Give us our Love back

Over the weekend, I took a little trip to The School Beneath Us for some good ol’ Jason Mraz and SEC football. The weekend overall was a success (minus the few moments of terrible behavior from their fans), but dear God I hate those stupid cowbells.

And you should, too.

They’re loud. They’re obnoxious. They’re just downright tacky. I don’t care if you won a game once in the 40s because some cows wandered onto your field, you quite possibly could be the laughing stock of the SEC.

However, I do understand that a tradition is a tradition, just like how Baton Rouge smelling like corn dogs will always be tradition. If those little cow kids want to keep animal accessories a tradition, hell, let them.

After thirty someodd years, they are finally allowed to legally have the bells in their own stadium again. Of course every State fan is ecstatic to have them back, and I can’t blame them; they don’t know any better.

However, for months and months now, we have been hearing about the new cowbell rules and the massive amounts of money the university will have to spend if their students break these simple rules.

They can ring the bells during breaks, such as time outs, before the game and after the Bulldogs score. That’s it. That’s all.

Ford has even provided them with an icon in the upper right-hand corner of their jumbotron that tells them when to ring and when to yell, in case the three rules were too complex for comprehension.

Now, the things are annoying, and sitting in the stands for the 45 minutes before kickoff were brutal, but I expected it to end when the game started.

How naïve I was.

Every second they weren’t screaming obscenities mixed in with maroon, white and fight (the only words they seem to know for fight songs) they were waving those large metal bells with such a fury.

We banned flags on sticks because the sticks were “weapons.” Sticks. Yet they are allowed to drunkenly swing about metal. The logic in this world.

Anyway. Constantly, those bells were ringing and ringing. Every few minutes something about “Respect the bell; ring responsibly” would come on the screen. And every time it did, just like children do, they would ring them louder and harder than before.

This story sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

A year ago, “From Dixie with Love” was taken away from us because we children couldn’t control ourselves. One of our most beloved traditions was destroyed and we could have stopped it, but we chose to attempt to defy the administration and make our stance known.

Well, news flash: our stance sucked, and I want our song back.

If the State kids can’t learn to behave as well as you can with such a horrific instrument, take them away. We learned our lesson, and we regret continuing the chant against the administration’s will.

After thirty years, Mississippi State has given their fans what they have been begging for, but they seem to have forgotten why they lost the privilege in the first place.

The memory of FDWL in the Grove on those crisp fall afternoons is still fresh in our minds. We not only remember and miss the tradition, but we are the people who lost the tradition.

Give us a second chance, Sparky and the Ole Miss administration. Give us a trial run, if nothing else. Let us prove that we have the school’s best interest in mind and will represent her with all the dignity and class we are known for.

We are losing our traditions left and right, and all the other schools mock us for being racist (not to mention our lack of mascot). Prove them wrong; bring back the song. If we can’t have anything else, at least give us the chance to try.

Fair-weather fans, stand up.

This is an editorial I wrote for class; unpublished.

Ever since the dawn of time, there have been winners and there have been losers. It is impossible for one to triumph without the failure of another.

It’s the same concept as evolution: the strong pick off the weak one by one until the winner is the dominant species.

Last Saturday, Jacksonville State turned the tables on our fair Rebels and turned that smile upside down on every face in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

“You win some, you lose some.”

While even the top five teams in the country will also experience loss (remember when we beat Florida?) but their fans stick by them through thick and thin.

We cannot say the same for the remainder of the Ole Miss fans that were left Saturday afternoon. As the gap between 31 and 10 began to diminish as quickly as it arrived, the fans went from proud parents to that disapproving aunt once-removed that no one invites back to the reunions.

In short: a disgrace.

In order for a team to believe in itself, it needs to be surrounded by hundreds, thousands of screaming fans who will love them even when they make a grave error and lose to a Division II team.

What does a division and some Roman numerals have to do with anything? A loss is a loss, no matter how close and no matter how tragic, our team needs to know that through thick and thin, we will stand by and support them.

When the student section, the main drive of emotion and volume, dissipates into the Grove to find a new bottle of Jack and a bright red Solo cup, the team has nothing to look at behind that Rebels endzone.

We believe so much in the preservation of tradition and our precious culture that we seem to have forgotten the original reason why all of those tents make it to the Grove every Friday night. What point is the Grove without the Stadium?

Yes, we may have the fanciest tailgating set-up…ever, and we might be incredibly proud of our University, but if that’s the case, we need to stick around to hear what they play instead of  “From Dixie With Love” and give our team the support they deserve.

They slave away all summer with two-a-days and 100 degree Mississippi humidity to be the best they can be, and no one seems to support that unless there’s a win to put on that schedule when you get home.

We even replaced the low-point of our team last year with a top-ranked quarterback who cried when he learned he would, indeed, be cleared by the NCAA before that first game.

If a man from clear across the country can be brought to tears by the thought of playing in our stadium, on our field, with our men, why can’t we stick around until that clock runs out to support him?

Stand up, Ole Miss fans, no matter what your mascot of choice might be, and support your Rebels. Maybe if we stop throwing bottles at the field and start throwing out support at maximum volumes, we night not have to watch the biggest upset of the weekend on our grounds.