That's where you're wrong. That's where anyone who believes that has completely missed what today's game meant to the University of South Carolina Gamecock fans, as well as the thousands of others devastated by the flooding in South Carolina. You see, today's game was supposed to be an away game for the LSU Fans. It was supposed to be a great road trip, filled with lots of fan-filled fun, including the familiar taunting of "Tiger Bait! Tiger Bait!" proudly shouted by those who bleed purple and gold. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. South Carolina has fallen victim to heavy rains causing flooding, most of which was caused from 11 dams breaking, with another 35 being watched for breaching. Sound familiar? It should. It wasn't that long ago that we Louisiana residents were suffering from a similar situation with all of the levees that broke from Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. Ten years later, another SEC community is crippled by a natural disaster.
I remember when Katrina hit. Our lives were thrown into utter chaos. Electricity was gone, water and gas were scarce, and while we may have lost some things, others lost everything. Our sense of security was completely gone. All of the stories our grandparents had told us about previous storms, like Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Betsy, were no longer just stories. They were true. As if that wasn't enough, the weather decided to kick us while we were down. Right as we had some hope after Katrina, Hurricane Rita came roaring through. It didn't matter. Our will was strong. We were going to fight what was thrown at us, as well as anything else that came our way. We gave what we had, shared with others, helped where we could, all the while waiting for someone to come in and rescue Louisiana as well as Mississippi. As silly as it may sound, the one constant we had to look forward to was watching football played by our beloved New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers. With our worlds turned upside down, it was a sense of normalcy. We could band together, stay strong, hang in there a little longer, and take it day by day because we had one thing that was going to stay constant: Football.
This is something thousands of other LSU Fans understand and it showed this week. Rather than canceling today's LSU Tigers vs University of South Carolina Gamecocks game, it was moved to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. That gets done all the time, I'm sure, but did you know what else LSU did to help offer some light to those South Carolina fans? On such short notice, they pulled out all of the stops. LSU had their magnificent Golden Band From Tigerland learn South Carolina's songs that would normally be played if their band were there, cheering on their team. Not exactly an easy feat to do in a week, but this is our band we are talking about. The ones that get the fans ready to go before each game, keep us going during, and softly calm us down at the end of every one, whether we win or lose. Our LSU band did not disappoint. Even though they were hosting the game, LSU is donating the money from today's game to the University of South Carolina. Who does that? WE do. I say WE, as in the LSU Tigers and fans, because it was seen all over the LSU campus today while people tailgated before the afternoon game.
Nothing says it better than this picture here, courtesy of Nola.com and The Times Picayune.
Anyone who knows me knows that I was an LSU Tigers fan since before I was born. That I bled purple and gold before I could walk. I went to LSU because it was in my veins and I always took those football games seriously. But today? This? This is bigger than football. This is about people. About helping those in need. It's about putting teams aside and banding together. And what LSU did, what the Golden Band From Tigerland did, what thousands of LSU fans and Baton Rouge residents did today is SEC Strong. We put our differences aside and offered our visitors a home away from home. We treated them as our brothers, welcomed them with open arms, and tried to provide an amazing experience to help them forget about what they're going through. For just one day, we wanted to make them forget and feel a sense of peace. Prayers be with you, South Carolina. We know the struggle you've been through, what you're going through, and what's to come. I hope our small bit of southern hospitality for one game, one day has helped lift your spirits. Stay strong, South Carolina. It will get better. You will rebuild. You will be okay. Together, we're SEC Strong.
Stephen Perry, CEO
All Safe Alarms, LLC
Phone: (225) 673 - 5439
PO Box 760
Gonzales, LA 70707