I love LSU football. I love everything about it: the sights, the sounds and the smell of the air on Saturday nights thick with bourbon and Creole spices. I love to yell as loud as I can every time our defense steps onto the field, and I even like the soreness in my throat on Sunday mornings.
Being an LSU fan runs deep in my family, and going to Tiger Stadium is a privileged connection, not only to our university, but to our ancestors who helped to build it, one game, one scream at a time, into the most-intimidating place to play college football. My grandfather didn’t miss a game in more than 40 seasons. My parents have been season ticket holders for more than 30 years, and I hope my three daughters will one day carry on the tradition with their children.
With those who have gone before us in mind, I must take issue with the students and other fans that first booed the Alabama band, and then later participated in an obscene cheer directed at Alabama Coach Nick Saban.
Such displays are not welcome and are what my old high school coach would call “bush-league.” They are not worthy of a great university or our top-ranked ball club and they dishonor those who have gone before us to build one of our state’s great traditions. Being vulgar for vulgarity’s sake is not collegiate, and these negative outbursts do nothing to serve our players and coaches and they conversely rally the other team.
Sure, I “love to hate” the Tide as much as anyone who bleeds purple and gold, and I’m by no stretch a prude, but the University of Alabama is our conference peer, and their players, band and fans were our guests and should have been respected as worthy competitors. As a young man, I was taught that sportsmanship was an important part of being a player, and that it was important to both win and lose with dignity.
Sadly, some of our fans decided to sacrifice our community’s character with these low-class displays.