Quote of the Day:
“Waitus tilia nextus anno domini caninus.” –official motto of The Mississippi State University
(Sighhhhh…..) So many choices…….
1983, the wind blown kick. 1981 when the zebras stole one from us on a bogus pass interference in the End Zone–that one, they say, directly led to the “college rule” on interference moving it from a spot foul to 15 yards. TB was just a kid for those losses and they weren’t even televised, so I survived them with limited permanent damage. 2008 and 45-zip was pretty bad, but it led to the resignation of Sly Croom and the hiring of Dan Mullen, so there was a silver lining. The two point conversion in 1997 still makes me nauseous. Forgive me if I go astray…my typing fingers grow unsteady.
1992 was the worst. Reb fans call it “the Stand.” I call it “my first year of law school when I watched us run 11 plays from inside the ten and still not score in a game we dominated everywhere but the scoreboard and it is the coldest I’ve ever been in my entire miserable Bulldog fan life.”
The ‘dogs had to score a touchdown to win with under two minutes to go. It was year two of the Sherrill era. The Confederate Nation was on the ropes, with a proven winner at State and major probation on the horizon. We dominated the entire game, rushing the ball down the Rebs throats such that, while uneasy at finding ourselves upside-down on the scoreboard, a late clinching TD seemed imminent. Powering down the field with ease, State soon had first and ten from the eleven with time running out fast.
I was sitting, coincidentally, right on that fateful eleven yard line about halfway up the stadium. I recall the moment vividly. It was cold, probably around 40 degrees or so, damp and gusty. I managed to keep fairly warm via vigorous exercise in the form of cowbell ringin’, with a full, fiery flask of fluids in my coat pocket and most of all with the warm glow of impending glory, and a year of Oxford livin’ on my mind, the Egg in my hip pocket at all times, just in case it was ever needed. And it would be needed. I remember looking ahead to the party we were having that night, me and Larry, and high-fivin’ with Greekson and Smily, and maybe stealin’ some Ole Miss girl away from a would be frat boy suitor, not to add insult to injury, TB ain’t like that at all, but if it did in fact have that effect, who was I to question it and suddenly it was third down and we hadn’t moved very close to the End Zone. Not to worry a penalty gave us a first down and so my mind wandered and I calculated, because I was a poor thirsty student in those days, just how much beer I’d need to get out of the keg to justify my investment, not counting however much some sweet sorority girl might want and then it was fourth down and we still hadn’t scored. Another penalty and we were on the two and then after a flash of ineptitude it was fourth down again and I didn’t care about girls or winning arguments or parties or high fives or world peace or any other damn thing in the entire known universe. I cared about getting a touchdown and I was now desperately confident the fates were opposed to my interests this day. And still I hoped against hope and I felt the chill north wind suddenly pierce my whiskey warmed blood and the dampness penetrate my bones, the ones trying to tell me something had gone all wrong. But sometimes, the fates don’t get the result for which they plan, due either to inattention or a higher interested power or some other mechanism…I do not know, but I do know that hope is hard to kill and it would not die easy that cold Oxford day because we had an offensive genius named Watson Brown leading our charges and he would have a play up his sleeve that would save the day, he had to, and here it came…..
A handoff up the middle to a reserve fullback with less than a dozen carries on the year? That was the play? He never made it back to the line of scrimmage. It wasn’t even close enough to plead “we wuz robbed.” Defeat. Dejection. Cold, bone chilling, evil, violent cold like I’ve never felt before or since. The temperature dropped to twenty below in an instant, the millisecond in which the realization the handoff to the seldom used fullback had been made and there was no fake and there was no wide open tight end in the corner of the end zone and the clock was at zero and we had lost the Egg.
We still had the party, as you would imagine. I got my share of the beer, though Greekson got more than his own share, I noted. There was no Ole Miss co-ed to ease my pain, but there were good friends, many of the best. SmilyJ and Greekson and Holly and Kelley and Big John and Wit was there for awhile and more. And when the keg floated and the place cleared out it was these old friends, Reb and Dog together, lying around the apartment in exhaustion and contentment, disaster be damned. And there was Larry too, on the floor in front of the love seat, at peace in victorious satisfaction with all the world, and there was Smily, gently stroking Larry’s hair for at least ten minutes until I said “what in the hell is goin’ on over there” and Larry, sitting below Smily AND Kelley and being naive and hopeful and feeling love for all the world in his Egg-owning contentedness grinned and said “you can do that allllllllllllllllllllllllllll night long.” And I said “dude that’s disgusting” and Larry looked up and it wasn’t sweet beautiful Kelley but homely, hair thinning SmilyJ who leered down at Larry.
And Larry managed to turn completely Rebel Red and somehow scooted himself under that loveseat that was only an inch off the ground while we all hooted in healing laughter and the tears we Dogs stifled all day could now flow freely and honorably in our hilarity, except for Big John and Greekson who’d drank more than their share and thought we might be laughing at them and so we naturally added them as subjects of our mirth and ever since that awful day I have won every argument I have ever had with that one Rebel fan, regardless of the locale of the Egg then or any other year by trumping him with “you can do that alllllllllllllllllll night long.”
It was the Worst Egg Bowl Ever.
One of the best days of my life.