Fans from 'Bama celebrate BCS title win over LSU

By Michael Kunzelman

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 9 2012 10:30 p.m. MST

Alabama students, from left to right, Maggie Price, of Washington, Leah Laird, of Opp, Ala., Audrey Akin, of Birmingham, Ala., and Hunter Tate, of Jasper, Ala., leave the Superdome happy after scoring third-row seats for the BCS Championship NCAA college football game against LSU, Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in New Orleans. They'd bought student tickets online, but had to pick them up at the Dome _ and it was first come, first served for the best seats. Behind them, hundreds of other Alabama students wait in line for their tickets.

Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Alabama fans poured onto Bourbon Street late Monday night to celebrate the team's second BCS title win in three years with shouts of "Roll Tide," exchanging hugs with strangers as their bretheren showered them with beads from balconies.

Meanwhile, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., hundreds of people danced in the street after 'Bama beat LSU 21-0 in a defensive performance as impressive as they come.

Two people in Tuscaloosa were arrested by police along the college town's University Boulevard after the game but most fans in both Alabama and New Orleans celebrated — or commiserated — together peacefully.

In New Orleans, Darlene Nelson, 47, danced around the bar after Alabama scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal the victory.

"This is so awesome, she said as she prepared to meet up with her daughter, an Alabama student who attended the game.

"It might be a long night in New Orleans," she said.

Mike Strickland, 41, of Birmingham, Ala., high-fived a friend of his while his wife, an LSU fan, looked on dejectedly.

"We came here for the party, we wouldn't have missed it. We're probably going to get divorced tomorrow," he said with a laugh.

His wife, Sherry Lafrance, 43, said her son, a medical student at LSU, stormed out of the bar before the game ended.

She wasn't looking forward to her side of a bet, which is to sing an Alabama cheer in front of her colleagues at work.

"I don't even know the words," she said.

In Baton Rouge, La., where LSU is located, a sports bar within sight of the LSU stadium quickly reached its capacity of 500 people but only a handful of Tigers faithful remained by the time the game ended.

"It's a bummer, but it's still been a great year," said 21-year-old Sara Donaldson. "I just really hoped they'd stay perfect."

By late in the third quarter, the crowd at Walk-Ons was cheering any time LSU managed to move the football at all. They cheered when the Tigers made a first down and also applauded when Alabama's quarterback was sacked.

"It's been a night where you cheer when you can find something to cheer about," said 27-year-old LSU graduate Mary Wolfe.

Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey and Stacey Plaisance contributed to this report from New Orleans and Jay Reeves contributed from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Associated Press writer Mary Foster reported from Baton Rouge.

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