Hours before the kickoff of the LSU-Alabama football game, Paul Finebaum aired his weekly pregame show live from LSU’s campus. Once Finebaum mentioned Nick Saban, the current Alabama coach that spurned LSU for a shot in the NFL, the crowd went nuts. Finebaum made a crucial mistake. He told LSU fans that Nick Saban had been gone for nine years and that it was time to get over it. The Tiger fans got even more hostile, causing Finebaum to struggle with conducting his show. The fans quieted slightly when Finebaum interviewed Coach Les Miles of LSU. Finebaum asked Miles for some help to silent the crowd. Miles then turned to the purple-and-gold crowd and said, “Don’t let (Saban) out alive.” The fans then carried on with their ruthless antics.
LSU fans just don’t know when to quit. Sure, ruthless behavior makes playing Tiger Stadium even more daunting than it already is, but that kind of behavior is just rude. Furthermore, it doesn’t show the southern hospitality that we have been taught to exhibit.
LSU’s defense is on the field, or maybe their return team is on the field. One thing is for sure, LSU’s offense is on the sideline, because the stadium is loud. In fact, according to a decimal meter of 110, the stadium is as loud as a fighter jet. Perhaps the geology department is picking up signs of an earthquake. The only time the crowd was silent was when LSU’s offense was putting in work, and when the Saban’s first string referees won the game for his Alabama team.
Fast Forward to halftime. The Crimson Tide band takes the field, and within a couple of minutes, boos uproared. Blinded by hatred, LSU fans fail to see how cruel this is. Honestly Tiger Fans, those dancers and tuba players didn’t leave our beloved university for the Miami Dolphins. However, given the fact that the letter A is the most hated letter in the alphabet for an LSU fan on account of Alabama, I guess we’re expected to chalk that up to a moment of weakness.
With the Stadium at a noise level of deafening and the intensity levels overflowing from the fans in the stands to the players on the field, it wouldn’t be an LSU / Alabama game without an obscene chant directed towards Saban, sadly. So, the student section delivered, chanting profanities against Saban that were deafening to those in attendance and heard in complete clarity by those watching from home.
Most say this behavior is unsportsmanlike, and they are correct, but there are variables in this situation that make it differ from others. LSU fans thank Nick Saban for what he did in 2003, but after lying to them and going to Miami, only to return to Alabama the following year, it is hard for many to forgive the man. Not only that, but with Bama winning National titles, including one over LSU, insult has been added to injury. It has been four years since LSU beat Alabama. That being said, tension builds up.
Call it what you want, but most would say the savage-like behavior is a result of passion. It’s passion for LSU, the rivalry with Alabama, and the passion for hating Nick Saban. There’s no pride in this passion, just malice — malice that will continue to grow in intensity and even cause LSU fans to cheer for any team opposing Alabama until next year’s LSU game against the Tide in Tuscaloosa. Hopefully, the bad behavior by Tiger fans will finally end if LSU comes out victorious against the Tide in the 2015.