I love Mississippi State sports, but if I keep having these horrific experiences, I may not have the courage to venture out to the campus. I’m almost glad the team is going to be playing away this Saturday. I don’t plan to leave the house.
Two weeks ago I had a wardrobe malfunction and had to walk home barefooted in a driving rain storm – without my umbrella – which had been confiscated at the stadium. Now I’m having flashbacks of Saturday’s game with Houston which provided my second worst game day experience, including the time my date got drunk at the 1968 Sugar Bowl and I had to thumb a ride back to Oxford.
Saturday’s episode has me suffering from nightmares, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I must be institutionalized. It all began when I was invited to ride to the game with the officials – you know, those guys who wear the striped uniforms and run around waving their hands and getting booed a lot?
It was such fun riding out to the game. They were really cute and we had a police escort. We were delivered to within six inches of our seats and the guys went to do whatever it is they do to prepare for the big game. I remember the last thing I said to them. “Now ya’ll be kind to my Bulldawgs.”
As the game progressed, I began feeling some animosity directed toward these guys. It was spreading through the stadium faster than swine flu in a kindergarten.
No wonder. The crew got confused about whether it was third or fourth down and were about to give Houston a fifth go at the end zone! Even I could keep up with the down count, and all they had to do was look at the score board for Pete’s sakes.
The Bulldogs matched our opponents touchdown for touchdown and we went into halftime with a 3-point lead. When a MSU defensive player scooped up a wayward Houston pass, and ran right into into the end zone, I began to weep. The game was that emotional.
During the second half, things got a lot dicier. One touchdown behind and with only a few minutes left, we scored and the stands went wild. But wait. The striped shirts called it null and void – they said we were guilty of “holding.” The touchdown was called back.
In the end we lost, despite a valiant attempt to come back.
Our driver was Art Kennard who also drives the team. He bodily tossed us back in the van, making sure I was in the front seat – I guess because I wasn’t wearing a striped shirt which by now was making a very unpopular fashion statement.
He instructed us to lock the doors and gave us all whiplash as he put the pedal to the metal to get us out of there. Suddenly, we were caught in a bottle-neck around the area once called malfunction junction. People spotted the striped shirts in our van and began surging toward us with blood in their eyes.
Here, I must ask that you remove your children from the room. Wonderful people I have known for 20 years had gone berserk. They were shouting at everyone unlucky enough to be inside that van, and using hand signals from the playbook of the rude and crude. Talk about foul play!
Things were tense for about 15 seconds, when the police escort was able to cut a path through the crowd and we raced on to the Holiday Inn Express – on the wrong side of the highway I might add.
I was relieved to crawl out of the van and touch asphalt again even though it was hours before I could put a sentence together. Take it easy, fans. Deep down, we know we won that game. No need to be nasty.