There are many well-known traditions that have become synonymous with LSU football. From the great tailgate cuisine to the “Tiger Bait” cheers, there are parts of LSU football that we can’t live without.
Some of these traditions will never change: the Tiger band pregame show or our first-, second- and third-down cheers, giving praise to our Tiger bandits, or our team preferring white jerseys at home.
It will, of course, never rain in Tiger Stadium, and the student section will always wreak havoc in the ears of opposing team quarterbacks, but I can’t help noticing several traditions that have faded or changed since the days when I was first brought to a Tigers football game.
There are three differences that stick out to me. First, the wave has disappeared. Traditionally, a wave would start with the cheerleaders and the student section and round the stadium with steady momentum. As a child, I would always count how many times the wave made it around, getting more excited with each pass. Now, the wave is few and far between, and when it appears, it rarely goes around the stadium more than a few times.
Second, the crowd just doesn’t seem to buy into the battling chant of one sideline versus the other in “GEAUX!” “TIGERS!” “GEAUX!” “TIGERS!” In recent games, this cheer peters out quickly as if the crowd can’t be bothered to put their cellphones away and cheer.
Third, and last, the one that strangely bothers me the most has to do with our cheer after scoring. The way I remember the cheer is getting to the end of our fight song and the crowd chants “T-I-G-E-R-S” and then the Tiger Band would hit and hold the low note as the crowd waited with anticipation and watched the extra point, and after a successful try the band would hit the final chord as the crowd would simultaneously cheer “TIGERS!”
Today’s cheer has the crowd rushing straight through the cheer and yelling “TIGERS” before the final chord is ever struck.
To me, these traditions are as important as the ones “that will never change.” If we don’t teach the next generation our traditions and the personal importance they hold, one day it may actually rain in Tiger Stadium.