To think I almost passed up the Egg Bowl yesterday. I was exhausted from cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving, and felt like kicking off my shoes and watching the game from my big ole recliner with Rebel and Lucky Dawg at my side.
Yet, the lure of the game day excitement won out – I threw on my clothes and walked over to join my tailgate crew. None of them were terribly optimistic about the game, we were just hoping not to be embarrassed by the final score.
But almost from the get-go, this game seemed different. For one thing, Coach Dan Mullen, the man of the hour, month, and year, began mixing things up – alternating quarterback duties between Tyson Lee and Chris Relf, who hasn’t seen much play action this year. The combo worked and seemed to throw the Rebels off their game. Final score – 41-27 , and we had one TD stolen away from us when we fumbled on the 6 inch line!
Funny thing, I happened to be in the ladies room during two of the MSU scoring plays and one interception. When I rejoined my crew, they asked me to stay in the rest room for the remainder of the game! Seems my Rebel roots were showing and Ole Miss seemed to lose their footing with me out of the stands. So, you might say I’m responsible for the stunning Bulldog victory!!
As the Bulldogs began to tear down the goal posts (they’ve fortified them with something that allows them to bend then snap back erect), no one moved – well, except the Rebel fans who had mysteriously disappeared off the face of the earth. The MSU fans stood and watched the spectical in awe as teamates took turns running around the arena with the Egg Bowl trophy high above their heads. What was this? Tears began streaming down my face. My date thought it was because my Rebels lost so convincingly. But to tell you the truth, I was so proud and happy for my Bulldogs I couldn’t hold in the emotion of the delicious moment when we finally got the respect we’ve deserved all season with narrow loses to some of the finest teams in the nation.
I was crying for Coach Mullen who is the nicest and most upbeat football coach we’ve ever had and who needed this win for his recruiting effort. I was crying for the sheer joy of seeing those young men – especially the seniors – who were overcome with emotion. It was the MSU Bulldog’s finest hour.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived home and a crowd was gathering up and down my street. Turns out Tyson Lee lives two doors down from me. I guess I’m a terrible neighbor because I had no idea. I’m going over to see if I can borrow a cup of sugar and get him to autograph my copy of the Sports section today which reads: “Saving the Best for Last.”