Tuesday, September 25, 2007

(Drunk) students behaving badly

It happens every few years at Tiger Stadium. A group of young inebriated fans in the student section stumble upon some new profane chant that follows the rhythm of a song played by the Golden Band from Tigerland. Eventually -- usually when the vulgar words become audible over a national television broadcast of a game -- the band stops playing the song in hopes of killing the new cheer.

It happened again last Saturday. During the musical interlude played after LSU touchdowns and extra points, the student section mixed the words "You suck cock" into their normal chant. The inspiration appeared to be the Tigers' opponents on this day: the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Here's a video of the cheer made by a student:

In response, the band stopped playing the interlude toward the end of the game. That triggered accusations of free-speech censorship by some students. A history freshman has started a protest page on Facebook.com called "You can't censor the LSU student section!," according to this LSU Daily Reveille article on the controversy.

Of course, you can censor the student section.

That's what happened in the 1980s when I and my classmates started chanting "Assholes, assholes" at the opposing fans after touchdowns during "Tiger Rag." Not a very nice thing to say to guests in the stadium, especially after scoring on their team.

Once the cheer was heard on national television, the administration ordered the band to stop playing the traditional song. It was a decade before "Tiger Rag" returned to the band's game-day repertoire.

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