Alabama Wins BCS Championship Leading To Partying, Arrests
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 brethren 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 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
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. New Orleans police Officer Frank Robertson said there were no "game-related arrests" immediately reported after the game.
In the French Quarter, Darlene Nelson, 47, danced around a 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 added.
Mike Strickland, 41, of Birmingham, Ala., high-fived a friend of his while his wife, an LSU fan, looked on dejectedly.
"We are probably going to get divorced tomorrow," joked his wife, Sherry Lafrance, 43.
Lafrance said her son, a medical student at LSU, stormed out of the bar before the game ended.
She wasn't looking forward to paying off 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.
Earlier Monday, LSU and Alabama fans pitched tents, flew banners and cooked up Deep South staples like gumbo and barbecue in what had turned into a massive party ahead of the national championship game.
Alabama fans started lining up at the Superdome shortly after dawn to pick up tickets for the night's game, which featured the nation's two top-ranked college teams in a rematch of a November game that was won by LSU.
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.