for a pitiful six wins is getting to pose for pictures with the gay-hating yokels from Duck Dynasty. ESPN is going to do something dumb involving comparing Steve Spurrier quotes with Phil Robertson quotes and I am going to be very annoyed. The sigh I'll belt out will echo throughout the streets of Texarkana.
So what is there to actually DO in Shreveport? Well, there's the Shreveport Water Works museum, which is in no way related to making fun of people for crying. There's the El Dorado Resort and Casino, which sounds like a fictional casino where a bunch of people were murdered in a Quentin Tarentino movie. And of course, there's the Splash Kingdom Waterpark, which was given such high praise as "Same old, same old" on TripAdvisor.
Alright, so Shreveport isn't that exciting, but it's a chance for these Gamecock seniors to end their careers on a high note, and give promise of hope to the students and fans. I'll leave y'all with one last Shreveport fact: Shreveport is the birthplace of both Terry Bradshaw and Tommy Maddox. Yeaaah, quack quack.