Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Football Season in the South!

As I walked outside this morning I was greeted by a breath of cool air. It is nearly September in Mississippi. I can see the leaves changing slowly, and in a month I hope that the burgundy and gold colors of fall will be in my backyard once again. Fall is my favorite time of year because of the cool weather, and because it's football season!

Better Than Ezra has forever immortalized this time in their song “This Time Of Year,” where they sing “Well, there's a feeling in the air, Just like a Friday afternoon. Yeah, you can go there if you want, though it fades too soon...” There isn't a better feeling in the world than sitting in the stands watching a game. When I went to college at Mississippi State, I became friends with the football team. My best friend Brittany and I ended up being the team “big sisters.” We would cook and clean and cheer every game for “our boys.” I love my Bulldogs, and miss those days immensely.
In Mississippi, there may be many colleges, but everyone is either a fan of Mississippi State or the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss. Number one rule of Mississippi football, you cannot pull for both. And another one is that you can’t be a fan of both Ole Miss and LSU!

When Ole Miss and Mississippi State meet, this is called the “Egg Bowl.” The annual meeting between these two Mississippi teams is the 10th longest uninterrupted series in the country. This series began in 1901, but it was not until 1927 that it came known to be the Battle of the Golden Egg, or "Egg Bowl." Ole Miss leads the series. In the past it has been on Thanksgiving Day, but recently switched to the Saturday following the holiday. Another large rivalry is between Ole Miss and a school a little farther south and a state away, Louisiana State University (LSU). Most fans have no idea that there is an official name for this game played between these schools, the Magnolia Bowl. This enmity began in the 1950’s or 60’s when both teams were vying for the national championship, and some consider a match more heated than the Egg Bowl. There is something to be said for placing thousands of drunk Cajuns and Ole Miss "social"-ites in an enclosed space - spicy!

As fun as football season sparing matches may be, Southerner’s are known for their “pre-gaming, “also known as tail-gating. At MS State, the very large Winnebago’s start arriving on Thursday, prior to game day. They line up all over campus and the grills are fired up. People spend tons of money on a vehicle that has everything from a retractable tent off the side, to flat screen TV’s. Pass by and know you will be offered something wonderful to eat. Now if you venture to spend a weekend in Oxford, they tailgate a little differently. Ole Miss is known for “The Grove.” In the Grove you will find a tent city, these aren’t tents bought at Wal-Mart, but rented. These tents have wet-bars, flat screens and yes some have fully functionally chandeliers. Pass by and know you will be offered something cold to drink, “hotty toddy.”
Football season has started for the high schools around here, and soon will be the first SEC game. I can’t wait to wake up on Saturday mornings, pull up the couch with my sister and our pugs, and turn on Lee and Kirk on ESPN College Game Day.

Until Next Time & Go Dawgs!
Hugs & Kisses Sister Belle