With a video camera.
Dressed as Crimson Tide fans.
What they could show on a website not run by Larry Flynt, Al Goldstein or Hugh Hefner is not a pretty sight. What they couldn't show was exponentially worse.
But one of the brave -- and calling her "brave" isn't just whistlin' "Dixie" here -- student journalists who posed as 'Bama fans did write about it in a Reveille editorial Nov. 11. Editorial board member Gerri Sax didn't shy away from recounting some of the language she was subjected to, either.
I shall. When you see asterisks in this excerpt, assume the worst:
LET'S SEE. In a pregame afternoon and evening of seeing "how the other half lives," the two young ladies from the Reveille were witness to -- or victim of -- disturbing the peace, assault, public drunkenness, drunk and disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, lewd conduct and sexual assault. And I may have missed a few.
The final video of our experiences on lsureveille.com is an accurate depiction of what we encountered, but it was only the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few things we couldn’t fit in the video.
Vulgar language has never really bothered me, and the incessant “Tiger-baiting” and “Around the bowl and down the hole, Roll Tide, Roll” mocking were the least of my worries.
Almost every tailgate spot we visited greeted us with the same expressions. The women called us “bitches,” and the men called us “c***s” followed by the traditional “Rip. Rip. Rip. Rap. Rap. Rap. You ‘Bama girls got the clap, clap, clap!” cheer.
And if that wasn’t enough, the amount of times we were spit on also struck a nerve.
Spitting on someone is one of the most degrading things a human being can do to another.
Verbal abuse is powerful, but when things get physical, that’s a little more effective.
The most significant physical encounters were from male Tiger fans. And they all involved some kind of inappropriate gestures. We were groped and squeezed by just about every guy we interviewed.
Not only did things get physical for us personally, our camera equipment also has some bruises as well. I can’t even count the number of times a Tiger fan ran up to the camera and shouted expletives or just yelled at the lens.
That's also the kind of behavior Louisiana's "flagship" university puts up with -- on its property, in its name, by its students and football fans. It's particularly disheartening to see a state's "best and brightest" reveling in acting like anything but.
Note to LSU's Greek community: Dressing like preppies for the big game is no prophylactic against "common" if you get drunk, become even more obnoxious than usual, then proceed to act like . . . white trash. Snopes is as Snopes does.
And if "family night at the Snopeses" is what visitors to a major state university can expect amid its "stately oaks and broad magnolias," the scene inside the halls they shade must be something less than inspiring these days. You are what you tolerate. Six or seven Saturdays every autumn, the top university in Louisiana tolerates behavior that will land you in jail in Nebraska.
Or in Louisiana, if you do it at the mall, instead of on the LSU campus.
THIS KIND of loutish, criminal foolishness not only is met with grudging acceptance in Louisiana -- in the shadow of what passes for an ivory tower in the Gret Stet -- it's become a perverse source of pride. It's the pride of the ignorant redneck who knows he's doomed to lose at schoolin', and at work, and pretty much at life, but is satisfied if he can win the fistfight.
It's likewise the pride of the 'hood, where hopelessness and death is to be accepted, and even embraced . . . but never, ever "disrespect."
But respect cannot be gained at the point of a gun. Or by a right cross to the eye.
Or by a bunch of foul-mouthed drunks who think a good time on a Saturday night is to go out in public and let their Id hang out. Among other things.
And woe unto the school -- or the state -- of which this is the best that can be expected when company comes calling, because you're making a horrible first (second, third and fourth) impression. That, people don't easily forget.