One of the sobering realities of our national life is that the sports beat and the crime beat too often converge. And that wrongdoing, sadly, can involve not only errant athletes but misguided fans.
The LSU community got an unpleasant reminder of that recently when a student went to the hospital with a head wound after he was struck by a flying object while attending the university’s home game against Alabama. He needed four staples to seal the wound. No one has been arrested in the incident, but because fans in the student section frequently throw bottles and cups to celebrate big plays, it’s a wonder that injuries don’t happen more often.
Young people can be more impulsive than most — a tendency enhanced, of course, when alcohol enters the picture. Students are searched for alcohol and weapons before entering Tiger Stadium, but drunkenness in the stands — among both students and older fans — is a familiar sight in Death Valley.
Profane chants, including some recent ones directed at Alabama coach Nick Saban, also are common at the games.
This kind of boorishness isn’t limited to LSU, to be sure. A recent Advocate article detailed similar problems at other campuses, including Rutgers University.
But the “everybody else is doing it” defense doesn’t cut it with us. Football is a proud tradition in south Louisiana, but good Southern manners are supposed to be a tradition here, too.
We don’t think the misdeeds of a few represent the many other LSU fans who bring a sense of good sportsmanship to Tiger Stadium.
The bad actors here should be booted from Death Valley — and prosecuted if they bring harm to others.