As many students who have attended a football game in Tiger Stadium know, one of the student section's favorite game time activities is to encourage the LSU Marching Band to play "Neck." However, the history behind the song's controversial place in the University's game day experience may not be as well-known.
"Neck" is a rendition of "Talkin' Out Da Side of Ya Neck," a 2008 song by Dem Franchize Boyz. When the LSU band first played a harmless rendition of the song at a 2010 football game, the student section began adding vulgar lyrics. This prompted the LSU Athletic Department to ban the song from being played in the stadium.
The band brought the song back in 2013, but it was only performed a few times since then.
The song was once again banned, and the band hasn't been allowed to play it since 2017. However, a former band member, who wishes to stay anonymous, has mixed feelings about the band playing the song.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun song to play, but it's just too much hassle for the directors,” the former Tiger Band member said. “It doesn’t help create the image that we want as an organization.”
Tradition is among the best parts of college football, and some students, including chemical engineering freshman Alijah King, believe that’s why the song should be allowed.
“They should totally be able to do it," King said. "Yeah it’s inappropriate, but who cares besides the opponents?”
With families in the seats surrounding the student section of Tiger Stadium, some fans believe the song being banned is for the best.
"Personally and morally, it's a really bad song," political communication sophomore Gabrielle Gremillion said.
"Neck" made a brief return to Tiger Stadium during the final minutes of the Tigers' 36-16 win against the Georgia Bulldogs on Oct. 13. The student section's colorful lyrics prompted then-athletic director Joe Alleva to release a statement that partly addressed the chant.
"Chants and cheers that blatantly offend rather than inspire do not represent what LSU is all about," Alleva wrote. "I'm asking our fans, and particularly our student section, to keep it clean. We have a diverse group of fans in the stadium and every week we represent the entire LSU family on national television. Let's represent LSU with the pride and class it deserves."
Whether or not the band stops playing "Neck," the student chant that often accompanies the song is still a part of practically every game day. Some traditional student chants have even been changed to incorporate some of the "Neck" chant's lyrics, including the "Geaux Tigers" chant that's played after every Tigers' first down.
Former LSU football player Odell Beckham, Jr., a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, even pleaded with the band directors to "let the band play Neck" while the Tigers took on the Clemson Tigers in the National Championship on Jan. 13, but they refused. Videos still circulate of students singing the "Neck" chant over another song, and Joe Burrow can even be seen waving his hand up and down along with the chant.