Monday, September 22, 2008

FSU, LSU and awful fans.

On Saturday night, D. and I trekked over to Big Al's Seafood, where we met up with other Noles, including the wonderfully witty NOLACleophatra and Your Right Hand Thief.

I'd wager that we had a great little group going on. We showed up early, and we had called ahead.

Mind you, LSU has a fantastic football team. I've also never had a problem with any LSU football fans - but I'm about to relate the exception to the rule.

So here's what happened.

We started watching the game when four LSU fans came in and started rudely telling me to enjoy the game while I could, because they'd make sure it got changed to the LSU game when it started. So then I told them very calmly, look, I appreciate your position, but we set it up several days ago, and we were here early.

They told me that if I wanted to watch some lame game in LSU country, I should just go the eff back to Florida, where I belong. That's the nicest thing they said the entire time, actually.

I said, "That's really rude and uncalled for."

Them: "Well, FSU sucks." They kept bitching.

They then called the manager over and tried to berate her into changing the channel. She gave in. They start taunting us. Another table gets up and leaves because of them. The manager comes over to tell us she's going to change the channel.

I look her in the eye, and say, "I'm very sorry you've been put in this position, and I recognize that we're in southern Louisiana, but we're customers, we've been polite, and that would be incredibly unfair."

She's clearly not used to these situations. Dave gently reminds her that we were here 45 minutes before the asshole LSU fans. At this point, the owner comes out. He's planning to change the channel until the waitress goes to the mat for us. She was seriously great. She had overheard everything, and she told the manager that the LSU fans had created the conflict and had been very rude.

Ultimately, he says, "Hey, LSU people, geaux Tigers, but they were here first. It's only fair. Call ahead next time."

They get pissed. Throw a hissy fit. Bitch and moan. Finally, the bitchy LSU chick running the show demands the bill and announces stridently to the entire bar area, "We're taking our business elsewhere."

Now here's the kicker. LSU-Auburn was obviously a huge game. It was on 2 other TV's in the place. It was on at roughly 1,000 (I'm not exaggerating) bars/restaurants in the metro New Orleans area. Why pick a fight like that? Why?

Had they been nice, or even asked, we would have moved to the bar, where the smaller TVs were. Instead they were combative, rude and out of line. I get that it was a huge game, and we wanted to watch it, too. And LSU had a tremendous victory over Auburn. I also get that we live in LSU country. But that doesn't relegate fellow college football fans and customers to second-tier status.

When people immediately go on the offensive like that, it just makes me dig in my heels. Case in point, right?

At the end of the night, we all apologized profusely to the owner, the manager and the kick-ass waitress. We also left a huge tip. She told us she was glad they left instead of us, because at least we weren't jerks.

So for those hopefully-exception-to-the-rule-jerkoff fans, I present some important bar patron rules:
  1. If you arrive late and have not called ahead, you don't get to butt ahead in line without express permission of those who got their before you.
  2. Don't chase off other customers and expect people to warm to your cause.
  3. Honey, vinegar, flies. You know the ol' saying.
  4. If a bar patron is wearing another team's shirt, and they are not your rival, don't be an ass. Chances are, they pay taxes in the same area as you, and they are also customers.
  5. Berating staff and management will not serve your cause, either. Please reference the film "Waiting" for additional information on this.
  6. Just living 60 minutes from a university does not create a universal standard of Tier 1 status for why your game should trump another (which in all fairness, was their logic - not that it was a huge match-up, but that LSU was closer than FSU.)

I'm not going to write about how perfect FSU fans are. We aren't. But we know better than to act like the Ugly American stereotype so many Europeans link to the U.S.

That said, even though FSU committed seven turnovers and exhibited atrocious playcalling and execution, I had a great time hanging out with the other 6 FSU fans there.

Also, because I'm not a jerkoff fan, congrats to LSU for their hugely important win over Auburn.


NOLA Cleophatra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NOLA Cleophatra said...

I liked the owner's comment that we had "pissed on the hydrant first" so as far as he was concerned, the FSU game stayed on. Thanks for digging in your heals with class. Yes, all teams have rude and obnoxious fans, it's just the way it goes. I've noticed that usually the polite fans actually attended said university - they know their behavior reflects on the institution. We had a good time hanging out with everyone too. It made the loss less painful. Misery loves company? I ran into the 2 girls at Rendezvous watching the Saint's game Sunday on got their emails. More misery shared.