It’s rivalry week! This is one of the few times of the year where it’s ok to do something stupid or completely insult your best friends. Yes, Rivalry Week is glorious. So, in the immortal words of Dave Chappelle’s Clayton Bixby, “If you got hate in your heart, let it out”!

On that note, I thought I’d share a couple of my own crazy rivalry week stories. Enjoy and LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!

The Burning Tree

On November 18th, 2000 a bone chilling cold like no other had descended upon the Capstone. This ironically coincided with ALAGASCO, the local purveyor of heated homes for students, deciding to go up 40% on their gas rates. Why is this important to the story you ask? Well, because a bunch of dumbass college students decided to buy alcoholic beverages and party instead of wisely paying their astro-freaking-nomical heat bill. I can’t imagine why college only took me 8 years.

So, on this morning as the chill took over my house, and more so my ability to sleep, I had to act… and fast. I was freezing, and my roommates were worthless. Fortunately, we rented a house that was equipped with a fireplace. Did it work? Who knew, but that wasn’t a real concern. At this point, a series of alcohol influenced synapsis were firing in my brain, and before long, I had it… the proverbial ‘light bulb’ moment. It was time to put my genius plan into action.

The Acquisition

As I trudged through the wilderness of the Capstone, which is pretty much anti-wilderness, I saw it. It was like I was Clark Griswold in that exact moment where he saw “the tree”. There laid a beautiful pine, nestled in the morning ice. Much like Clark, I had no tools in which to work with. So, despite the herculean effort required to move this ENTIRE TREE, I drug the whole damn thing to my house.

If I’m telling this story properly, you should already know, it didn’t fit. It didn’t fit in the fireplace, but more importantly, it didn’t even fit in the house. So, what next?

The Burn

Naturally, there was an urgent need for heat, so I improvised. I opened the front door and slid the Griswold Tree into the house, top first, as far as it would go. It is this point in the story where I need to tell you that while I may not be the smartest person on the planet, I’m in the running for the most resourceful. In my mind, all I needed was that tree in the fireplace and now I had it.. at least a very small part of it. Now, this might be a bit hard to imagine, so I’ll assist with the imagery. THERE WAS A FULL-GROWN TREE IN OUR HOUSE spanning the length of the living room and out the front door. 

Now it was time to put my genius plan into action. I figured I would just light one end, and as it burned, I would continue to slide it further into the fireplace. That was about the only part of this insanity that worked, which was amazing, because in hindsight, that was possibly the dumbest part.

Why didn’t this Wile-e-Coyote-esque plan work you might ask? As it turns out, the problems were numerous. First off, there is this ‘flute’ contraption in the fireplace, and I wasn’t privy. So the initial onslaught of smoke from lighting a damp tree was enough to signal Native Americans in Arizona and have our neighbors ask if they call the fire department. As if that wasn’t enough of a speed bump in our plan, having the door open in 9-degree weather is about as counterproductive to warming a home as anything your favorite moron could imagine.

By the second half of the iron bowl, we were burning pizza boxes and other paper products from the trash like a bunch of hobos. The only positive was two of us had Auburn dates that actually sat through that madness without complaining too much. Nothing about this situation was more confounding than this, but later I realized that this type of date is probably nothing out of the ordinary down on the plains.

Danny, Daniel We Got to Go they Called the Cops!

If you didn’t already know, in addition to being a proud Bama graduate, I am also an Ole Miss fan. Yeah, I get it, joke, scratch your head, whatever…I am what I am. So, naturally, I have an Egg Bowl story, or 20, as well. So I debated whether to tell the story of the time my dad threatened to fight an entire car load of Mississippi State students for offering to shove my Ole Miss flag up my ass, or the time we got into a bar room brawl on my 18th birthday after one of the Rebel’s craziest Egg Bowl victories. I chose the latter.

It was 1997, I had just turned 18, and I was in Jackson to watch the Egg Bowl with my dad, as was tradition. Normally we went to the game, but the thought of spending my 18th in Starkvegas in a game I thought we would lose wasn’t very appealing. Look, if you go there wearing Red and Blue it is one of the vilest experiences on earth. If you go incognito in college to party, it is an absolute blast. Zebra bus represent! Back to the story.

Here is the short and sweet of the game. There was a huge brawl before the game and Ole Miss won on a crazy two-point conversion that led to Tuberville’s “River Boat Gambler” moniker. I jumped on my dad’s back and he ran around the room. PSA here: games come and go, scores don’t matter, seriously enjoy the moments.

Dad decided we needed to take the celebration to Belhaven Bar and Grille in Jackson. So, we did. Quick note, my dad loved to fight. You wouldn’t know it from me… I was a lover. For this reason, he was only allowed in certain establishments in the Greater Jackson Area. Well, once at the bar, we happened to run into a fellow that had politely told him he was never allowed back in their bar, which sucked. Of all the places he drug me to, I really liked Poets. However, for some dumb reason this guy felt the need to antagonize Pops, again. HUGE MISTAKE! 

Sorry for all the side notes. They are necessary, and I have another. Dad had a few rules for fighting. One was if someone ever tries to break up said fight, hit them next, because they are going to get you hurt.

So, Dad and this cat start having words, and some “do-gooder” at the bar decides he is going to stop these silly shenanigans. Right jab time, straight to the nose. So, now dad and “do-gooder” are rolling on the ground messing up their nice outfits. It was then I notice the instigator has seen an opportunity to get some free shots in on pops and heads in to make his move. Look, I’m no Mike Tyson, but I am a dude, and that was my pops. Homeboy never saw it coming and I lowered all the boom my 18-year-old self could muster. For those that saw my haymaker that night by the field house, this one actually landed, and not on his shoulder.

A huge detail I have omitted from this story was the fact my Dad’s good friend, and someone I thought was a superhuman, was also in attendance. He played defensive line at Ole Miss, so as you can imagine, he will not be winning any small fry competitions… he is a beast. He had caught wind that the boys-in-blue were in route. He literally ends the whole charade as if we were kids on a playground and seemed to have like 5 people in head locks as he exclaimed… “Danny, Daniel we got to go they called the cops!”

Hotty Toddy Y’all!

Spitting Fire Around the League

Kirby Smart is Will Muschamp with more booster money and less piss and vinegar.

Mississippi State took 49 scholarship players to Georgia and played them to the wire. It was the gutsiest performance from a team I have seen this year. Seriously, that was one hell of a fight and emblematic of their mentality my whole life. It’s something I’ve always admired about Hail State.

With that said it’s Egg Bowl Week Bell Ringers!

Oh, yeah, it’s also Iron Bowl Week, apparently that is a big game. RMFT!

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!