Streaks are contagious. A winning team or organization reaches that status because of many elusive, unquantifiable qualities. You win because you’re a winner, they say. You win because you believe you can. Momentum builds over time from just a spoken word, that snowballs into an avalanche. Ole Miss has been under 30 feet of (unspoken coaches name here) snow for a couple of years now.
The football teams really go after each other. The eggbowls are just brutal, “leave it all on the field - noting but pride,” type games; and they usually trade blows from year to year. Ole Miss has not had a strong basketball program except for a few runs in the late 90s and early 00s. The baseball series has been full of hot and cold runs for both teams, but no one can explain the last two years.
The in-state loses to MSU over the last two years (in every major sport), is really hard to fathom for Ole Miss fans. To lose EVERY game, EVERY time you face the in-state rival is more than circumstance, its more than an anomaly. It is a rare culmination of two athletic programs heading in opposite directions. One that is thirsty to be recognized, and one that is satisfied. One that is willing to put in the work, one that feels entitled. One that feels put upon and belittled, and one that has a heavy hand.
(Unspoken coach’s name here) has given MSU hope and a greater spirit than they have had in the past, maybe greater than in the school’s history. This spirit spreads like a fire from the football team through the entire athletic program, to the student body. While Ole Miss’ coaches smoke cigars for attending a bowl in Dallas, more than satisfied with not reaching BCS status.
These figure heads pass their attitudes and passion on to those around them. Either you have drive and passion, or you don’t. No amount of theme music or pre-game speeches can replace the unspoken.
The AD and Football coach’s offices in Oxford look like a company that has either been subject to hostile takeover or bankruptcy; secretaries crying, plants dying, desks empty. While in Starkville, the employees are at the grindstone…I guess…cause they keep saying they "be grindin."
Never the less, for one brief moment last night, Rebel fans caught a reprieve in a 75-68 home win. Perhaps one of Governor Barbour’s generous pardons was held over for the Rebels’ basketball team. A chance for Ole Miss fans to look back to pre-2009, pre-(unspoken coaches name here). And it was good.
Andy Kennedy and his undersized rebels used their athleticism and quickness to their advantage, to get open shots at the home basket, and draw fouls by being aggressive. This is such a simple game when you knock down a few shots, and beat the zone. Ole Miss still has much work to do to be a tournament team, they are still not hitting their free throws, but they are defending the home court.
Maybe this is just typical SEC road woes, maybe it was just a rare bad night for Dee Bost and the Dogs.
Or maybe a word has been spoken, momentum has turned, and a “Hugh Freeze-n” snow ball is rolling down hill to Starkville for a change. Just as sure as the sunrises and spring arrives, Ole Miss fans have to know their winter of discontent is approaching its end. Maybe not today but very soon.