Photo by Steve Franz / Courtesy LSU Athletics

Experience: Tiger traditions

Whether you’re a loyal LSU fan or just visiting for a game, there are a few football-related traditional activities to keep in mind as fall rolls around—and not all of them happen inside the stadium:

Kings of the hill

From Mardi Gras to the Spanish Town Parade, if there’s one thing Baton Rougeans enjoy, it’s parades. In the early 1990s, former head coach Curley Hallman began leading the football team down Victory Hill from Broussard Hall two hours before the game. Hours before kickoff, fans fill the sidewalks along North Stadium Drive to watch the Tiger Marching Band make its way from the band hall. The band always pauses on the hill next to the Journalism Building to play “Tiger Rag.”

Tailgate time

If you’ve ever been to an LSU football game, then you know one thing for sure: tailgating is part of the culture. From sunrise to sunset, fans dressed in all shades of purple and gold celebrate the Fighting Tigers with barbecued food and games of corn hole toss. As early as Thursday evenings, LSU fans start claiming their spots. Small purple tents, LSU themed trucks and large motorhomes with flat-screen TVs are just a few of the ways fans set up camp for the weekend.

Hands up

What’s an LSU football game without the players hitting the crossbar? Now mounted above the door of the Tiger Den, the historic crossbar was once part of the north end zone goalposts as early as 1955. Originally, the crossbar was part of the traditional H-style posts before they were replaced by T-style goalposts and eventually removed in 1984. However, in 1993 the H-style goalposts were returned in celebration of the centennial of LSU football. Still treasured, the team continues to enter the field by running under the crossbar.

Three cheers

LSU fans often pride themselves in how loud Death Valley gets during games. While new generations create new cheers and chants, it’s tradition for Tiger fans to cheer on first, second and third downs. On first down, the LSU marching band plays part of “Tiger Rag” and fans chant in unison, “Geaux Tigers.” On second down, the band plays a different riff and fans scream “L-S-U.” The third down cheer is appropriately based on the song “Eye of the Tiger.”