You Are Reading


Tiger Fans Must Preserve Death Valley Now

Carter "The Power" Bryant Friday, September 17, 2010 , , , , , , ,
Photo via
It sounds crazy, but I'm afraid Death Valley might take a step back this season. 

Tiger fans, before you inflict electronic verbal pain on me, let's rewind and take a step back.

The Rewind

In 2007, LSU fans went to go see "Inception." It included home games people would pay to see over and over again no matter what cost.

LSU crushed Top-10 Virginia Tech in an emotional home opener on national television (ESPN College GameDay was there), defeated No. 12 South Carolina in a rainy downpour highlighted by a clever trick play and played three other games only three words could describe versus Florida, Auburn and Arkansas... Oh My God!  

And those were just the home games.

In 2008, fans went to go see "Hancock." A movie that was entertaining for the casual observer, but for die-hard Will Smith fans, would want to be erased from your memory.

LSU played two home games that were classics for the neutral fan but miserable for the Bayou Bengals faithful. The first game was an overtime loss in Saban Bowl II and the other was a miraculous comeback against Troy.

Both games had great moments, especially the blocked kick versus Alabama. But these moments are ones that fans would not bring up for conversation at the dinner table. 

Last year was "Superman." A movie with ridiculous expectations but turned out unexpectedly ridiculous.

An almost total waste of your movie ticket. Well, in the case for many Tiger fans, a $700 movie ticket for certain games.

Tebow & Nevis are both spiritual on and off the field
Photo via
The Florida game was the most hyped up game I've seen since I've been in Baton Rouge. It was Tim Tebow's comeback from a vicious concussion suffered against Kentucky two weeks before the Gators' 13-3 victory in Tiger Stadium.

The only real game of note was a victory, thanks to kicker Josh Jasper, against Arkansas. At least they Miles had enough courtesy to save the best game for last. 

But there were too many negatives about that football game for LSU fans. That was a week after LSU was beat on the road by Ole Miss in a disaster of a game. Right after the total mishandling of clock management (which made my father not talk to me, his lovely wife or my brother), people had already booked in the season before Arkansas. 

For once, Thanksgiving was on the mind of LSU fans instead of SEC football. The weather was beginning to get nippy at night, which not many people in Baton Rouge enjoy.

Who can blame them, the rest of the home games were complete duds.

(Side Note: I know I am originally from Arkansas, but why in the Heck did LSU make Ole Miss an official rival by naming it the Magnolia Bowl. That makes no sense. There are never any positives for LSU in this game. Ole Miss has only been boring disaster games for the Tigers. Do people realize how crazy the LSU vs Arkansas game has been in the last five years? Just look at those crazy finishes. Now this rivalry might not even be on national television.)

The Breakdown

I am not writing this column saying there are not any true LSU fans out there who scream their lungs out on Saturdays. The people who are reading this now knows if the heart truly rests with the Bayou Bengals. 

But the problem lies in that LSU has been on the gradual decline since the Tigers were in the middle of the most exciting year of college football I will probably ever see.

I've already discussed how thrilling LSU football was in 2007. It is amazing to think that the National Championship Game that season was the seventh most exciting game of the year for the Tigers. I think that means Tigers fans had one Heck of a roller coaster ride.

But even the national college football season was better. After Week 5, the No. 2 team in the AP Top 25 poll stayed the same in consecutive weeks only once. Upsets were happening left and right, all the way until the final game of the college football regular season.

Now let's jump to 2009. Sitting in the Press Box for nearly every game really opened my eyes last year. I saw more fans than I ever had in Tiger Stadium do these following things:

1. Leaving the game early.
2. Trying to text, then showing frustration because they had zero signal. Then still trying to send another text.
3. More groaning and booing instead of cheering (FYI: Fans are needed more when your team is not living up to expectations.)
4. Guys desperately looking to score (And I'm not talking about the football players)
5. Listening and/or paying attention to their spouses (kidding, yet a little serious)

Games in Tiger Stadium just didn't have that "buzz" last year at all. Some of my closest friends didn't buy tickets this year, saying games have been "boring" and "uneventful."

The Savoirs

 I do have hope for one of the best places on Earth.

It's because LSU has bonafide superstars. Patrick Peterson and Russell Shepard are "Superstars."

What separates Peterson and Shepard from the pack is the neutral observer who lives in Idaho will turn his or her television on to watch them play football.

Those type of guys are the ones that can bring Tiger Stadium to their feet. LSU's last superstars were Jacob Hester and Glenn Dorsey. Now Tiger fans have two more they can feast their eyes on tomorrow. From talking to Peterson and Shepard from week to week, they have the swag and bravado about themselves that really rubs off on the rest of the team in a positive way.

And let's not forget their play on the field. Every time either one of them touch the ball, it's showtime.

The CallOuts

Lately, "The Preservation of Tiger Stadium" has been heavily pushed by the LSU Athletic Department. The rustic, magical feel of Tiger Stadium needs to be kept the same, but parts of the establishment badly needs repair.

But nothing will be the same if fans don't hold their end of the bargain.

Even if the team puts out a stinker performance and wins the game in ugly fashion, fans have to stay in the game. The building must keep the faith and noise at a high level even if Jordan Jefferson goes 3-17 with three pics.

Especially you students....

Student athletes not playing football, cheer for your team with your "fieldside" seats because football pays for everything you guys do.
Frats and Sororities, don't worry so much about looking the exactly the same and if your mugs have cool and bubbly letters on them.
Other students, don't worry about shaking your heads in disgust because of how stupid it looks that all the greeks look the exact same.

Fans feed off the energy of the student section. For goodness sakes, "The Herbies" named LSU the third best student section in the country. If or if not that was based just on reputation, make the visitors know who you are.

The Conclusion

I asked nearly every single player at player interviews on Monday how excited they were for the home opener. My best answer came from safety Brandon Taylor.

"That's why I came here (LSU)," Taylor told me with a big grin on his face.

Fans should come into Tiger Stadium Saturday night with their "A-game." There should be no excuse either, because the Who Dats don't play until Monday night.

In order to truly preserve Tiger Stadium, Tiger fans should donate their heart and soul instead of dollars into Death Valley every Saturday.

Please forgive my cheesiness on that last line.

I guess this column could have been written on "Any Given Sunday." 


Post a Comment

Copyright 2010 Hard Knock Tigers