This is from a Bama graduate, who reported this on Saturday before the game:
“When we were students at UA, I remember the fan-frenzied insanity we encountered when we got to the LSU athletic facilites in 1996. We were greeted by a mob that started shaking our buses when they stopped in the baseball field parking lot–and we had Alabama Trooper escorts! In the stadium I had an LSU fan come up and scream “Tiger Bait” in my face before he spit at it. I was stunned beyond words. And then the following year when LSU fans massed around the fences of the football field in Bryant Denny screaming [Expletive] Bama! But I have always followed my Tide in many sports wherever they go–period. The scene here in Red Stick is unnerving, but all this crap is just more motivation – if it were needed- for our players. I have spoken with some Bama fans whose cars have already been keyed here.”
This next one is from a good friend and fellow Samford A Cappella Choir alum, whose son is a member of the Million Dollar Band at Bama. I wrote to her earlier today because I was a little afraid for her son’s safety. Here’s what she wrote back to me:
“I talked to [my son] tonight–he said that they had to stay within a police cordon at all times–and wait in the stands for over 30 minutes after the game until the police gave them the go ahead to get on the busses. He also said that on the way in, people threw things at the busses and flipped them off. You know–these are CHILDREN, and they’re playing a game. Crazy folks lose sight of that. At the Auburn homecoming game yesterday, we were standing on the sidewalk when the Tenn/Martin busses rolled in. All the Auburn fans just waved at them.”
Besides the fact that the behavior of the LSU fans is downright offensive, the folks in Baton Rouge need to realize that visitors to our state eat in our restaurants, sleep in our hotel rooms, shop in our shopping malls, etc. They bring all kinds of money into our local economy. That is, unless they decide not to come here because they are convinced they will be spit on, cursed at, have beer poured on them, etc. They understand this in Auburn. They understand it in Tuscaloosa too. We understood it well in Hattiesburg: we were glad when there were USM games and people came to town from other schools to spend their money! They understand it in Oxford, and in Starkville, and in Athens . . .
Football rivalry is one thing. Offensive, dangerous behaviour is something else entirely.