Purple and gold invade Orange from Louisiana

They play big-time football at Louisiana State University.

And so when there were plenty of tickets to buy for last Saturday’s game for their Tigers to face the Orange of Syracuse up north in the Carrier Dome, the fans of Baton Rouge and the Bayou beyond did not hesitate in buying them up and traveling the 1,418.2 miles attend the game and make as much noise as they could around it.

Many Tigers fans drove RVs and parked them in Syracuse’s Skytop lot, a shuttle bus away from the dome but the best open spot for group tailgating.

Others booked flights and filled area hotels. My dear wife Karen and I saw some Tigers fans eating out Friday night at our usual hideaway Ruby Tuesday’s off hotel-heavy Carrier Circle.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

Saturday afternoon up on the Syracuse University hill, the visiting fans were getting their fill 90 minutes before the noon kickoff. My dear wife Karen was called in with her entire department at SMG to work overtime, so my friend and bowling teammate Steve accompanied me for the big game.

Wedding day photo forever, LSU fans!

Wedding day photo forever, LSU fans!

We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when it appeared that a couple of LSU fans joined in the corner of a wedding photo shoot we spotted while walking up the hill. I caught the moment with my iPhone 6. Maybe they were invited. Into the photo, that is. I hope they went to the game instead of the reception.

The fans from Louisiana had promised to drink Syracuse dry in a story that ran in the big daily and web site. Everybody seemed to be keeping their cool with drinks in hand on the quad and outside the dome.

I wrote my weekly Mark It Up community column for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org about the day. You can read my story and see more photos by clicking the link below.


Inside the joint, there was plenty of purple amid the Orange.

Syracuse fans appeared to be more plentiful than the first three games of the year. They were even louder than the boisterous bunch from LSU. The total crowd was announced at 43,101, some 15,000 higher than the early season contests.

LSU wore down Syracuse 34-24, but it was one heck of a game. Better than any of the three victories this season, in fact. Lots of learning was done.

Have you gone to a sporting event where the visiting team was represented by passionate, vocal fans, and if so, did everybody get along OK? What’s the farthest you’ve traveled to attend a game, and where to and was it worth the trip? Which is your favorite photo and why?

33 thoughts on “Purple and gold invade Orange from Louisiana

  1. Obviously any Cards/Cubs game is going to attract a lot of out of town supporters of the visiting team… but that’s to be expected with the cities less than 300 miles apart. Probably the most overrun I’ve seem a ballpark with opposing fans was during the mid-late 90’s in the heyday of the Braves division title dynasty. That was back in the day when TV viewing options were still limited, so TBS was able to make a lot of Braves fans across the country. The throng of I’d estimate several thousands Braves fans clamoring around the team bus after one game in 1997 or so still sticks in my mind. I’d guess most of them didn’t travel up from Atlanta, though…


    • That Cubs-Cards rivalry sure was stuck in the middle of baseball’s best division this season, Bill. Now the Cubbies have to beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh for the chance to meet your Cardinals in the big-boy seven-gamer. It’s either exciting for fans or a bummer that all that talent isn’t spread out better in the playoffs. You know what this Mets fan thinks as we fight the Dodgers for home field in the other NLDS. … Yeah, back in the day, the Braves fancied themselves America’s team because of TBS. Those fans probably were from right there in the St. Louis region.


      • I was kind laughing at how the Cubs and Pirates have better records than every other team in the Majors, and yet will have to rely on the play-in game since they couldn’t top the top team (The Pirates especially have nobody to blame but themselves… the doormat Reds and Brewers whooped up on them this year). This is the same division that was a laughingstock for years and sent an 83 win team to the playoffs in 2006. Funny how things have changed from the days when everyone thought the AL East would be the dominant division for the rest of time…


  2. Wow, those are some devoted fans. I think the furthest away we’ve seen a game was the SF Giants (4600km), but we went because we happened to be in town. We went to OKC (2500km) on purpose for one of their games. I was going to say we’ve never traveled for a college game, but realized that’s not quite true – we did see Harvard play Cornell when we were in Boston (a mere 700km). This year we’re deciding between San Antonio and New Orleans, so I’ll keep you posted 😉


    • You take great trips with a game tacked on, Jay. I remember you telling me about the gift to your husband for the OKC basketball game last season. Nice. Two cool cities for the game this year, I hear. 🙂


  3. I am glad you gave us some exciting photos to study and ponder over the infiltration of purple and gold. I enjoy Ruby Tuesdays, by the way. 🙂 Their crab cakes as an app and the salad bar are very filling and delicious, Mark.
    I like wedding photos which have dramatic impact so was smiling despite guests who may have been intended to be in the Dome without disturbing the wedding with opposition team colors displayed prominently. 😦
    I would root for Syracuse over LSU, any day of the week! Go Orange!!


    • I like a lot of things at Ruby Tuesday, Robin. This time I went for the Parmesan Shrimp Pasta with the salad bar. I was very full afterward, even after inviting my dear wife Karen to enjoy the dark-bread croutons I added to my plate knowing that she did not order the salad bar as a side with her entree.

      I think this bride and groom were rolling with the atmosphere, Robin. To have photos in that beautiful spot forever, and years later be able to point out the fans from out of town dived in before the big game … Priceless!


  4. I’m a huge Packers fan, Mark. Occasionally I get to go to Nashville to watch them play the Titans. When we do, the locals are wondering where we all came from.

    I’m happy to hear the LSU fans behaved themselves. Whenever they’re here in ‘Bama, they tend to be a little rowdier.


    • That sounds like a fun trip to Nashville, to see your Pack. Biz. But there’s the thing: The bigger the rivalry, the more trepidation I’d have about that trip to the away stadium, fearing the worst of behaviors. I’ve made the trip from Syracuse to Buffalo to see the Bills play, for instance, but I won’t go see my Jets there because I saw how they treated the Dolphins fans. And in the SEC, LSU and ‘Bama, maybe there’s even bigger fuel for bad acting between factions. Thanks for dropping by and adding your interesting perspective from The South.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There were many Phillies fans booing the Mets fans who were cheering and chanting after Duda hit the homer to make it 4-3 in the ninth, Van. Your guys got the first one. We need these to finish ahead of the Dodgers for that important home-field advantage in the first round. Oh, my, I’m talking about my Mets and the baseball playoffs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d like to see them get home field advantage. Phillies are trying to avoid the 100 game loss season, but it doesn’t really matter…just spoilers now. Good luck. Mets and playoffs in the same sentence.☺☺


  5. Yikes! That’s a long way to travel for a game. Amazing. The attention given to college ball teams never ceases to amaze me. I’m glad it was a good game Mark. Great pictures.


  6. Mark, I have to ask a question. A lot of people have a love/hate relationship living in a university town with a big sports program. The up side is the way the program brings the community together, but the down side is the way the games disrupt life for the locals. What are your thoughts?


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