Should I stay, or should I go? A Tiger fan’s quandary

I don’t like to brag, but that won’t keep me from bragging.

I had a great seat for last Saturday’s LSU-Tennessee game, even though the game wasn’t great.

Jack Bech fumbled the opening kickoff right in front of me!

I was so close to the field, surely Brian Kelly heard me yell “No!” when he went for it on fourth down — three times.

When Kayshon Boutte came to the sideline — uninspired body language and all — I was staring his pouty face right in the eye.

But when the beatdown was done — I stayed ’til the bitter end — I didn’t have to hear Tennessee fans sing Rocky Top for the umpteenth time.

I simply changed the channel.

That’s right. I watched the game from my couch. In my climate-controlled (68 degree) house, and with a stocked fridge just a few steps away.

Oh, my fiancé and I had tickets to the Top 25 matchup. And since we make only one, maybe two LSU games a year, we were really looking forward to going. But when it was announced kickoff would be just after 11 a.m. (yawn), there was a choice to be made.

1: Go to Luke Bryan’s Friday night concert — we still had tickets from his pandemic cancellation two years ago — then get up before dawn to drive south.

2: Let Luke Country On without us and leave town Friday.

Upon further review, there wasn’t much of a choice at all. On the road before sunlight was less likely than LSU establishing the run.

And therein lies a problem universities across the country are facing.

People are choosing to watch games from the comfort of home, instead of dealing with the hassles (large crowds, less than pristine bathrooms, expensive concessions, parking, traffic … ) of seeing a game in person.

According to a story by Yahoo Sports, average attendance nationally for college football games has declined the past seven years. CBSSports.com says the 39,848 people who — on average — sat in a college stadium each game last year was the fewest since 1981.

You can argue both sides. Going to a game, especially an LSU game, can mean fun like tailgating, yelling “Tiger Bait” to opposing fans, seeing Mike the Tiger (if you’re lucky), and feeling like you’re back in college. For some of us, way back in college.

Watching from home can mean staying in your pajamas all day and throwing burgers on the grill, which usually isn’t far away from a 65-inch (or bigger) window — otherwise known as an HDTV.

No dressing up. No stopping for gas and food. No loud screaming from folks in the hotel room next to yours (assume what you wish).

And there’s a financial gameplan to consider. The in-person experience is not inexpensive. The face value for our two south end zone seats were $115 each (thankfully, I was able to sell them, even if it was to Tennessee fans). Of course, that’s not the only expense. Two tanks of gas ($90), hotel room ($158 with tax — and 55 miles west in Lafayette, by the way), three meals for two ($120), and you’re looking right at $600.

We get paid writing for the Shreveport-Bossier Journal, but not that much.

A couple pounds of hamburger meat? A couple packages of Down Home Sausage?

30 bucks. Tops.

And in 2022, thanks to technology, it’s all about convenience. We like checking our phones for scores of other games. Try doing that while competing for a cell signal with 102,000 other people. Not so convenient.

We love watching other games before and after THE game. A “convenient” click of the remote is all it takes. Can’t do that at the stadium.

Yes, we have tickets to other LSU games. Will we go? I don’t know.

Let me think on it while I’m in my PJ’s, flipping these burgers.

Contact Tony at SBJTonyT@gmail.com