Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Normal Girl On Ole Miss Football and the Upcoming Harvard-Yale Game

As Normal Guy has mentioned in his other blog, I have lived in many places and was fortunate to attend Ole Miss, an SEC school filled with pretty sorority girls (myself included-Go Theta!) and what I remember as the "khaki cloud"—fraternity boys in their requisite khaki pants, shirts and ties, and U of M baseball caps. It has been seven years (wow!) since I received my diploma from the University of Mississippi, but as they say, "One never graduates from Ole Miss."

Boy, do I love my Rebels!

I think my love of football began in high school. Having attended ninth grade in Vicksburg, MS (WCHS), I was spoiled cheering for an undefeated football team and dancing to an amazing high school band, “Big Blue.” I may not know every position in football or the difference between Division I and II, but I LOVE the sport. There is something about the crashing of pads and the blowing of referee whistles that really excites me. You have to understand that I am not athletically inclined. Sure, I can play Horse with the best of them, but I have never participated in organized sports. Ever. Cheerleading is as close as I came to being an athlete in high school. Still, I loved every minute of cheering my freshman year for a team that went on to win the state championship in my senior year.

It was a sad day when I learned that my family was moving from Vicksburg to Circleville, Ohio, at the beginning of my sophomore year; I never had the chance to cheer at that championship game. The first question I was asked upon entering homeroom at Logan Elm High School on my first day was, "Have you heard of the Pumpkin Show?" In all seriousness, I almost laughed in their faces. Sadly, that laughter was short lived when I learned how terrible LEHS’s football team played. During the two years that I cheered, the Braves were 3-7 and 2-8... yes, you read correctly, 2-8. I could not handle it. How do you cheer for a team that awful?! Nevertheless, I learned a lot about football in those two years and still get a rush in my chest when I hear the national anthem at a football game. It takes me back to a small football field in Circleville where the cheerleaders raised the stars and stripes while the band played on.

I will never forget entering Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the first time. I don’t remember who they played or the outcome of the game, but I got goose bumps (which is next-to-impossible in Mississippi in September) when I saw "HOME OF THE OLE MISS REBELS" painted on the press box. I followed the Rebels through five years of wins and losses. I visited Memphis in 1997 when Peyton and the Vols crushed us. "Peyton Who?" buttons were on nearly every Ole Miss student as a revolt against Peyton choosing Tennessee over his father’s alma mater. It was a proud moment in northern Mississippi when we learned Eli was going to be a Rebel. In fact, I cheered for him in the stands during a game in 2001 when I returned to Oxford.
When I talked to a co-worker at Bentley about going to the football game last weekend, he chuckled and said, "Didn’t you go to Ole Miss?" When you attend an SEC school, it’s hard not to have high expectations for tailgating and school spirit.

Sure, we lost to Mizzou last weekend, but I will always be a Rebel, regardless of wins and losses.

Normal Guy should have no fear. I am excited to attend the Harvard-Yale game in November. He might even get me into a Crimson sweatshirt.

Are you ready?
Hell yeah! Damn right!
Hotty Toddy,
Gosh almighty,
Who the hell are we? Hey!
Flim-flam, bim-bam,
Ole Miss, by damn!

- Normal Girl

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