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It’s Time For Neck To Adapt Or Die

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You decide the future of the song.

LSU’s upset of Georgia was only the A-plot of Saturday’s episode in the soap opera that is LSU football.

The B-plot was that Neck was played. Not by the band, but piped in through the speakers. Not that it matters, the end result was the same: Georgia fans were urged to give oral pleasure to Mike The Tiger.

This is not surprising. You drop a steak in the ocean, a shark will eat it. You throw Barry Bonds a hanging curveball, he’s going to hit a home run. You play Neck at LSU, you get serenaded with five magical words.

And yet, Joe Alleva released a statement Thursday condemning the act without actually mentioning it by name:

I know we can and will continue the great traditions of Death Valley in a positive way. Our goal is to create a competitive advantage for our team and to inspire our players and each other. Chants and cheers that blatantly offend rather than inspire do not represent what LSU is all about. Be relentless. Be loud. But, I’m asking our fans, and particularly our student section, to keep it clean. We have a diverse group of fans in the stadium and every week we represent the entire LSU family on national television. Let’s represent LSU with the pride and class it deserves.

**I’m sure this means Alleva is hinting at another trial run with Neck, either Saturday against Mississippi State or two weeks from now against Alabama. That’s a fool’s errand.**

(**Ed. Note: per official communication with LSU, there is no plan to bring back the song.**)

LSU’s history with Neck is long and contentious. The first I can recall it being played was in 2007, and it was an instant hit. It was lively, it got the players and the fans fired up, and of course, a hand movement went along with it. It became LSU’s calling card in big moments.

See, it is possible to have a mostly-clean version of Neck! And the student section is just as hyped as they were when it rang through the loudspeakers Saturday. Crazy how that works.

But after about three years, some bad eggs in the student section had the audacity to sing their own lyrics — and they were pretty naughty!!!

With time, those lyrics became more and more popular and the chant became louder and louder, leading to LSU suspending the song. But life uh, uh, uh, finds a way and eventually the chant worked it’s way to songs that shared a remotely close BPM or structure, such as Right Above It.

In 2013, the song came back paired with a “Keep It Clean” and “Tradition Matters” campaign, but that one failed miserably to keep the song free from d-words and b-words.

Since then, the song has been “banned” in the same way a fire extinguisher is banned: it’s just been kept behind an “in case of emergency” glass. Saturday, the glass was broken.

There is context behind Saturday’s playing. Days earlier, Miss Terry, Greg Byrne, Damien Harris, and Bradley Uppercrust III appeared in a video urging Alabama fans (mostly students) from keep the similarly embattled Dixieland Delight clean.

It worked, or worked well enough.

I’m sure LSU is looking at this and wondering if they can get the same push to get Neck back, but I’m here to say it’s a no go on that front.

Here’s the thing: in a vacuum. I don’t care about the STTDB chant. I think it’s the most juvenile thing in the world, but I do childish things all the time, especially on game day after tailgating for 12 hours. I am not a hypocrite. The chant is just a step above “Kick their ass! And beat the shit out of ‘em!” on the first down cheer.

When I start caring is when the actual song Neck is involved. It’s an awesome song that gets both players and fans alike going (no, I do not care one single iota that Southern or Grambling’s version is better so please spare me, comments section). But because STTDB is the sole reason Neck is banned, I’m tired of it. I understand LSU’s position and it sucks for both parties. LSU fans can try and apply STTDB to different songs, but they’ll always be chasing that dragon. It was funny, but the joke is over. Hang it up. We are well past the comedic triple.

And frankly, LSU fans don’t deserve Neck based on recent performance. The Georgia game was the first time in recent memory that the students stayed for all four quarters for a non-Bama game (oh, and east sideline ticket holders, you’re just as to blame for this. We see the swathes of yellow benches in the third quarter just as easy as the metal bleachers.) That was the first time Tiger Stadium was Death Valley in years.

I think this has to be logical conclusion to either the chant, the song, or both. You have to decide what is more important: the chant or the song. It’s possible to have one without the other, but it would mean giving up the five words every girl wants to hear. I can tell you right now which one LSU would be agreeable to, and it isn’t the alternative lyrics.