It shouldn't be this way.

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.

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About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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6 Responses to It shouldn't be this way.

  1. PaulB says:

    The offensive nature of some of the LSU crowd is the stuff of legend. I’ve heard similar stories from those who went to BR for Auburn games. It’s pretty sad and pathetic. As your friend put it, these are college kids. It’s funny, as heated as the AU/Bama rivalry is, you rarely if ever hear those kinds of stories and they’re isolated incidents.

  2. Destry says:

    I live just outside of Baton Rouge as an Alabama Fan. Believe me, I have experienced this behavior also at Tiger Stadium…thus the reason I refuse to take my family to a game there. It’s really not much better on a day to day basis. Tiger Stadium is a scary place to be as an opposing team. Not because of the “mystique” of the stadium but the insanity of the fans!

    On a lighter note, the Million Dollar Band practiced at our High School field in Denham Springs Saturday morning. It was the highlight of my day! The many LSU fans that were there treated them with a decent amount of respect and applauded their performance. Our High School Band director commented to me that the UA band has done more for our HS than the LSU band has ever thought about. So Alabama class still reigns supreme. By the way, ROLL TIDE!!!

  3. RevJATB says:

    Welcome, Destry! (Faithful readers, Destry is an old friend from SU days.) I’ve often wondered how it must be for you in the BR area as a Bama fan.

    I could have posted a lot of other accounts I found, but I didn’t want the article to be too long. Probably the most horrifying one I read was about the game between LSU and Georgia in 2003. One of Georgia’s players was badly hurt and lying on the field unable to move. So the LSU crowd–STARTED CHEERING and then DID THE WAVE!

    I remember being at Auburn when a Florida State player was similarly hurt. There was no rejoicing. Everyone was concerned and everyone–Auburn people and Florida State people–all applauded as the player got up and was able to walk off the field. That’s how normal people behave.

    Nice to hear that the Million Dollar Band were being ambassadors of good will.

    Hope you stop by frequently, Destry. You’ll see some familiar names pop up around here.

  4. RevJATB says:

    And you’re absolutely right, Paul. Growing up firmly enmeshed in the Alabama/Auburn rivalry as we did, I never remember hearing of anything approaching this sort of behavior. And you and I both had, and have, good friends who support the opposing team. Heck, you have a brother who does! 🙂 And the Alabama/Auburn rivalry is INTENSE! But it’s not bitter. That’s the difference.

  5. Cap'n Whook says:

    And to think, LSU took such umbrage at an opposing team stompin’ on the tiger eye painted on the 50-yard line! Which team did that? 🙂

  6. Mo says:

    Though I’m elated to hear how guests are treated at Auburn (I didn’t graduate there, but I went there my first 2.5 years of my 6-year undergrad), I remember being embarrassed when oranges were thrown at the UT team entering the stadium from the student section.

    I remember Tiger stadium when I was a freshman at Auburn. Dad said it was loud, but I was shocked when the sound was so overwhelming that the football wouldn’t stay on the tee. The SPLs actually pushed the thing off. But I don’t remember being in fear for my life as a guest in BR.

    Mississippi State were great hosts as I remember, but the way we were treated when we played Florida at Gainesville was beyond awful. For that reason I now pull for anyone against Florida.

    I grew up in a divided household (Dad graduated from Alabama, Mom from Auburn). I agree that it is possible (nay, preferable) to have an intense rivalry that is not bitter. I’m glad to hear that Auburn is currently known as a good host.

    War Eagle!

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