The LSU indoctrination begins early in Louisiana — from purple-and-gold "spirit" days in grammar schools, to high school road trips to Tiger Stadium (but only for the tailgaiting). It was an expected safety school for my college-bound high school peers, or it was the final word in the college selection process. The "LSU" name is synonymous with its sports teams, and fandemonium rules all.
Opposing players and fans who visit Death Valley are considered, as LSU supporters will kindly remind them via drunken shouts to the face, "Tiger bait!" That's the kind of southern hospitality that arises from LSU's signature night games, which allow for a full day of tailgate-based drinking. The administration had to apologize in 2005 after the Tiger faithful so ferociously pelted Tennessee's team bus with beer bottles that they cracked windows.
Sure, it's often the target of good ol' boy baiting, and its name is always brought up as the unwilling antagonist in the unfolding statewide university drama. But everyone knows LSU worship at the university — and across the entire state — is always at an all-time high, despite closer-to-home college sports teams.
LSU student Facebook albums are loaded with tailgating party photos, and every other home in the state has a framed "SIX FLAGS" or "NO. 1" Times-Picayune cover. You won't find Green Wave cell phone covers at the drug store, and Les Miles is more likely to have a weird, possibly dangerous cult following than Michael Giorlando or Bruce Peddie.
So every stadium or campus has its rowdy die-hards and bad apples. Fans can't be that bad, as in the above... can they?
For a story on how hostile LSU tailgaters were to opposing fans, female staffers from the university's student newspaper roamed their school's notorious daylong drinkathon disguised in Alabama gear. "We were groped and squeezed by just about every guy we interviewed," they reported. "The women called us 'bitches' and the men called us 'cunts.' " Anything else? "The amount of times we were spit on also struck a nerve."
What say you, LSU fans? Are you really that terrible? (No. Of course not.)