Spring is in the air! The girls have traded in Uggs for Rainbows, Spirit posters are arguing about mascots and establishing all-girl cheer squads, baseball team is underachieving way ahead of schedule, and vast hordes of unwashed hippies lie waiting in the hills of Lafayette county to descend upon Double Decker... So now is as good a time as any to look back and reflect on the ten events that most aptly defined the University this year.
10. On the way out the door, Hugh Freeze, Brent Schaeffer, and the spread option leave Ole Miss fans bitterly aware of the fact that Ed Orgeron delegates and manages talent as well as Helen Keller could snow ski. Freeze draws comparisons to Vince Lombardi, Stephen Hawking, and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, before being snubbed by HDN and returning to the high school ranks.
9. The quest for a receiver for Ole Miss fans to erroneously compare to Randy Moss continues... A.J. Jackson, 6-6 receiver from College of Sequoias (with an offer from USC) elects to pursue a career in cannabis consumption rather than endure the potential stress of a stint in the National Football League. A few months later, Deandre Brown, a top 10 national prospect from Ocean Springs, standing 6-6 and drawing comparisons to Calvin Johnson, spurns the advances of LSU and Ole Miss (after being rumored as a lock for each school at different times) chooses to further his academic pursuits at the University of Southern Mississippi. HDN counters by signing a 6-7 fellow from Georgia named Melvin who, despite an Auburn offer and favorable comparisons to Marcus Monk, probably has to avoid walking around in a stiff breeze for fear of breaking in half.
8. At the end of a thrilling back and forth match between a highly ranked Tennessee basketball squad, Dwayne Curtis, an 80% free throw shooter, gets the ball under the basket with a chance to put the game away. Much like determining the world record for the fastest banjo picker, the use of a slow motion camera is necessary to determine exactly how many times Curtis was fouled during his two attempts under the bucket. Suffice it to say, none of these roughly 83 fouls were called, but when Kenny Williams (a sub-par shooter
) rebounds and puts up another shot, a (non-shooting) foul is whistled. Williams misses the front end of a 1-1, and the rest is history
7. Ole Miss athletics continues its use of NERF (or Meridian-based NERF knockoff) weaponry in the SEC facilities arms race. Baseball expansions are scaled down and futzed-with, basketball teams are forced to practice with buckets on the floor while funding for the BPF flounders, and plans for painting all four sides of the football stadium the SAME DAMN COLOR are nonexistent.
6. Staring a likely blowout in the face, a spunky Rebel football team has the ball at the Georgia Bulldog's 1 yard line in Athens, about to go up 14-0 against a young and run-heavy SEC opponent. Senior center/foul generator Corey Actis has been benched, bringing in senior center Thomas Eckers, who, despite not being the most physical player, has generally been consistent and fundamentally sound. I can barely even finish this entry. Jesus. Eckers botches the snap, and earns the #6 spot on this list of microcosmic Ole Miss sports moments. Also, JUCO All-American loses a bet that forces him to buy One Man to Beat a catfish dinner.
I'll finished the list tomorrow. The memories are too fresh and vivid. My head hurts.