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Football: Son’s career delights Broussard

Tim Buckley, October 26, 2013

John Broussard
John Broussard

Gerald Broussard (65) takes a picture with his Ragin' Cajun offensive line colleagues during his UL career from 1980-83.
Gerald Broussard (65) takes a picture with his Ragin’ Cajun offensive line colleagues during his UL career from 1980-83. / Advertiser file photo

When Gerald Broussard agreed to become color analyst for KPEL 1420-AM’s radio broadcast of Ragin’ Cajun football games, he knew everything that came with the job.

The few cons.

And the oh-so-many many pros, including traveling with the team and never missing a game involving his own son, UL junior long-snapper John Broussard.

“It’s a lot of fun being up there, having a good seat,” said Broussard, an ex-Cajun player and longtime assistant coach who now works full-time in the oil well sales industry and – since the start of last season – calls UL games on the side with play-by-play man Jay Walker and sideline reporter Steve Peloquin.

“The worst part about what I do with the radio,” he added, “is not being able to share that time with Julie, with my wife. When (John) was first playing, and we were sitting in the stands together – you know, you see your kid go run out there on Cajun Field, and it’s your name on the back, it’s our name on the back of his shirt – that’s frickin’ awesome.”

What Broussard treasures most now are those moments on the road with his son, even if the stress can be a tad challenging at times.

“It’s a lot easier to (play),” Broussard said, “than it is to watch your kid do it.”

But what makes it all worthwhile is greeting him on the team’s charter plane. Goofing with him as they pass in a hotel lobby. Visiting when he can steal a few precious minutes. Greeting him again after a game, win or loss.

“I know he’s enjoyed it,” John Broussard said.

“He’s always got something encouraging to say, and he’s gonna have a smile on his face and give you something positive.

“We’ll be at the hotel,” John added, “and all of a sudden I get a text – ‘Hey, what room are you in?’ … ‘Alright, I’m coming down.’ ”

Sometimes he doesn’t even have to go that far, which is nice, especially because John no longer lives at home with Gerald and Julie.

Take UL’s visit to Western Kentucky earlier this month for an ESPN2-televised victory over the Hilltoppers.

The 5-2 Cajuns – coming off last Tuesday night’s win at Arkansas State, and preparing now for Saturday’s homecoming game at Cajun Field against New Mexico State – stayed then at a Holiday Inn in Bowling Green, Ky.

“I was in room 401 with Steve (Peloquin), and (John) was next door in 402 with (Cajun holder) Jake Guidry,” Broussard said. “It’s just neat to kind of tap on the door and (say), ‘Hey, how was supper? What’s going on?’

“That’s a lot of time we get to spend together, see each other. We just enjoy it. I know he does, and I do. But I don’t care if he does or not. I do.”

Again, though, there are pros and cons.

“There are times when I wish I could just be a parent, and just go sit and clap and cheer and not have to worry about what I saw or analyze it,” Broussard said. “And there are other times I’m really glad I’m up there and not having to listen to some of the stuff that you know hear when you’re in the stands.

“I think the good thing about it with John is he’s a long-snapper … because I watch him. If John was a quarterback, it would be tough for me to analyze everybody else.”

When John’s on the field, in other words, Gerald’s eyes are glued to the guy passing backward between his legs.

“I ain’t lying,” Broussard said. “I mean, I’m a dad first.”