This week, I had every intention of getting a good series of questions going with Jeremy Flint of SBNation's Mississippi State Blog, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls. I was even being a good little Ole Miss bloggeur, preparing our questions to send their way, when Ghost, monitoring the RCR GMail account with obsessive diligence, forwarded me their questions. Our previous interaction with FWtCT, being severely limited compared to our, let's say, "relationships" with And The Valley Shook and Roll Bama Roll, did not leave me with much to anticipate regarding any sort of question and answer swappage.
But I was optimistic. I mean, we do, fairly easily, cooperate, commingle, and co-blog with damn near every other college football blog out there, regardless of affiliation. We're homers, sure, but we don't think highly enough of ourselves or our team to think less of anyone who doesn't Hotty Toddy alongside us. And, frankly, it's fun to talk football with folks who don't see things the way we do because, for starters, it's only football and, secondly, good and intelligent people of good conscious can, in fact, disagree as to who should our shouldn't win an athletic contest.
After reading the first question, I was pleased, considering it quite reasonable. "Great. I'm looking forward to this exchange. Shucks, maybe I'll even learn something or, at least, spark some good discussion."
Suffice it to say that it devolved from there. Fast. After seeing what was sent to us, I replied back to Ghost that no, I was not going to answer these questions, because I kinda take this blog seriously and I have enough of a respect for our SEC opponents - all of them - to address them and their fans with decorum and dignity. So instead of continuing the question and answer swapping, I decided just to end it there and post the ridiculous questions that Jeremy Flint asked of me.
3. TSUN has underperformed this year to say the least. Is Coach Giggity on the hot seat yet or is that even a possibility when coaching up there?4. Masoli and Bolden are key players for the Rebel Black Bear offense. Which one will be the biggest factor Saturday? Masoli's arm or Bolden's legs?5. Which loss will hurt more? Mississippi State or Jacksonville State?6. How many points will the TSUN Black Bears lose this game by?
Throw away your disbelief right now, because what you just read is very real. As I said, the first question was totally normal. Melvin Harris was an important receiver for this year, and losing him for the final game could be rough. I came up with an answer for that one that made sense and was well-reasoned. In it, I discussed that Harris, Summers, and Logan have been somewhat interchangable but that I personally liked Melvin Harris the most. I was gonna do this just as I have done with every other blog we've ever done a question and answer exchange with ever.
Then I moved onto the next question. "TSUN? What in the hell is this guy doing?" I thought that maybe he's just being sarcastic or doing a poor job of being clever. But then I kept reading, and I laughed at the guy's absurdity. Does he really think this way? Does he really get giddy and all proud of himself whenever he reminds himself just how much he hates Ole Miss? Does he expect us, or anyone, to take him seriously?
I laughed, and told Ghost I wouldn't be answering his questions, nor would I dignify him or his blog with any questions of mine - genuine or otherwise. I wasn't gonna play his stupid OMSpirit/Genespage inspired game, but I also wasn't about to show him the respect it would take for me to "take the high road" and reply to him as if he hadn't made an ass of himself.
For anyone who has grown up an Ole Miss fan in the State of Mississippi, though, this isn't even the slightest hint of surprising. Mississippi State fans have never really made it their modus operandi to be taken seriously, especially by their Rebel counterparts. Despite the fact that we grew up on the same streets, played in the same little leagues, went to the same churches, and graduated from the same high schools as many of the people who will be in Oxford clad in Maroon and white, we've all convinced ourselves that there is a great chasm of difference between our fan bases. We Rebels are guilty of this to an extent, but the greatest perpetrators of notion that they drive tractors while we sue people are undeniably State fans.
Hell, it was a State fan who coined that now ubiquitous EggBowl language (when discussing with an Omaha news reporter just how much he hates Ole Miss, despite the fact that the Bulldogs weren't even playing Ole Miss in the College World Series because Ole Miss, per the usual, wasn't even there). They fancy themselves the good to our evil and, as a result, cannot define themselves or establish any sort of identity without Ole Miss. So, in order to maintain their very essence, State fans must - not want, but must - continuously pester, antagonize, annoy, and lie about anything or anybody associated with Ole Miss. It's just who they are, and it's been who they are more-or-less ever since the inception of their school.
But, I posit to you, dear Cup reader, that this bogus Q and A wouldn't have taken place were someone other than Dan Mullen the head coach of Mississippi State. Mullen knows what we know, and that's Mississippi State's insistence on being the anti-Ole Miss is the driving force behind the Bulldogs' collective ego. So what he's done is, essentially, encourage childish dipshittery by engaging in it himself. And he hasn't done just that; he's taken up that banner proudly and thrust it out into the forefront.
It's almost as if he announced from his pulpit, "hey, State fans, it's okay to act like a bunch of spoiled babies, because I'm doing that too! And, hey, I'm as good at it as you guys are, see! PLEASE LOVE ME.
This was obviously an attempt by Flint to get under our skin and, while somewhat successful, is something that is certainly not the point of a Blogger Q&A exchange. It's immature, undiplomatic, and annoying which, when considering who exactly is making this assertion, is pretty telling of just to what extent the collective State psyche has
What next, Flint, you gonna call us "doodieheads" and then laugh at your own farts? The fact that you're the best guy SBNation could find to run as Mississippi State blog does more to damn the Bulldogs than anybody's "TSUN BLACKBEARS!!1" can do to the Rebels.