I, like many of you, was not surprised by the news that the SEC is less than pleased with our cowbell usage so far during this season. I am, like all of you, also very much aware of the fact that there are certain times during the game when the cowbell is ok to use. I'm sure we're also all in agreement that this "Cowbell Compromise" was doomed from the beginning. So, knowing all of this, why are we all so ticked off about it?
I can't speak for every Bulldog fan, but I'm willing to give my opinion to anyone that will listen. Let me say from the very beginning that, at least for me, this entire debate can be settled very quickly. The first question we must ask is why are the cowbells such a big issue? How did the new "Cowbell Compromise" come to fruition in the first place? The main reason is that the SEC has had a ban on artificial noise makers for over thirty-five years, and during most of that thirty-five years MSU has pretty much ignored the rule and allowed fans to sneak the cowbells in and ring them anyway. Let me be clear, I agree with the SEC that no stadium should gain an unfair advantage by using artificial noise makers. So, are we gaining an unfair advantage? Well, apparently the SEC believes we are or this wouldn't even be a topic right now.
Obviously, at first glance, this line of thinking is absolutely ludicrous. Davis-Wade is the second smallest stadium in the conference with a capacity of just over 55,000. Even with the cowbells clanging, the sound decibels in Mississippi State simply do not compare with what the other, much larger, stadiums in the conference with crowds averaging near 90,000 people are able to produce.
I would love to see the SEC bring a neutral third party in to measure sound decibels at Davis-Wade and compare them to the larger stadiums in the conference; then make that data available to all of the fans. IF that data backs up their claim that we are gaining an unfair advantage I swear, with hand to my heart, I will put my cowbell back on the shelf for good.
I believe in the spirit of the rule (can you imagine everyone with cowbells in Death Valley?) but I want to see data that will prove to me and everyone else that Mississippi State is gaining an unfair advantage at home games. At this point, I just don't see it.
I'll be at the Kentucky game this weekend and it'll be interesting to see if the fans act any differently now that cowbell usage has become a hot topic this week in the SEC. I will do my best to follow the rules and ring responsibly. My hope is that other fans will do the same.
Yeah, and if a frog had wings...