One time I had a Mississippi State fan tell me the Left Field Lounge was the most redneck thing on campus, and an eyesore. My first reaction was shock, and then to scold him about the tradition and uniqueness of the LFL. How could anyone think such a thing?
But then I began to examine the lounge. The rigs and the characters on them. Maybe he had a point.
Still, it’s one of the most unique things in all of sports and I have absolutely no problem with it. It’s a pretty great atmosphere whether it’s redneck or not.
Then comes plans for a new stadium. A state-of-the-art facility that will blow away every other college baseball park in America. When I think about incorporating the Left Field Lounge in it’s current state with such a nice facility, images of the Beverly Hillbillies come to mind.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m no suit and tie man. I’m a boots, Carhart pants, t-shirt and ball cap type of guy. I’m a lot more redneck than I am a yuppie. Still, I don’t have trash in my yard and I can appreciate a clean, polished image.
When I wrote the article on Tuesday about not getting upset over the new DNF, here are a couple of responses I got…
Those are just two out of dozens that spoke up hating the idea of disrupting the LFL in any way. But it all comes back to one thing for me: some MSU baseball fans are just like Alabama football fans.
It’s not on the same scale, because football is way more popular than baseball, but I think the percentages are roughly the same.
You know the Bama fans I’m talking about. The ones who went to Wal-Mart to decide they’d become a Tide fan by purchasing a t-shirt. The ones who bet on Alabama so much Vegas hasn’t made them an underdog in six or seven years. The ones who hang on Paul Finebaum’s every word. They have no real investment in the school other than they fact they like the football program.
Most of the responses to Tuesday’s article were of the nature that the new DNF is just for the rich. That it’s all about the money and regular fans won’t be able to afford tickets. That the LFL would be ruined because it wouldn’t have the backyard, piecemeal look and feel it’s always had.
This sounds like the mindset of the common sidewalk fan. Naturally, MSU baseball has picked up quite a few over the years because of all the winning. The LFL is a redneck paradise that attracts them like the swallows to Capistrano.
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Not surprisingly these fans have a selfish attitude. To them it’s not about loving Mississippi State and growing as a family with a new stadium, it’s about what they will or won’t have once the new DNF is built. While most Bulldog fans are excited about having the best, and the chance it gives the program to achieve new heights, these folks are thinking about how it effects them personally.
You could make an argument these fans are like Ole Miss football fans as well – there for the party rather than the game with delusions of grandeur about how good the Diamond Dawg program really is. I’m convinced that some of these folks don’t care at all if the team is successful as their primary goal each spring is to drink beer, grill and check out co-eds in the Left Field Lounge.
A sign of success is having these types of fans. I think we’ve all known they’ve existed for years but it’s baseball and they aren’t that noticeable. But now something is being taken away, and they’re trying to get their voice heard and start a movement so others won’t donate to the new stadium’s construction. It’s a futile effort, but it’s out there. No person or group is bigger than Mississippi State baseball – just look what happened to Ron Polk. You can join the progress, or you’ll be left behind pouting about the way it used to be.