Every time I hear a national sportswriter cite Tiger Stadium as one of the hardest places to play, I scoff a little bit. Every time I hear an LSU fan or student say it, it takes everything I have not to tell them that’s bullshit.
But it is. Unless the opposing team is Alabama or Ole Miss, LSU’s student section, the heart of Death Valley, is a joke. Are they loud against other teams? Yeah, for a quarter, and then it’s time to go to Fred’s.
Let me say that I am not one to think things were better “back in the day”, in fact I am always highly critical of that “le wrong generation” line of thinking. But it’s true. I grew up around stories of how you could smell bourbon on the field and how a full game in the same stadium a quarter of it’s current capacity was akin to sticking your head in front of a jet engine for three hours. I’ve been there in 2003. I’ve been there in 2006. I’ve been there in 2007. I’ve been there in 2010. The student section I currently sit in is not the same student section that I experienced in the past.
I just don’t get leaving the game early. You paid for a ticket and that ticket allots you four quarters of football at a minimum. Why would you leave early and not maximize your investment? Fred’s is still going to be there after the game, I promise. And it’s going to be there for the other six nights of the week as well. You only get so many home games as a student, do you really want to spend most of it at a bar that you could otherwise bless your presence literally any other day of the week?
And I get it. Gamedays are social events to the core. From tailgates to Tigerland, it’s all just one big reason to binge drink and to dress to the nines (or not) and be social. But at the heart of it, the actual game is what brings you out, at least try to act like it.
LSU went to the half tied at 10 with Southern Miss. LSU wasn’t playing bad, they literally only had four possessions in the half, Southern Miss just played keep-away to the best of their abilities. The game was never seriously in doubt. But still, the mass exodus at half time cut the actual attendance in half. Of a tied game. Yes LSU would go on to blow out the Eagles, but it wasn’t because the crowd had any negative influence against Southern Miss. Coach O would later make a subtle jab at the sparse crowd.
And when they are staying for games, they’re getting a song that players and fans love banned because they cannot refrain from singing altered lyrics that read like a middle schooler who just learned a new group of curse words.
No, seriously, think about the new lyrics to Neck and imagine your middle school self singing it to your friend in the P.E. locker room. It got banned because of that.
The frustrating thing about this is that it isn’t a new complaint. People have been lamenting this for years now, I’m just here to call bullshit on the claims that LSU is the best. We don’t deserve that distinction.
And it’s the same ones that are leaving early that are cursing Bama for being better than us. The “come to school here” chant directed at prospects kind of loses merit when the people that are asking them to do that before the game are not in the stadium for the end of it. If you can’t support the team for an entire game, why should the recruits listen to you?
Answer: they shouldn’t, because you are a representation of everything that is wrong with the LSU fan base.
This weekend is an LSU fan’s wet dream.
Night, 8:00 at that.
Not a threat of rain at all.
LSU students, you have a chance to make Tiger Stadium legendary again this weekend. Get oiled up before the game. Don’t show Ole Miss how to party, out-party them with ruthless abandon. Get to the game, and let the valley shake again. Let it shake until there are zeros on the clock and the Alma Mater has been sung. And then you are free revel in the bar of your choosing.
This is a new era of LSU football and that allows us to get back to our old ways, the ways that made us famous and feared throughout the land.
Please, prove me wrong.