The question that I have to the
Tiger fans is simple: Does anyone care about any of the other sports in Baton
In addition to being the home of
the best college football team in America, Baton Rouge is also the home to
several other competitive and nationally-renowned teams in other
Hey, remember that big round orange
ball that bounces?
Despite losing their last two
games, John Brady’s men’s basketball team is 17-6 and 7-5 in the very tough
Southeastern Conference. Say what you will about Brady’s style of play or Brady
himself, his squad has received little or no crowd support throughout the
season, breaking the 10,000 mark in actual attendance only twice on the season.
Instead of supporting the
basketball program, fans are already starting to worry about when is JaMarcus Russell going to overtake Marcus Randall for the starting quarterback position?
We are in the month of February, not August. It’s time to take a break from
football for a couple of months, at least.
The other round ball team, the one
that has been ranked in the Top 20 throughout the season has gotten little or no
fan support as well. While the support for women’s athletics is a completely
different story, the Lady Tigers are 20-5 in the season and 8-3 in by far the
toughest conference in America.
Lack of support for the basketball
team is not a new thing in Baton Rouge. Tiger fans seem to always show up late
and leave early when it comes to their support of the basketball program, even
when the football team was not winning national championships. Look at the
1999-2000 squad that won the Southeastern Conference. Fans did not start
arriving in droves until after the first couple of conference victories.
While the old adage holds true that
“if you win they will come,” the thing that I don’t understand is people show up
for football win, lose, or draw. When LSU was struggling to get 5-6 wins a
season under Curley Hallman and in the later years of Gerry DiNardo, LSU still
had no trouble getting 60,000 people into Tiger Stadium. Why does the basketball
program have to win nearly every game to get a third of that support?
Make all the arguments you want for
not coming. The arena stinks, don’t like Brady’s style of play, not exciting,
and don’t play anyone. I’m not buying that anymore. Brady’s squad has made the
post-season three out of the last four seasons, yet they still struggle for
support each and every game. LSU fans love to jump on the bandwagon; it is time
to show that Baton Rouge may actually be a basketball town.
For the first time in four years,
Baton Rouge will be the host site for the first two rounds of the 2004 NCAA
Women’s Tournament. For $15 ($10 for children) you can go watch three games of
terrific women’s basketball as the Lady Tigers will begin their journey to the
Final Four. Oh yeah, the Final Four this year happens to be in New Orleans. But
again does anyone really care?
Let us not forget about the other
sports going on right now in TigerTown. How many national championships has Pat
Henry’s track team won, almost 30!? The LSU Gymnastics squad is ranked in the
Top 10 and Yvette Girouard’s Softball squad is in the Top 15. If “if you win
they will come” holds true, how come these sports struggle for
The LSU Baseball program is a
completely different situation, mainly because Tiger Baseball fans are different
from any other sport. Baseball is number one in their hearts regardless of what
the football team does. Baseball does lead the nation in attendance every year
(paid, that is), but they don’t start showing up in droves until the weather
Over 6,000 fans showed up to
welcome football players that won’t even play until next season at the annual
“Bayou Bash.” Even the five-time defending LSU baseball team will struggle to
break the 6,000 actual attendance mark until the start of Southeastern
In closing, I do fully
understand that football is the engine that drives the LSU athletic program, but
people must realize that LSU has an athletic program, not just a football team.
LSU has proven to have the best football fans in America, let’s see if they can
come out and support the other sports with the same passion and enthusiasm as