Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear LSU: Take out the (white) trash

Click on the frat boy's butt for video.

I wonder what Noël Coward -- famous for noting "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" -- would have made of Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium?

If he had happened upon the LSU gridiron scene today (or, really, any time in the last 40 years), bon mots about how "white trash and drunken men come out on a football night" would have been flowing from his pen.

It's come to this. A state known for feeding on the bottom of every index of societal success manages to find world-class acclaim in the field of loutish behavior by sports fans.

Even the English football hooligans are starting to get nervous.

THE LATEST DOCUMENTATION of some very, very bad behavior on the part of Tiger fans comes from . . . Louisiana State's student newspaper (and my old stomping grounds), The Daily Reveille. The student paper did quite an ingenious thing -- two female staffers went tailgating Nov. 8 for the Alabama game in Baton Rouge.

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:

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.

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.

That's entertainment.

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.


Colleen said...

I heard about this ruse on KLSU. I have a feeling it meant more to the locals than it did to me: oooh nooo, pretend that instead of arbitrarily supporting the purple and gold team because they are from here, you arbitrarily support the red team because you are pretending you are from Alabama! Has the whole world gone topsy turvy?
Sports. Goons.
Do not like.

Tigerbait said...

These two "girls" from The Daily Reveille went looking for trouble. The Daily Reveille has slowly degraded itself over the years, as evident in some of its recent articles.

Having attended LSU games for the last 30 years, I have never witnessed anything close to their pathetic article. Maybe the "impostors" got what they deserved.

Fake journalism at its best.

Anonymous said...

At least we dont riot and kill people like Euro-trash soccer fans. Everything that goes on is in good fun. No one is forced to come out and experiance SEC football.

Anonymous said...

The Reveille is trash. Whatever journalistic integrity it had in the past is long gone today. Need proof? Pick up a copy, check out the op-ed pages, and marvel at the drivel printed there. Rarely do the authors make a point, and even when they do, it's unimpressive or unimportant.

The video project that precipitated this rant is a perfect example. Here's the pitch: dress a couple of anonymous girl in 'Bama gear, give them a camera, and ask them to document the shenanigans of LSU Game Day. Does it shock anyone that they found drunk frat boys, creepy locals, or rude co-ed? Is the point of the mixed-media project to show that LSU fans are an uncouth, loutish bunch? If so, the Reveille was successful. But again, who cares? Not me. Not the 28,000 other students at LSU.

The post by The Mighty Favog likewise lacks punch. "LSU fans are drunks and..." yes, yes, yes, we know. What's worse, he approaches the topic of LSU fandom with the righteous air of cultural disdain that signals "disaffected loser" from miles away. Always on the outside, longingly watching those on the inside having fun is no way to live life, son.

The topper is that LSU's fans are in fact respected around the country. Your thesis is bunk. So for the next time you get wound up and feel compelled to write about it, remember this: Describing the molehills as imposing mountains on the horizon does not make you a journalist. It only makes you look stupid.

Anonymous said...

My BS-O-METER kept going off through this entire article.

Anonymous said...

The Reveille is rubbish. Do not believe it - these girls were looking for trouble.

What we have at LSU is a tailgating atmosphere unrivaled in all of sports. Don't take my word for it, take the word of those who visit our campus. The following it cut and pasted from a Virginia Tech message board after the Hokies trip to BR in 2007:

Many of you Hokies have asked about our trip to Ba-Tone Rouge. Let me begin by saying the game sucked, but you that already. Now the good part.

These people at LSU are the most friendly, hospitable and generous fans I have ever met. I am humbled. They have set a bar on how to tailgate and treat people. WOW! There is no way to do this road trip justice. You have to live it for yourself. These cats party like there is no tomorrow and they start days before kickoff. All out partying begins around 6pm the night before. The tailgate setups are unimaginable. I assure you that you have never seen anything like it. Top 10 Kudos' for the trip.

10. Lunch at Chimes! (Best red beans and rice and the sweetest oysters I have ever had)

9. Getting to see Mike VI, the LSU Tiger mascot up close and personal.

8. The Golden Girls.

7. Catching the LSU Marching Band run down the hill in full gear.

6. Dancing in the streets with these crazy Cajuns while the cops stop traffic for us to do so. (Y-M-C-A)

5. The tailgate setups (Cannot do them justice) Food, music, TV's, Furniture, stages, kegs, etc. (Even buy tequilla in the grocery stores)

4. 150,000 people tailgating for a game where only 92,000 people get in

3. No fights.

2. The LSU people and Tiger-Baiting.

1. The fact that no one got arrested and meeting Dwayne (LSU FAN) This cat can flat out bring it!

Anonymous said...

Uh... the poster who said LSU fans are "respected" around the country doesn't get out much.

I work with someone who, after reading a recent story about an LSU incident, sent me an e-mail about how whack LSU fans are. Even though I'm a fan myself, and used to live in BR, I couldn't disagree.

