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Born on Tuesday, November 26, 1957, Mike III arrived just in time for the national championship football season of 1958. Mike III was introduced to the general public at the first home game of the 1958 season, on October 4 against Hardin-Simmons University. LSU won 20-6

Because LSU competed in so many bowl games during the reign of Mike III, his caretakers have many stories to tell. Joel Samuels known as the Tiger Man recalls an LSU-Alabama game when coach Bear Bryant was the Alabama head coach. Samuels had a way of getting Mike to growl simply by saying, "Get 'em Mike." As the Alabama players gathered around the tiger trailer, Samuels quietly gave Mike the signal to growl. When Mike did so, it so unnerved the Alabama players that Coach Bryant took Samuels aside and gave him a stern lecture, advising him in no uncertain terms that he was not to upset his players like that. As far as we know, none of the other tigers growled on verbal cue.

Mike III served as LSU's mascot for eighteen years. During his lifetime LSU won the national championship in football (with a 7-0 win over Clemson) and three SEC championships (in 1958, 1961, 1970); the football team played thirteen bowl games, winning eight of them and complied a 142-50-7 record overall. Mike III died of pneumonia on Thursday, August 12, 1976, after the only losing season of his lifetime.

(from Mike the Tiger The Roar of LSU, Baker and Bivin ©2003)

 
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