Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For Ole Miss Fans, Not A Good Week

Aside from dropping the season opener to an FCS school, and getting jerked around by the NCAA, there was one other item that popped up on my television screen this past weekend that should bring even more concern to fans of the red and blue.

Oxford, Mississippi, how did you let it get to this point?

And just so that there's no confusion, I will gladly disclose that I enjoy Star Wars. When someone mentions Admiral Ackbar, I know who they are talking about. But that doesn't mean I want him on my sidelines.

Perhaps I have misplaced my sense of humor on this. But it seems to me that as a school/football program, a major point of emphasis is to NOT be a laughing stock of your rival school fan bases. Isn't that the point of message boards? What about tailgates? I've always understood these platforms to be the opportunity to make fun of their rival schools, often in the direction of said rival school's fans.

When the Admiral Ackbar issue first arose, I pleaded with Ole Miss fans to quash this rumor as soon as possible. Chalk it up to the crazy Internet, and never look back. Instead, Ole Miss authorities never ponied and did what they were supposed to - which was to say that there was no way in hell that a Star Wars character was going to be the mascot.

But, no. And I'm done advising Ole Miss fans on what to do about this. If you are going to allow your University to put you and your friends on a platter to be made fun of by every other school in the SEC, then that's your choice.

Isn't it about positioning? And where you want to be, what you want to be known for? Ole Miss had been known as the place that bred Miss America contestants. Cowboy boots and skirts. Hotty Toddies. The Grove.

Now, as the University officials have allowed, and now ESPN is broadcasting to the world, Ole Miss is the school that almost had a Star Wars character as their mascot.

Get ready to hear it, Rebels. After Gamecocks chants (non-South Carolinian in nature), the message board/tailgating chatter this fall will be brutal. Hope you don't mind the word 'nerds'.