The Sun Devils and the Tigers played an amazing football game for a great cause in 2005. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
This won't be a history lesson on the impact of Hurricane Katrina. One of the worst natural disasters in American history, the 2005 hurricane wrought $108 billion in damage while causing the deaths of at least 1,836 people.
Katrina made landfall in New Orleans on August 29, 2005, just 12 days before ASU was scheduled to play LSU in Baton Rouge. With the Louisiana State campus serving as a triage center and a refuge site for victims of the catastrophic storm, it was impossible for a football game to take place as scheduled.
In order to make the game a reality, Arizona State stepped up to the plate and agreed to host the game at Sun Devil Stadium. They made numerous concessions, including an SEC officiating crew and allowing ESPN the right to broadcast the game despite the lack of a Pac-10 television deal.
So the deal was struck: the LSU Tigers would have a ceremonial home game in Tempe that would serve as a powerful fundraiser in a time of need.
Over 63,000 people attended the event, despite the fact that there was a very limited timeframe to promote and sell tickets. All loge tickets were $50, while every other seat in the house was priced at $30. The Arizona State community came together as one to support their fellow Americans during a horrible tragedy.
According to The State Press article from 2005, donations from the game went to the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Relief Fund and the Hurricane Student Relief Fund. In the end, ASU and LSU raised and donated over a million dollars to these causes.
The goodwill left an impression on LSU, who agreed to reschedule their home-and-home to 2015 and 2016.
"We are glad we were able to work out acceptable dates for both schools to meet in the future," said Dan Radakovich, LSU associate athletics director, who is responsible for football scheduling. "The people at Arizona State were great friends and wonderful hosts during a difficult time for LSU [in 2005], and we wanted to keep this relationship intact."
Even though the Sun Devils lost this game, there are some things bigger than college football.