5. Baseball team is ranked #4 preseason, only to drop games against such impressive opponents as Central Arkansas, Western Kentucky, and Southern Miss, while losing series against TCU, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. While maybe not the disaster it once seemed (the Diamond Rebs have since climbed back to #21), complaining about being ranked below Arizona State now seems a little silly. Defense, hitting, and pitching have all been suspect for the Rebels, which would seem strange, excepting for the fact that Mike Bianco claimed that this was his most talented squad ever, thus bringing upon them the ire of the sports gods. Though the team has stumbled their way back into contention for a regional host site, the fan experience has become less about the game and more about pounding back beers until compelled to piss on the tennis courts. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Speaking of lofty expectations...
4. Basketball team ranked #15 midseason, only to fall to LSU, Auburn (twice!!!), South Carolina, etc., etc. Basketball season was a long, unusual, and unsatisfying cock tease this year... David Huertas, billed as a sensational shooter, and heir apparent to... uh (quick, who was the last great Ole Miss basketball player? Anyone?), no one, I guess, ended up a major disappointment for all but about five games, leaving the weight on the shoulders of a man who makes Todd Abernathy look like the Incredible Hulk. Coming off another season in football hell, and off to a 14-0 start, it seemed safe to assume good things about the Rebs' postseason chances. We all know how that turned out. Anyways, like most good Ole Miss failures, apologists abound, using excuses that justify such collapses. We weren't supposed to be good anyway. The boys tried hard. Wait till next year.
3. 4th & 1: Surely Sylvester Croom crafted his Egg Bowl victory celebration for maximum irony and Ole Miss fan annoyance. After a banner year of player misconduct, even for State, Croom fakes his way to a win and the first thing he can choke out is: "They have so much character..." Sly's tears subsided long enough for him to stumble around Scott Field waving a giant MSU flag in a state of elation totally becoming of someone who, like Croom, makes 6 or 7 figures and can NEVER. BE. FIRED. All this ballyhoo is of course caused by an agonizingly inevitable chain of mental failures by one Ed 'the Orgeron' Orgeron. After building a sizable lead by playing aggressive defense and creative, misdirection offense, O decides to run up the middle out of the I formation and to start coaching his defense with all the subterfuge of Art Kaufman and the tenacity of Chuck Driesbach. This prompted, of course, a series of punts, one of which was a low rocket that landed gently in the hands of one Derek Pegues, who waltzed in largely untouched to tie the game. Oops. The decision to try for the 1st on 4th and 1 was largely inconsequential. Yes, it was probably too risky. But regardless of punt, turnover on downs, or first down Ole Miss, the outcome would likely have been the same for the Rebels, who proved through all 12 games that poor decision making and shit luck do not make a good pair.
2. Daytime Fireworks: Fireworks, according to Wikipedia, "were originally invented by the Chinese, for entertainment purposes, as a natural extension of the Chinese invention of gunpowder." Browsing further down the article, I noticed, among several breathtaking pictures of fireworks shows, one hell of a coincidence: it was night time in ALL of the pictures! Every last one! Looking further into this quandary, I found that most fireworks considered appropriate for midday use included small consumer devices such as smoke bombs, bottle rockets, and black cats, which rely more on sound that light effects. I also read (and I recommend that wikipedia check their sources on this one) that fireworks can be DANGEROUS, and should be used with a certain degree of advanced planning and caution! How wacky! Anyways, point is, I can't describe the upwelling of emotion and pride in my alma mater that I felt when I beheld the wonderful display of black smoke and artillery fire that arose from some unspecified place right outside Vaught Hemingway stadium, alarming the senile and boring everyone else. What an appropriate way to celebrate a long overdue fundraising effort with a poor marketing campaign during a noonday skulldragging at the hands of our beloved Razorback brethren! You also have to love the symbolism behind nearly blowing up the jumbotron and sound system, at the possible peril of unwilling bystanders. A real classy touch. After all, its the REDBLUE in you!!! I'm starting to see how getting my marketing degree from Ole Miss is about as ironic as getting a degree in dental medicine from West Virginia.
1a. Doyle Jackson and 'the catch:' where does one even start? This one has all the trappings: A loss to Alabama, corrupt officials, conspiracy within the SEC office, angry drunken students, a country song, and a single red slipper, and the single greatest screw job in sports for 2007. Without recapping all the gory details, we got hosed, and the entire SEC knows it. Fuck you, Doyle, burn in hell.
1b. Changing the culture of alcohol: although the Bama game was certainly the most agonizing Ole Miss event of 2007/8, C.T.C.O.A. has to be the most fitting. Caught in a perpetual struggle betwixt GOB's and progressives, with a healthy dose of idiots in between, something Ole Miss folks could generally always agree on was that we like to get shithoused, together, in nice clothing. In reaction to complaints by alumni about drunk students getting in the way of their children's razor scooter races through the Grove on Saturdays, it became increasingly clear to the Chancellor that even this point of agreement was in jeopardy, and a very convoluted plan was in order. The plan, one of the many provisions of which allows liquor but not beer in the Grove, could not be aimed more squarely at allowing alumni to drink unimpeded unless the only permitted beverages were top-shelf scotch and Cristal mimosas. Past the liquor/beer rule, shit gets really weird. A guidebook of How to Permissibly Drink Underage at Ole Miss ought to be handed out at orientation. I don't have a damn clue how it works... Thus, having confused the shit out of everyone and rid campus of the greatest threat known to humanity, RK was left at peace to continue knocking down the houses of Asian families to build a new law school that we don't really need.
That's a wrap, folks, enjoy your weekend, except on Sundays, and without any open containers, or beer on the Northeast side of campus, and with a lock on your coolers...