Monday, May 14, 2007

Being there

Up at the top of this blog, it says my writing will be in part about "life in enemy territory." I've done precious little writing on what it's like to be a Baton Rouge-area native and LSU fan in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

For the most part it's not bad.

I wear LSU gear sometimes, and I've never been hassled for it. Rarely does anyone give me a hard time. Of course, Bama has only beaten LSU in football once since I moved here in 2002. I imagine it could get worse if that turns around.

I can get Popeye's chicken now, though Cal's donuts still elude me. (Krispie Kreme is nasty crap if you ask me).

I think Bama fans tend to be better informed about football than is typical. I think they better know how the game is played and what is important. I doubt I'd talk to a lot of Bama fans who would mock the idea that a running back's poor pass blocking abilities might relegate him to the bench, like has happened to me in a discussion with an LSU fan.

I have talked about Bama fans sometimes being a little overconfident. That's not that common, though. Most Bama fans I know understand that the football team does not have the talent to be an elite team right now. If Bama fans have lofty expectations, it's not about where they are now. It's about where they should be, or will be in the future. They understand that while the team isn't that good right now, they fully expect to be an SEC and national contender in a few years.

I think that's ultimately what cost Mike Shula his job. While the loss to Mississippi State, an inferior team, certainly hurt, I think the biggest problem Shula had was that there seemed to be little prospect that he would bring Bama consistently into the upper reaches of the SEC. So, he left and they got someone else.

I'm not convinced that Bama will ever be one of the consistently strong teams in the SEC, but they expect it here. If they ever get there again, I wonder what it will be like to live here.

1 comment: said...

Oh, you have it easy being a Tiger fan in Tampa Bay area...we get it from eveyone!! Gators,'Noles, Hurricanes, Big 10 idiots, ND, and even a lot of VA Tech fans.....we catch a lot of heat!!

Like you, I also was raised in BR and attended my first LSU game as a 5 year old when Tiger Stadium was a horseshoe design. My father was a LA State Trooper and took me to all the home games as he worked traffic control. And yes, I was there in 1958 to view the 89 yard Cannon runback of a punt and the goal line was COLD that night while sitting in the South end zone upper deck.

Anyway, enjoy your blog and the info you share with us.