BIGGER THAN OURSELVES

egg-bowl-trophy

www.panoramas.com.MSSU1

A cry goes up in Starkville, Mississippi. It is the cry of a fanbase that has always felt like they deserved a little bit more.

On this chilly Saturday evening, the cry goes up accompanied with bells. As they walk down the ramp from their seats, there is a feeling of satisfaction amongst the Mississippi State loyal. Business as usual, thumping Vanderbilt 51-0 as they continue to roll through a magical season.

There are still hopes of a playoff. There are even still hopes of an SEC Championship, despite quite literally fumbling away a game against Alabama. The Bulldogs could still make it in if Alabama loses and they win this weekend.

But this weekend isn’t easy. Because in an intense rivalry game, anything can happen.

*

Photo by Robert JordanA cry goes up in Oxford, Mississippi. It is the cry of a fanbase that has always felt like they deserved a little bit more.

Their cry is one of sports anguish. The season had so much potential. So much hope. At one point, the Ole Miss Rebels were looking like a National Title favorite. Injuries started the slide. Then, one loss turned into three, and the brightness of the season turned into sheer frustration.

Of course, the frustration grows into something else. It grows into motivation. Because this weekend, the season can be at least somewhat redeemed if they are able to play the role of the spoiler. It’s a rivalry, one that has heated back up in recent years, and this year could prove to be the biggest yet.

Because of this, the season isn’t over. No, if Ole Miss could ruin the biggest season in their rival’s history, then the season is far from over.

*

mississippi-mississippi-state-football-c2a32f9e938eb93aThere is something about sports that draws us together, especially when it drives us apart.

It draws us together as Rebels or Bulldogs, into the hope and motivation that the fans share with the players themselves. Whether it is the hope that this year could be “our year”, or whether it’s the devious motivation that we could spoil all the fun, our fanbases stand united.

And it drives us apart, of course, because it takes an entire state, right in the same week as the day in which we gather to give thanks, and splits us down party lines. This time around, the lines are drawn in rich Maroon and bold, proud Blue.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at MississippiIt drives our state apart as it draws our fanbases together, because in the Deep South, that rivalry is the tie that binds. It takes random strangers and unites them solely through the allegiance that they claim.

Maroon and White. Red and Blue. Whatever the colors we bear, a cry will go out this weekend. Whether a cry of anguish or a cry of victory, one thing stands very true:

In a rivalry so intense, during seasons so magnificent, we are no longer just fans who feel like we deserve a little bit more.

We are a part of something much, much bigger than ourselves.

Ole_Miss_and_Mississippi_State_Egg_Bowl_1970s