Some would say that Baton Rouge is Tiger Country, but others say the whole state is on the Purple and Gold bandwagon. Most of us wear purple and gold and aren’t afraid to shout “Tiger Bait!” at anyone cheering for our team’s opponents. There’s always that fan that dyes his hair purple hoping to land a camera close up on ESPN or the group of girls waving posters that took hours to make. No matter if you’re a fair-weather fan or a die hard, tiger growling, fight song humming, stat spitting LSU fan, last night’s BCS bowl game was not the way our Tiger football season was supposed to end.
Sure, some of us at home thought we could’ve saved our flawless season had we been picked to be head coach for the night, but the team’s performance on the field was not the only thing that caught me by surprise. The fans gave a surprising performance as well.
LSU fans are passionate, loud, and fierce. They are what I like to call Sports FAN-atics! They’re the type of fans that know the entire history of the school, the team, and the traditions. Their love affair with Purple and Gold goes far beyond the LSU classrooms and athletic arenas; it’s a way of life. Unfortunately, sometimes out of the love for the team comes some disappointing behavior.
Sportsmanship is not just for the athletes and their coaches; it’s for the fans as well. Being disappointed in your favorite team’s loss is completely normal and expected. Speaking harshly and threatening your team’s players and coaching staff is unacceptable. Overnight, some of LSU’s football player’s fan pages went from places of encouragement and team spirit to an angry online mob. How would you feel if you had worked hard in practices and games all year and were rewarded with your fans and fellow students turning their backs on you? You wouldn’t like it.
The LSU football team and every other athlete and team whether in elementary school or the pros deserve fans that are supportive during the incredible wins and the disappointing losses. A true fan believes in his or her team no matter the outcome of a practice, game, or championship. It’s hard to see our favorite Tigers lose for the first time all season, but at the end of the day we need to show our team why we have cheered for them for decades and why we’ll continue to do so until the end of time. Win or lose…Tigers are always Champions and deserve fans who are behind them no matter what!