This is “Our State” – whichever team you root for – and it’s high time college football fans in Mississippi act like that’s something to be proud of.
Ole Miss found a way to beat rival Mississippi State in front of a hostile crowd in Starkville this past Thanksgiving. It was a triumph for the two-touchdown-underdog Rebels who completed a most-surprising 6-6 season, enduring a whirlwind of controversy every step of the way.
The outcome, the joy experienced by Ole Miss, was not the half of it from an eventful and occasionally shameful night.
Davis Wade Stadium was buzzing until the home team lost its quarterback due to an awful injury. Nick Fitzgerald is one of the better players to take the field in recent years in this rivalry, but both the Rebels and the Bulldogs would battle for the Golden Egg with backup quarterbacks.
Unfortunately, plenty which went on that night was not, starting with Mississippi State players shouting and pointing into the Ole Miss fan section before the game even began. That was far from a low-point as a Rebel player pretended to urinate in the end zone during a touchdown celebration. Even as a Rebel fan, that made me turn my head in disgust.
When the final horn sounded, one team limped into the TaxSlayer Bowl, where tickets can be purchased for as low as $13.00, while the other was ineligible for a bowl game because of NCAA sanctions.
Let’s just say neither of these teams have set the college football world on its head of late, that’s OK, both still stand as reasons to be proud Mississippians.
Mind you, Ole Miss was being led by an interim head coach because its previous coach was fired. We’re all familiar with that story. Mississippi State was being coached by a guy with one foot out the door and a few assistants already scheduling U-Haul vans to Gainesville, Fla. We’re familiar with that story too.
As the Egg Bowl rivalry turns the page, here’s what fans of both teams should be hoping for: the rivalry be toned down.
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