Bulldogs vs Crimson Tide coverage
This is the first thing I've ever posted on the SB Nation, and I thought the week of the Bama game would be the perfect time for me to chime in. I work in Desoto County and live just outside it in Marshall County. It is the heart and soul for all things Ole Miss. Red and Blue is everywhere. There are some Mississippi State fans, but we are probably outnumbered 5 to 1. I proudly wear my Maroon and White gear, have my truck windshield sticker, and bleed maroon for my Dawgs, but it gets old hearing stuff from the obnoxious Ole Miss fans.
Make no mistake, there are wonderful people that come from Ole Miss. I married one of them. But to be surrounded by so many people who love to poke at State fans can get old. So you can imagine, every time an Ole Miss fan sees me this week, I get something along the lines of, "How bad do you think y'all are going to get killed" or "Are you guys ready for a dose of reality?"
So how do I do it? Well, there are a few things I keep in mind when showing my Mississippi State pride.
Remember the Golden Rule
This is always the most important part of being a Bulldog surrounded by the enemy. The last couple of years I have had many opportunities to grab the noses of all the Rebels who surround me, and rub them in the smelly poo that has been their athletic program. I, however, have restrained from doing so. Why? Payback is never fun, especially when there are so many people around who would love to have it. Does that mean I don't talk about how much I love my Dawgs and how excited I am for the big game on Saturday? That takes us to the next point.
Don't let emotions get in the way
If you are an emotionally charged individual, especially when it comes to sports, living amongst the enemy can be difficult. Let's face it, there really isn't anything funnier than watching someone go off on an emotional tirade about something that isn't the least bit important. Sports fans can do that. If someone wants to run down my Dawgs, I stick to the facts. We are 7-0. We beat everyone we have played. Russell has demonstrated a lot of poise and patience in the pocket. Perkins is a possible touchdown every time he touches the ball. If you start saying things that get away from facts, you are going to have 10 people who can come at you with how bad of a homer you are. Keep it simple.
Don't be an easy target
Do you have any idea how much grief I was given when the basketball team fell apart last year? More than you can imagine. It would have been really easy to let loose on every one, but I bit my tongue and pressed on. The most important thing is to not be an easy target. My brother, I love him dearly, but he is an easy target. He is a Rebel fan, but he is the same way about all of his teams, college or professional. If they lose, he is furious for about three days. Mississippi State won the Egg Bowl my freshman year in high school, and it didn't go over really well the next Monday at school. He was two years ahead of me in school and we were both in band and had it first period. He knew there were going to be people who would give him a hard time, even by people who didn't like either team, because Ole Miss lost. Instead of coming into the band hall for the twenty minutes before the bell rang, he sat outside in the freezing cold. He is an easy target. When you live in the lions' den, you can't afford to be the best looking steak.
I'm looking forward to a repeat of the 1980 game this weekend. I think we have a legitimate shot to win, and I think the only people who won't be shocked are the people inside of Starkville.