With about five minutes left in the Auburn game and during a TV timeout, LSU football player Leonard Fournette walked onto the field — the only player on the playing surface. Fans in Tiger Stadium, which was about two-thirds full, roared as Fournette raised both hands, a gladiator strutting in front of his audience. This was an exhilarating moment for my son and me as we sat in our seats in the south end zone, but it was also sad. Why was Tiger Stadium not filled?
I get it; spectators bought their ticket and they have the “right” to leave early, but that does not make leaving early right. I have heard all of the reasons for leaving early:
1. LSU was getting blown out; “they should fire Miles.”
2. LSU was blowing out some no-name opponent (rent-a-win) and “they should fire Miles and Alleva.”
3. LSU was in a close game with a team that they should be blowing out and “they should fire Miles.”
4. “It was getting really late.”
As lame as all of those excuses are, NONE of them applied on Saturday. LSU was dominating an SEC West division opponent and avenging a horrible loss from last season. They were doing everything well. Among the highlights: Fournette was making history; quarterback Brandon Harris proved that the light has come on and his understanding of the game is matching his physical ability; the offensive line was dominant; a tight end caught a TD pass; the defense was playing well; and new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was outwitting the great Gus Malzahn. By the third quarter, the shade had come across much of the stadium, temperatures had dropped and staying until the end would have still had everyone out of Baton Rouge before dark. For the ardent Miles-haters, I suppose this dominant SEC West victory has put a serious crimp in their hope that Miles will be fired any time soon.
What more do these early exiters want? I wonder what those young men were thinking as they looked up as the clock hit 0:00, with joy in their heart for a game well played and the knowledge that they had avenged the worst loss in their college careers, only to see row after row of empty seats — seats they expect to be filled with LSU fans eager to praise their efforts.
This was likely the biggest home game of the year for LSU. If these “fans” left early, I cringe when I think about how little support they will show in October for Eastern Michigan, Florida or Western Kentucky.
I know they had the “right” to leave, but that does not make their leaving “RIGHT”! The kids deserve better. GEAUX TIGERS!