This video will make you think: only in Louisiana. It shows a fan in the rafters of Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, holding a live coot by the neck with one hand and a beer in the other. Fans can be heard cheering and whooping before the man nonchalantly tosses the black bird into the air and it flies toward the field.
“So, in Death Valley last night, a duck decided to fly in the stadium and was having trouble finding a way out,” wrote Jp Stephens on Instagram. “In desperation, it ended up flying into my section, and this legend decided to hold it for a second and then let it go.”
Stephens—like other LSU fans and even some media reports—misidentified the bird as a duck, when any half-serious duck hunter could tell you it could be nothing other than a coot, which is perhaps the ugliest and most ungainly of water birds (hence, the old saying, “you old coot”). A puddle duck would have no trouble flying out of a stadium, but the same couldn’t be said for a coot, which, according to Britannica, is a water-dwelling bird in the rail family.
Many waterfowlers choose not to shoot coots—they’re considered poor quarry both in terms of table fair and sport—though I’ve heard some folks in the South like to throw them into gumbo. Louisiana, being perhaps the gumbo capital of the world, is a hot-spot for waterfowl hunting. I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence that the incident took place there.
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The wild scene occurred on Saturday, November 11, during a game between LSU and Florida. Another fan posted footage of the bird circling the stadium, struggling to gain enough altitude or wherewithal to get out of the stadium. But according to reports, the coot did eventually manage to fly away.
As for the game, the Fighting Tigers beat the Gators 52 to 35.
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