The Egg Bowl. What a goofy name for something that so many people in Mississippi take so seriously. Have you ever just taken a step back and thought, “huh, what a goofy ass name for this thing?”
Because I do.
All the time. I mean, I get the history, but it doesn’t change the fact that I think about how odd of a name it is. And it’s not like “The Battle for The Golden Egg” is really any better.
It’s goofy too.
It’s iconic, in it’s own way, though. Not in the way that the “Iron Bowl” is. Or the way that the “Red River Shootout” is. Or the way that “The Game” is. It’s iconic in it’s own little goofy way.
But it’s fitting, in that iconic, goofy way. The rivalry between Mississippi State and Ole Miss is an odd one. And it’s a heated one. And it’s one that is only going to get even weirder as time goes on.
Especially so in a post-Hugh Freeze world.
Especially so when the reason that we live in a post-Hugh Freeze Egg Bowl world isn’t because Hugh Freeze wasn’t successful as a head coach, he was. He flew too close to the sun when it came to NCAA matters and the manner by which the Rebels recruited, but he was successful as a head coach. He won games. Not exactly in a manner that was kosher by NCAA standards, but I guess he won games. He compiled a record of 69-32 (nice) in his time as a head coach.
And he also apparently called escort services (not nice). And, unfortunately for his family, it appears that there was a pattern of this that spanned some time.
And that’s going to be the storyline that dominates this rivalry for a while. There’s going to be banners and signs and all sorts of jokes thrown around. Understandably so. Why not have a goofy, yet uncomfortable storyline dominate a goofy, yet uncomfortable rivalry?
I mean, just read about the way that people on the outside of the rivalry view Steve Robertson (a sportswriter/blogger/reporter/internet person who covers MSU and was spearheading much of the reporting behind the Ole Miss scandals).
They view Robertson purely as a fan, nothing else.
Which, about half of us involved in the day to day operations of the Egg Bowl rivalry view Robertson as a fan. That half likes to dress up in red and blue and many of them aren’t too happy with Robertson at all. Many will claim that Robertson is obsessed with the Rebels. Many Rebels have also become obsessed with Robertson.
And none of this is going away anytime soon. We live in an era of message board warriors and #EggBowlTwitter feuds. And given that we live in a world where there’s 24/7 coverage for anything and everything that happens in the world of sports and literally anyone can be given a platform through social media, this rivalry is only going to get weirder and weirder, potentially in an exponential fashion.
And so, when we live in a rivalry where half of us ring cowbells and the other half chants something about flim flam, and we battle for a giant, golden egg, we shouldn’t be surprised if the Egg Bowl gets weirder.
Mississippi State, realistically, should be able to take full control of the rivalry going forward, at least on the football side of things. And at least for a little while.
There’s really no reason for Mississippi State to not take a considerable step forward and beyond what Ole Miss can do in the next couple of seasons.
But, regardless of how it plays out on the field and how far the Bulldogs get, this game will still be weird. This rivalry will still be weird. Because that’s the rivalry that we live in. And I’m not sure that I’d really want it any other way.
I mean, except for the fact that I want the Bulldogs to always win. That’s not really how rivalries work in the real world. So, if I could change that I would. But that’s about it.