Fans’ chance to solve LSU’s logistics

Just in time for the start of the football season, but sadly not soon enough to lend a hand in picking LSU’s starting quarterback, the school announced it will form some sort of “Tiger Fan Council.”

I have no idea what that means.

But it sounds suspiciously like another committee.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Apparently, it’s LSU’s response to an alarming nationwide decline in actual attendance at college stadiums everywhere, oddly enough at this critical juncture in American history when interest in the sport seems to be at an all-time high (according to my sources on Facebook).

So far it doesn’t seem to be affecting cash ticket sales as much as actual butts in the seats.

This anomaly can probably be easily explained with two phrases — “hi-def TV” and “air conditioning” — neither of which is going away anytime soon.

But that won’t stop LSU and other schools from forming committees to study the problem and, possibly, come up with recommendations, maybe even a solution or two.

This is encouraging that LSU will seek outside, person-off-the-street counsel on these pressing issues.

Left to its own knee-jerk devices, the Tigers’ athletic department always seems to have the same simple solution for everything: raise the price of the “Tradition Fund” or whatever these days they’re calling the surcharge that gives you the constitutional right to purchase season tickets.

This will be different.

This could be a game (experience)-changer.

According to the literature, they are looking for a diverse, crosssection among Tigers fans to sit on what LSU envisions as a 25-person body. I would assume that means it won’t be just for the rich and the fat cat, but also the average Boudreaux (although I’m sure any spare-change TAF donations paperclipped to the applications would be accepted and taken into winkwink consideration).

One must be willing to give up four half-days per year, to convene, which doesn’t sound half bad depending on the restaurant they half meet in.

There has already been one red flag raised.

In describing the mission of the commission, Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Munson said, “We are taking a holistic approach to improving in every area.” Yes he used the word “holistic,” perhaps unaware that it will be dealing mostly with state-school graduates, if that. So I looked it up for potential candidates and it apparently means “comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.”

So, go ahead, do that, what he said, whatever it means. You have a mandate.

It was also not clear if the Fan Council will have hiring and firing rights on coaches, although it does promise “unique access” to “hearing directly from coaches and athletics administration.”

Not sure what unique access would be. Maybe it means you get to go duck hunting with Ed Orgeron.

Personally, I think if you’re willing to give up four half-days a year for the glory of the Ol’ War Skul, you should be allowed to fire anybody on a whim or a failed thirddown draw call (and then hire Jon Gruden).

That would certainly make the commitment worth your time.

But, instead, some of the listed items that LSU would like to address include:

Traffic: This means that LSU officials, after years of studying the problem, have basically thrown the towel and given up. Every time they throw more bucks at an outside consultant, the next game the traffic is backed up to Slidell, Metairie and Lafayette.

If the Council solves this, it’s straight on to World Peace.

Parking: Pretty simple, really. Make it all valet parking. It works for the casinos.

Tickets: Make them bigger. That way when you’re walking around holding up your extras (because there was nowhere for your buddies to park) they’ll be easier to spot.

Concessions: Tired of waiting in line. Just hire Waitr.

Customer Service: Tire.

Security: Yes, in these troubling times, we don’t want any bazookas or nuclear weapons in Tiger Stadium, hence the clear-purse rule. But the same regulation that keeps out recreational AK-47s has no business snooping around grandma’s perfectly innocent flask.

In-game entertainment: It’s not rocket science. Just once, try throwing a forward pass on first down.

OK, not mentioned, but sure to come up is the issue of selling beer to all parts of Tiger Stadium rather than just the luxury seats. I think the council will agree that it’s a bad idea to sell beer in the stadium. They should just give it away (and then provide all fans with designated drivers).

Hey, you’ve got to think outside the box.

Holistically speaking, of course.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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