Although the humans playing on the LSU football team get a lot of well-deserved credit (especially in a season like this where they are easily holding their #5 spot in the AP Top 25 rankings ) for the team's success, there is always one member of the school's athletic program who is truly unique. That member is Mike the Tiger. Since 1936, 7 different "Mikes" have represent Louisiana State University in both its athletic and academic endeavors, and each of them was a beloved addition to the many things that make LSU alumni so proud of their alma mater. I'm sure many of you have gone to see Mike in his beautiful home on campus at one time or another but, given LSU football's continuing success this season, I thought it may be fun to take a look at the history of the school's most recent regal, feline friends.
Mike V: Originally named "Stevie", Mike the Fifth was born on October 19, 1989 in (of all places) Alabama. Even though he helped open a basketball game against Alabama when he was just 4 months old, Mike V was not moved into his new home at LSU for another couple of months. Mike V was described as the easiest of all his predecessors to handle due to his generally calm and friendly disposition and he was the first of LSU's tigers to enjoy the incredible habitat you see by the stadium today. After reigning over 5 baseball national championship victories, 37 SEC titles, and a football national championship, Mike V passed away on May 18, 2007.
Mike VI: While Mike V was still finishing his rule of all things LSU, his successor - named "Roscoe" at the time - was already preparing for the throne in Indiana. When Mike VI was brought to his Louisiana kingdom in September of 2007, he truly looked like he was ready to be king. At 2 years of age and about 320 pounds, Mike the Sixth looked like the magnificent beasts we picture when we imagine tigers and, during his time at LSU, the football program appeared to follow suit, earning a 75.6% win rate under Mike VI. Sadly, Mike VI was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the end of the 2016 spring semester and he passed away in October of that same year despite the tireless efforts of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Mike VII: A Bengal-Siberian mix born in Florida, Mike the Seventh is the latest tiger to inherit the LSU throne. He was previously known as "Harvey" before coming to his new "forever home" on campus, where he has lived for just over a year. When he first arrived at LSU, Mike VII certainly resembled an oversized kitten but as you can see in the picture of him to the left, he's no scaredy cat. Although it hasn't been long enough to brag of his reign's athletic accomplishments just yet, you have to admit that, so far, this football season is looking like it might give him something to roar about.