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Lean & Mean

Thirty-five years ago, on Saturdays during Tulane Green Wave football games, a New Orleans teenager could be seen running up and down Audubon Boulevard, wearing leg weights, dreaming big.

“I could hear the crowds and see the lights, and I would say, ‘People will know who I am. I will make a positive change in this world. And I will be in that Tulane football arena,’ ” Mackie Shilstone recalls.

The 5-foot-8, 143-pound former Metairie Park Country Day School team manager earned a roster spot on his college squad as a sophomore and a varsity letter as a senior in 1975. But his head coach, Bennie Ellender, still had his doubts.