The LSU athletic department has a reputation for putting up billboards through the Baton Rouge-based advertising agency Lamar Advertising.
LSU gymnastics' runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship meet was no different. Less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the meet, a billboard debuted, to no surprise of LSU fans.
Others — not so much.
Former ESPN business reporter and current Action Network sports betting reporter Darren Rovell took to Twitter soon after to voice his displeasure with LSU "celebrating second place."
No, you can’t put up a billboard for coming in second. https://t.co/wxDPqBNzNr— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 21, 2019
Almost immediately, LSU gymnasts and fans alike took their own displeasure with Rovell himself.
Senior all-arounder Sarah Finnegan said she wouldn't entertain him with a reply, but her teammates didn't take the same road.
I’m not even going to entertain you, Dan, Derek, David, Dicky, whatever your name is. Queens don’t look down. 👑— Sarah Finnegan (@sfinnegan37) April 21, 2019
Yes, we can. We did!!! :) https://t.co/tnWNINm41i— McKenna Kelley (@mckennamckelley) April 21, 2019
Sounds like someone was runner up in their Easter egg hunt. There’s always next year, Dave. https://t.co/QfVqsvkIv2— Ashlyn (@Ashlynkirby98) April 21, 2019
“nO, yOU cAn’t PuT uP a BillbOaRD fOr cOmiNg iN sEcOnd.” whatever Daniel🙄 https://t.co/VOpG8Pd4dm— Reagan Campbell (@ReagzC) April 21, 2019
Junior all-arounder Ruby Harrold was particularly angry, sending two tweets to Rovell.
You want a billboard for that Darrel? https://t.co/kI2glteRqf— Ruby Harrold (@RubyHarrold) April 21, 2019
You’re in the sports betting business are you Darren? Well bet on this billboard being appreciated by our community https://t.co/IQeCoZ0ceF— Ruby Harrold (@RubyHarrold) April 21, 2019
Associate head coach Jay Clark even chimed in.
Hey “D” Happy to talk to u about something u clearly don’t get or appreciate. Keep making your $ on those who lose and measure success based on %. This sport is based on perfection. But thx for the exposure. Our billboard is 4 r fans, who have helped us achieve a great deal.— Jay Clark (@jayclark886) April 22, 2019
The gymnasts were tame compared to some LSU fans, who also took to Twitter in defense of the team.
Quite unsure who anointed you the societal billboard police. It costs $0 to stay in your lane. Thank u, next.— M. Quinlan Duhon (@LSUQuinlanDuhon) April 21, 2019
No Darren, the only person who sees the billboard as an issue is you. Gymnastics is not a sport that’s heavily supported. This season, the team is runner up for a National Championship. The team saw a huge jump of support all year in a football DOMINATED community. It’s you. https://t.co/RsTrJEbFVa— Astasia Williams (@AstasiaWill) April 21, 2019
You should have used your platform to congratulate LSU developing a relationship with an outdoor billboard company that allows us to celebrate these awesome accomplishments in a matter of minutes. You should know it’s called good business and promoting the brand. #LSU— Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette) April 21, 2019
Here’s that attention you ordered— Emily Maranto (@emilymaranto) April 21, 2019