And essentially saying that those two women "asked for it" because they dressed in Bama gear and went out to do the report is like saying the waitress in the short skirt deserved to be raped. C'mon. If you don't want people to think you're a Neanderthal, don't act like one.

Anonymous said...

i have been going to LSU games for 50 years. i have seen more good people than "bad" ones. The problem is that bad things are news, not the good that people do. It is newsworthy when something degrading is shown, whenever we help anyone, this is never on the news.

Jason from New Orleans said...

LSU fans are embarrassing to themselves and anyone who has to put LSU on their resume'.

Anonymous said...

I have been to many LSU games over the last 20 years. As far as I can remember, I have witnessed that same type of behavior at every game I have been to. While there are many good people there just trying to enjoy a day of college football, there are also MANY people there behaving in a way, as the writer said, would get you arrested in almost any other town in America.

I once saw a fine upstanding young LSU student tell one of his buddies "watch this" and then proceeded to throw a football and hit a girl from another school in the face. Why you ask, because she had the nerve to wear a shirt supporting her school.

As for the idiot who said the girls were asking for it, well he is the type of person she is talking about and he will never get it. The problem is that LA is filled with these type of people and they all converge on Baton Rouge every Saturday there is a home game.

LSU has become a football factory with no real concern for academics or public perception of its university. This behavior has been tolerated from the governor all the way down to the students for decades. It is a "shining" example of LA's "finest", a microcosm of the state, at least everything south of natchitoches. We may not be able to add, subtract, run a business, build a bridge, or behave in a civil manner, but we can whoop you at football. Hey, maybe that should be the new school slogan. It certainly wouldn't hurt enrollment and it fits better.

Anonymous said...

I love how the so called "journalist" of this article claims to have gone to LSU and be a fan, and other people posting comments, yet after this claim they bash LSU people? What true and loyal "fans" you are, and hey author who I like to call "Brutus" (this being the "friend" who betrayed Ceasar for all those who supposedly went to such presitgious and if I must say so LAME universities who doesn't know) what's wrong? You didn't get accepted into a fraternity down here in the red stick. Don't take your anger out On others because you are a wet blanket who no body wanted to befriend. Geaux tigers and we will continue to party like a real tiger fan does.

The Mighty Favog said...

You are an idiot.

Randy Newman had your type pegged way back when.

Louisiana Proud said...

This is just messed up.... How about you go to other parts of the tailgating areas and see the Tiger faithful who enjoy the company of the other schools fans. I have been doing tailgated for over 10 years at LSU and our tradition is to invite every opposing fan that we see to our tailgate. We do some friendly trash talking and give them food and drinks along with a nice place to enjoy their time while at LSU on a beautiful Saturday... This is so stereotypical of you to write, you can go to any university in the south and dress as the opposing team and go into the student body areas and you will be ridiculed, spit on, and possibly hit. This is just an unjust article towards LSU fans. If you only knew how many times opposing teams said, "This is the best place I have ever been for a football game, I wish it was like this at our school".
Your article can be compared to a scenario like the following:

You're touring your relatives through New Orleans and instead of bringing them to the French Quarter you bring them to the 9th ward!!!!

Don't put down Louisiana like this, it is a beautiful state with a strong culture that we are proud of. You don't know and will never know what it's like to be a Louisianaian and you are just a hater! That goes for all of you others leaving these disrespectful comments about Louisiana, you don't know what it's about and you are stereotyping, good, loving, hardworking, honest and friendly people which isn't right!

The Mighty Favog said...

Dear Louisiana Proud,

You know, if Louisianians like yourself put half as much effort into cleaning out the trash and cleaning up your state as you do into mau-mauing Yankees and "turncoats," the Gret Stet might have something going for it.

But you don't.

Which is why the rest of the country tends to laugh AT you, not with you. In case you haven't worked up a good enough head of outrage, I suggest you read this, too:


Cap, I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, and I graduated from LSU. Believe me, I well know the score.

I've been drunk at LSU football games. I've seen other drunk students at football games go flying in the air past my head in the student section because they picked a fight with a student marginally less drunk than themselves.

Still, somehow I managed never to assault visiting fans, call young women shockingly crude names or drop my drawers and show my ass to a video camera. Call me culturally deprived.

"Butt" while you're at it, explain this:


Gee, it has nothing to do with LSU football, but everything to do with "the Louisiana way." Even the mau-mauing.

To blatantly generalize, there's something seriously wrong with you people. It took my moving to the Midwest to recognize that -- well, recognize it in all its glorious fullness, at least -- but that doesn't make it any less so.

So keep whining that I'm a hater. Let me know how that's working out for you, podna.

MattCoady said...

I am so surprised - The Reveille found something to complain about! It's amazing how much more 'superior' these authors are than the rest of the LSU students. They're ultimate divide 'above' the student body is too bad.

I love reading The Reveille from the 1950's-70's. The writers are actually STUDENTS and not some 'mature' judgmental writers not laying their 'professional' description out that mainly makes their resume look good.

Thee's more to life than resume backround info. Maybe everyone on campus at LSU should acknowledge themselves on campus as the same more often - becuase it WORKS.