Saban: Don’t boo Penn State

An interesting article today quotes Alabama head football coach Nick Saban as saying:

“I just don’t think there’s any place for booing anywhere in college football, and that includes booing the other team…”

In particular, his sentiments were aimed at the Tide’s next opponent, the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

“Penn State is a class program with class people that have been there for 45 years and done wonderful things for college football, the game of football, and a lot of people over a 45-year period,” Saban continued. “And I think it would be a (bleep) crying-(bleep) shame if we booed ’em when they come into the stadium like we did last week’s team. I just don’t understand that.”

Last Saturday, the predictable allotment of boos were heard as San Jose State took the field, and apparently that didn’t sit well with the head coach.

I was there in the stadium when the Trojans took the field, and I did hear it, but not to the level you would expect for a more familiar SEC foe.

I have to say I agree with Saban in the respect that booing Penn State would not be appropriate, and neither would be the playing of Rammer Jammer.  In an article I wrote in the summer of 2009 after encountering a Penn State alum and former player while on vacation, I offered then what I still hold true today: Penn State is different.

They aren’t Auburn, with their grimy choke-hold on the oldest, dirtiest little-man-syndrome grudge of all time.

They aren’t LSU, with their delusional paranoia and godless behavior.

They aren’t Tennessee, with their hillbilly ways and hillbilly hatred.

Penn State is class, representing all that is right with college football…the lone exception being them not personally reversing the Preston Gothard travesty that happened in 1983.

So let me say again, please discourage anyone from booing when the Nittany Lions take the playing field.  And at the end of the game, when we emerge as the victors, let’s play the gracious host instead of playing Rammer Jammer.

Now when Auburn comes to town, all bets are off.  But Saban’s attempt to change the culture of college football’s approach to a visiting team is correct.  It’s just a habit that won’t die quietly.

Said senior H-back Preston Dial: “LSU, Auburn. Pretty much every road game, we get booed,” he said. “Personally, it’s a motivating factor. It just adds intensity to the game.”

And along those lines, I will offer one final thought…the University of Alabama and countless other institutions spend a great deal of money creating a game day atmosphere that stirs the crowd into a raucous-filled frenzy. Pregame videos on screens the size of buildings show big plays, championships won (except in Auburn) and motivating footage with thunderous beats and pulse quickening music.

To ask the common fan not to become overwhelmed with emotion and do what fans do (boo) is like giving porn to an 18-year-old then asking him to just go to sleep.

Booing is part of the game…who you boo is the real issue.  San Jose?  Please.  Penn State?  Never.  Auburn, Tennessee or LSU?

Every (bleeping) time.

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