Last night’s ESPN2 presentation of Louisiana-Lafayette’s 55-40 win over Arkansas State included a moment ESPN and SEC Network reporter Laura Rutledge won’t soon forget.
As the teams took the field, telecast partner Mike Couzens threw it to Rutledge for a pre-game report, the former Miss Florida found herself in a near pile-up in the end zone.
“Just before [Couzens tossed to me] the Ragin’ Cajuns had run out in a cloud of smoke, thanks to a very productive fog machine,” Rutledge told Front Row. “I actually couldn’t even see my camera man in all the fog and we finally found each other just as Mike was throwing it down to me.
“I thought we were out of the line of fire,” she said. “Then comes the band. I just kept telling myself to stand my ground but I was getting knocked around by quite a few tubas trying to get out of there.”
Stand her ground she did and Rutledge didn’t miss a beat in sharing – of all things – the story of the Red Wolves’ propensity for trick plays.
“My husband [Josh Rutledge, a Colorado Rockies infielder] texted me after and said he could see the fear in my eyes,” Rutledge said. “In the future I will always ask about the path of the band for those game opens. Normally you just worry about the team run out but as we have all seen, the band can be just as dangerous!”