Did I Mention How I Really Feel About Alabama?

Quote of the Day:     “We got em beat. We finally got the bastards beat.”     Travellinbaen, to Greekson, and the World at large, at the MSU-Alabama game in Starkville in 1992

Alabama went undefeated during the 1992 football season and won the National Championship. They came closest to losing in Starkville that November. I won’t swear to the game details because only the moment where it became apparent we were going to beat them was permanantly burned into my memory with a crimson branding iron. State fell behind about 18-0 at the half and I had already reverted to the usual routine of cursing my fate to be a Bulldog fan. I was also incredulous at the State crowd. All through halftime, the fans stayed in their seats, ignoring the bands and cheering. The collective decision had somehow been made that in the Sherill era things would be different and this team was good enough to come back and win. So the crowd cheered, exhorting our Bullies in the locker room and taunting the invincible Tide. We’d beaten them only once since 1957. Once in my lifetime. Once among generations of students that passed through Starkville for 4-6 years at a time over 4 decades. What a bunch of idiots.

But when the game resumed, the Bulldogs answered the demands of the cowbell clanging assemblage. They roared back and took the lead. A trainer for that Alabama team would later confide to me that the 42,000 bell ringing Dog fans created the loudest stadium environment he experienced all year, including Neyland Stadium and the Superdome. Past midway of the 4th quarter, Alabama took the ball across midfield. Then, on first down and second Jay Barker was sacked. It was third down and hopeless. The crowd was going berzerk. I stepped down off my seat and dragged my old roommate Greekson down with me so he could hear. He looked at me like I was crazy for taking a break and looking away from the field. Both my left and right forearms were cramping from the overexertion of ringing a cowbell for two straight hours. My ears were ringing. I’ll never forget the moment. Scott field was alive; a scene of delirious pandemonium. “Greekson”, I said, “look around. Listen. It’s f*&’n beautiful ain’t it? We’ve got to savor this moment so we’ll remember it the rest of our lives. We got ’em beat. We finally got the bastards beat.” A few heartbeats later, I added the two words without which this brief conversation would lack context. “Ohhhhhhhhh, SHIT.”

I still have nightmares about the play that happened in those heartbeats. Barker dropped back and once again his offensive line gave way like a Gautier girl at her first Pascagoula party. Barker ran for his life and fired the ball deep downfield just as he was hit. The Alabama tailback had run a wheel route and was well covered. The ball was long, but the tailback dove and stretched and somehow cradled the pass along the far sideline. The ball was placed inches past the first down marker.

State still had the lead and the momentum. The crowd still roared. But the moment was past. There was no doubting what was to come. The Tide scored, then scored again after State’s desperation attempt to answer and once again, we Dogs tasted bitter defeat.

Oh, how I loathe them.

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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7 Responses to Did I Mention How I Really Feel About Alabama?

  1. TJ says:

    later that year the quote “It only takes one” was born,,thanks R.J. and the Gautier comment was a little unecessary

  2. Jessie Lou says:

    When I was in school Gautier girls would whip your ass in a heartbeat! My cousin Vann tells a great story about the State offensive line and how they taunted him during one Alabama game. It is best heard with an cigar and a beverage of your choice. I’ll be the lucky one on Saturday because I’ll be happy no matter who wins.

  3. Madd Dawg says:

    JL,
    Vann Bodden? He is a cousin of mine too, so I guess we are related somehow.

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    Now, isn’t that scary for you! Yes, we have cousins in common – I thought you knew that. I’ll have to tell you that story sometime but I could not do it justice. It was “performed” for me on 4th of July. For one day I would like to be the guy that catches the ball and cross the goal line. I would also like to be the guy that keeps someone else from crossing the goal line. Just once.

  5. workinbaen says:

    I think y’all should invite your cousin to write the story out in this space for the blog. While I hate Bama, I love a good story. He might get a laugh out of a another hapless State fan’s irrational hatred for Alabama too. I’ve still got a few more “hate Bama” stories I haven’t gotten around to yet.

  6. Jessie Lou says:

    I’ve passed the request on to Vann – we shall see what kind of response I get. He told this story as he stood on the back of his boat smoking a cigar and drinking a cool one at sunset on the 4th of July. It was the perfect stage while the rest of us floated in the water. I don’t know if this blog will do it justice but one never knows does one?

  7. Sweet may have to help me with this if he remembers, but wasn’t this the game y’all were watching back at Del Norte when Scoop almost soiled himself?

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