Rivalry week is in the books, and my team and my Alma Mater left the field victorious. I was not planning to get into another story from the past, but sometimes circumstances dictate actions. Without further ado, my weekly ponderings.
The Story of the Helmet
So, like a lot of football dorks, I have a full-sized helmet of my team. However, mine is no cheap, knockoff replica. It’s a real deal, game worn Ole Miss helmet. I just had no damn idea how real deal it was until I caught up with an old friend of mine recently.
On Oct. 14, 2000, I was a student at the University of Alabama and an ardent Ole Miss fan… don’t ask, it’s one of my many oddities. Ole Miss was ranked, and the Tide reeling. I was pumped, so naturally Bama kicked the crap out of Ole Miss, per the norm. In the end, I took my normal ration of shit for being an idiot Ole Miss fan in the heart of football’s mecca.
However, on this night… well the next night, I arrive to my home off Bryant Drive to a beautiful Ole Miss game helmet sitting on my dresser like a magic trick. The crazy thing is the friend that delivered this prize didn’t know the full story of how it came into his procession. All he knew was that a pledge in his fraternity swiped it. I immediately assumed it was swiped off the table of some fellow Rebel’s tailgate and felt bad, but it wasn’t like I could return it. So, I gladly accepted. It was pretty cool that I was the person he thought of after snatching this prize, even more so when I found out the true story 20 years later.
This helmet has been a fixture in Petteys’ houses (poor wife) since then, with no idea the truth of how it came to be. So, on our latest podcast we a guest who was from the same fraternity as the fellow who gifted me the helmet. We are telling stories of the times of yore.
He goes on to tell the story of how he and a pledge wanted to sneak on the field after the Ole Miss / Bama game of 2k. Trying to devise a plan to get on the field and not get tackled by security, he Instinctively saw two boxes sitting by the fence and picked them up and proceed to walk towards the gate entering the field as if that was their job. Mr. Gate watcher number 9 gave them the head nod and come on in sign. The prize was sitting there as the players mingled on the field, my buddies grew watermelon sized balls and snatched the helmet.
Our guest had no idea what happened to the helmet after that, or that I had it all these years. Nuts…right?!
You are the manager of a company that has many branches that compete with each other. You are pretty dang good at your job, not great, but good. You are grossly overpaid… like stupid amounts. Nobody at your branch likes you, not your superiors, not your subordinates and especially not your your consumers. They loath you and have zero faith in you to produce. You are an upper middle tier branch, yet every couple of years at the organization’s main event you somehow beat the cooperate team in feats of athleticism, forcing the hand of your branch to not only keep you, but to continue to give you copious amounts of money.
You also just got bent over backwards by your archrival while their coach ate Little Debbie’s from his recliner. What a life Gus. The Pat Dye attire is an interesting look.
Are There Any Real Vandy Fans?
No, I’m not talking about parents of players or the smart people who went there for reasons of academia or the ones who happened to buy a shirt and claim the baseball program. I mean, are there any real deal, start prepping on Thursday, can’t sleep on Friday, up with the roosters on Saturday Vandy fans. Because if so…and this is coming from an Ole Miss fan, we LOVE misery, how the hell do you do it?
Let’s just take the most recent example. You have a dead man walking as a coach. His team is 0-8, and his kicking room was riddled with COVID-19. Call it whatever you want, some have called it a publicity stunt, and maybe so, desperate people do desperate things. But Vandy Head Coach Derek Mason decided to use a girl from their championship soccer team as his replacement for his depleted kicking room.
To say it was a publicity stunt is to go into a deeper rabbit hole I’ll avoid, but I’ll just say this. There are fanbases in Oxford and Tuscaloosa that would gladly take a young lady from their student body if they had any hope, she could provide better production than what we have been witnessing from our place kickers in years past.
I say all of that to say, at the heart of this was a chance for a really cool moment. A moment where a female breaks the glass ceiling of SEC football. A chance for Vandy to shine for one Saturday in an otherwise routine abysmal season.
I mean, I think it’s crazy. I didn’t play past high school, but I played against guys who had signed with SEC schools. You have to be a monster or clinically insane to step on a field with those guys. And here she is! A nation of eyes on Vandy, people that would never otherwise watch, and the idiots don’t even score or cross the 50 yard line to give her a chance.
I believe in real Vandy fans about like I believe in sasquatch.
Spitting Fire Around the League
I seriously don’t think any one team in the history of football has crapped the bed as bad as LSU after winning a title. They dodged Bama three weeks ago. They looked lifeless against an overrated A&M squad. And, sadly the worst wasn’t dodging Bama like a bunch of chumps, it was this bombshell. Bet you thought that would be Eddie O’s girlfriends’ boobies, nope apparently LSU was aware of multiple sexual assault cases over the last several years and ignored them. Then Coach O “self imposes” a bowl ban…
Then, they finally play Bama and gave up 45 points…in the first half. The train wreck ending to the Ed O era in Red Stick is in full steam ahead.
I realize the Lane Train is going to somehow end in heartbreak. It’s ok, I get it, it’s the life cycle we Rebearsharks™ live. However, I am going to ride this thing until it inevitably donkey kicks me in the balls. I will inject the moments like these in my veins and know for a brief moment Ole Miss did something I never thought they would. They finally hired someone who actually fits, who actually gets it, who actually makes this fun. For those that don’t click links, Kiffin got off the bus before the game with a hat stating “We Run The Sip”, then won the game.
Bama’s defense appears to have stepped back into form. That’s bad news for Florida. They were going to have to score to keep up with Bama and I don’t think they can. They certainly won’t stop them.
South Carolina you are about to blow it, again. I like / liked Boom. He is an entertaining guy and average head coach. My podcast co-host was screaming from the rooftop who the Gamecocks should hire. And you are on the precipice of hiring Shane Beamer, astonishing. When Jamey Chadwell is the coach that takes, Texas, Michigan, USC or some other power back to their place on top, the Cocks are going to feel pretty stupid. If you don’t know who he is, treat yourself and watch Costal Carolina play football.
Bo Pelini still cashing checks, LSU is on crack!
The Other Teams that Play Football
Seriously, he knows it at this point. The Hugh Freeze sweepstakes will be beginning soon. For selfish reasons I hope it isn’t in the SEC. I’m hoping Michigan comes calling when Harbaugh is shown the door. However, Tennessee could say to hell with it after another year of Pruitt and take a chance.
Notre Dame finally joined a conference. They are now headed to the ACC Championship game, the whole 2020 thing has become a ridiculous cliché, but at some point enough is enough.
There you have it. Respond in the comments. Tell me I’m an idiot that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, or that I’m the greatest sportswriter you have ever seen. Or just show it to someone, and LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!
Until next time!