A little over a week ago, Mississippi State tore the Texas A&M Aggies apart to the tune of 35-14. It was a brilliant performance led by the defense and Todd Grantham, and I was there in person to bask in it with my family and girlfriend. But before the game kicked off, I bumped into someone in College Station who knew me. (Technically there’s some Aggies there that I grew up with that know me too, but, that’s besides the point).
Ed Hardy, originally of Jackson, Mississippi and currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, was also at the game. He had made the trip down to see the Bulldogs take on Texas A&M and was wearing a replica MSU jersey. I spotted it on my way to go buy hotdogs (which are sandwiches, by the way) and greeted him with a simple “Hail State.”
That greeting turned into a lengthy discussion and it’s because Ed is an avid reader of For Whom the Cowbell Tolls. In his words, he reads our content daily. He knew my face right away and struck up a great conversation with me that truly caught me off guard.
We chatted a bit throughout the game, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to share a chunk of Ed’s story, if he was willing. So, I got his email address and reached out to him as I was traveling back. The below is a quick interview that I did with him.
Ethan Lee: You're a Mississippi State fan living in Texas. I understand a bit of what it's like to have Aggies mistake a MSU hat or shirt for a TAMU one. How often does this happen to you and in these moments, how do you approach or handle it?
Ed Hardy: It's funny you asked me that question, because that happens to me all the time at work. I love representing MSU, wearing my maroon and white every week. Without fail, I am unintentionally or intentionally (most of the time) mistaken for a TAMU fan. I always get those jokes at work. But I do set them straight any time a mistake/remark is made
Ethan Lee: How important are annual bragging rights for you with this series? I hold them in pretty high regard having grown up in Texas, but as a Mississippi native and State alum that moved to Texas, how much does this series matter to you? I would assume it would be below the Egg Bowl, but how much importance does this have for you as a fan?
Ed Hardy: Oh, its very important. I know alot of very very proud TAMU fans at my job. I relish every opportunity to make it known how proud I am of my Bulldawgs (the superior maroon team) with every sweet victory over the Aggies (the lesser maroon)!!!
Ethan Lee: Let's move away a bit from the Texas/MSU sort of questions, what are your thoughts on this team and how well do you think they'll do down the stretch?
Ed Hardy: I absolutely love this year's football team. We have a very aggressive and physical defense on both sides of the ball. I am a huge fan of a relentless dominant defense and a powerful running game, because that is what wins games in the SEC in my opinion . That is exactly what we have in our bulldawg football team this year. I have no doubt we will finish this year with a 9-3 regular season record which is phenomenal.
Ethan Lee: It's a hot button issue, so I might as well ask about it. Do you see Dan Mullen leaving for Florida or is this just part of the annual rumor mill tradition we endure as Mississippi State fans?
Ed Hardy: I personally Dan will be around for a while. He has developed a very special team this year that looks to be highly successful for at least the next 3-4 years. Also, Dan has alot of support from the school administration and the fans, not to mention he is getting paid very well. The school is giving him the freedom to do alot of things to make the program successful. Lastly, I've heard that he and his family really enjoy living in Starkvegas with all the great southern hospitality that comes with our beautiful town.
Ethan Lee: What is your favorite sports related memory from your time as a student at Mississippi State? What's one thing you wish had gone differently during your time as a student?
Ed Hardy: Oh I love this question. It's a very difficult one though, because I have so many. Since this is football season, I will stick with that sports memory. One of my favorite sports related memories was the 1998 football season when we played a very good Arkansas team. In fact, Arkansas would have clinched Western Division title with a victory. But we had an amazing defense, a great running game, and a talented freshman QB, Wayne Madkin that accomplished one of the most amazing, last minute, come-from-behind victories I had ever seen. It was absolutely incredible. Man, we were on cloud nine when won that game. After that victory, we went on to beat Ole Miss (huge win) and represent the West in the SEC Championship game.