The “youngest” event during next weekend’s Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration is the most exclusive, yet casual, opportunity for the public to enjoy hearing from the Class of 2023 inductees.
It’s the LSHOF Round Table Luncheon on Saturday, July 29, at noon in The Venue at 530 Front Street in Natchitoches. There’s still time to be among the 200 guests for the fifth annual Round Table Luncheon presented by the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
Registration is available for that event and all other activities during the Induction Celebration beginning next Thursday, July 27, by visiting LaSportsHall.com, or by calling 318-238-4255.
Festivities begin next Thursday evening at 5 with the free of charge La Capitol Federal Credit Union Welcome Reception open to all, no registration necessary, at the Hall of Fame museum facing the traffic circle at 800 Front Street.
Next Saturday’s Round Table Luncheon starts with tremendous Louisiana cuisine and quickly kicks into gear with Fox Sports announcer (and 2020 LSHOF inductee) Tim Brando interviewing small groups of inductees on stage in a very informal and fast-moving setting.
While there are some logical pairings for the interviews, like former Chicago Bears players Wendell Davis and Matt Forte, and former LSU baseball teammates and much more accomplished coaches Paul Mainieri and M.L. Woodruff, other groups will fall together in fun and unpredictable fashion.
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will certainly be an entertaining interview for Brando. .Manning created the faux character Chad Powers and took part in a hysterical tryout for Penn State football last summer. He also shares the platform with his older brother Peyton in the popular and off-the-wall “ManningCast” on ESPN2 during Monday Night Football games, and is in a new beer commercial with Snoop Dogg. It will be interesting to see who shares the spotlight with Eli.
Former Texas Rangers manager and current Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington is one of the more beloved and funny people in Major League Baseball. He was a prominent character in the award-winning major motion picture “Moneyball”—which earned Brad Pitt an Academy Award nomination — chronicling the success of the Oakland Athletics due to groundbreaking use of analytics in the early 1990s, while he was third base coach with the A’s.
Washington could be paired with LSU pitching great Paul Byrd, who had a 14-year MLB career and has since become a colorful member of the Braves’ TV announcing crew.
Duke All-American and WNBA All-Star Alana Beard might be matched up with Walter Davis, the two-time USA Track and Field Olympian who was a basketball star at Beau Chene High School near his hometown of Arnaudville. Beard has local roots, with her parents from Cloutierville and Bermuda, and plenty of relatives still in south Natchitoches Parish along Cane River.
A poignant scene at the 2019 luncheon unfolded before the program when Peyton Manning stopped by to greet LSU legend Johnny Robinson, who was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame two months later.
It all combines to provide a memorable 90 minutes with guests in close proximity to the living legends.
The Hall of Fame Round Table Luncheon shapes up as a highly entertaining opportunity for guests to have a up-close-and-personal experience and be entertained and well fed in a casual setting.