Johnson: LSU fans show respect for Trojans

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

After doing “research” on the “atmosphere” on Bourbon Street the night before Alabama’s domination of LSU in the BCS Championship Game, I decided to make the nearly two mile trek back to my hotel. As I made my way down Canal Street, the commonly heard “L-S-U” chant started from behind me. A group of “spirited” Tiger faithful passed me then one looked back. He stopped and asked where I was from. I told him I was from Troy as I scanned my peripherals for a possible welcome to Tiger Country love tap to the cheek.

Soon, to my initial displeasure, I found myself surrounded by eight to ten (or it could have been four to five) LSU fans commenting on my shirt. Surprisingly, they didn’t stop to poor mouth my team colors but instead wanted to praise them.

I was wearing cardinal and white in lieu of crimson and white. This collection of interesting individuals went on and on about their past sour experiences when Troy had visited Baton Rouge.

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“I hope we never play them again” one fan said. Another added “That was only LSU game I’ve ever left early” referring to the 40-31 LSU victory in 2008 in which Troy held a 31-3 lead late in the third quarter. One after another, they spewed stories of frustration from when the Trojans came to town.

We talked for a good 30 min (or it could have been an hour) about the Troy University system and the football team. One fellow, who apparently had never been told the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, even mentioned attending a basketball game in 2003 when Troy took a lead deep into the contest in Baton Rouge.

These football fans remembered little ‘ole Troy coming down and earning their respect.

Not many times in my experiences with LSU fans do they give you that kind of admiration. I mean this is a fan base that pours beer on elderly women in Bama gear. Yeah, it happened, not to mention the non-stop “Tiger bait” jeers. This crew, at least, knew a thing or two about the topic.

They had kept up with Troy and some of the players now wearing NFL uniforms. They knew the strength of the baseball program and had faith in the return of the football team to its place atop the Sun Belt standings. It was a refreshing chat with a group of, what seemed intelligent football fans, though one did walk into oncoming traffic during this conversation.

But the talk ended quickly as an assembly of Alabama sorority girls passed and the “L-S-U” chant began once again.

As far as Troy is concerned, they may not have won the games but they won the respect of at least a few Tiger fanatics.