Down the hall: We all can’t wear UA crimson or AU orange

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

By MARISSA MENA / Guest Columnist

Living in Shelby County and attending Pelham High School as an LSU fan is not always easy.

Often I see colors like crimson and white or orange and blue draping the halls. There are a few purple and gold colored shirts throughout Pelham, but not many. This seems odd to me because of the Tigers’ recent success, or should I say dominance, in the 21st century.

I am very proud to wear my purple and gold and show support for my team.

However, this sometimes draws denigration from fellow classmates and the surrounding community.

I recently read a column written for by Austin Phillips who is now the deputy sports editor for the Shelby County Reporter. In that column he referred to all LSU fans as classless, corndog-smelling and rude.

Personally I was confused because I am an LSU fan, and so is my family, and we are not rude or smelly. I showed my family the article Phillips wrote and they were not impressed, especially since Hurricane Katrina was just three months before this article was written.

Many members of my family were very upset and confused about how awful and rude one person could be after such a tragedy as this. There is only one word to describe these kinds of remarks: stereotype.

A stereotype is defined as “a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group.”

Stereotyping all LSU fans and saying they are classless human beings and that they all smell like corndogs is very offensive. Not all LSU fans smell like corndogs. Not all LSU fans are classless.

Shelby County is very diverse when it comes to culture, heritage and faith. Adding a little football diversity just makes Shelby County a better place to live. I would ask that all fans of college football, especially in the SEC, take a breath and just chill out. I understand that Tiger Stadium is not the most fan friendly place to watch a game. However, every team has obnoxious, rude and smelly fans. Just take a look at the Alabama fan that, after an Alabama loss, pulled a gun and fired it at his own son.

In the south, football is considered a religion and the “holy wars” will not stop with me writing this article. Everyone has his or her own team, colors and affiliations.

As Martin Luther King once said, “Diversity is the key that turns our success.”

Marissa Mena is a junior at Pelham High School