The answer to that is undoubtedly a resounding "no," and that's fine with me. If our friends in Starkville want to continue to engage in a practice that literally every other member of the SEC mocks, that's all the better. But a lawsuit filed last month in Oktibbeha County court* seeks to compensate the plaintiff, a fan who was assaulted at last year's Egg Bowl by a man wielding his trusty bell, for damages which include "concussion, memory loss, mental and emotional distress and anguish, depression, paranoia, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life and inability to pursue prior educational and professional goals."
Loss of enjoyment of life? Look, friend, I know that a concussion and staples in the head aren't likely very enjoyable in and of themself, but you've got stuff like bourbon and Netflix and coitus to ease all of that, right?
Named as defendants are the attacker, the Southeastern Conference, and Commissioner Mike Slive for possessing a "knowing refusal" to enforce the long-standing and oft-ignored league ban on artificial noisemakers. Here's actual language from the actual complaint filed in an actual court regarding an actual assault with a cowbell:
The SEC’s knowing refusal to take the steps necessary to enforce its rule that would prohibit cowbells inside Davis Wade Stadium proximately caused a serious head injury to Mr. Brasher...If the SEC had taken the steps necessary to enforce its rule prohibiting artificial noisemakers, including cowbells, Mr. Brasher would not have been attacked with a cowbell.
"You can't make this stuff up," or "only in Mississippi," or whatever cliched response you've got conjured up would be appropriate here.
Regardless, the outcome of this ridiculous suit comes down to the ability of the plaintiff to demonstrate that the conference knowingly allowed State to break the rules and that, had they not done so, said plaintiff would not have suffered the injuries he did. Being as how that's a fair enough assumption to make, I think we can expect to see this one settled outside of the courtroom.
I don't think anybody's gonna take State's precious bells. I don't think this plaintiff and his lawyers - who, by the way, are based out of Oxford - are looking for anything other than some money in the bank. I don't think Mike Slive, nor Mississippi State (interestingly, State wasn't named as a defendant) could give much of a shit about this suit and I truly do not think cowbells are going to be banned any time soon. In a few weeks, most of us will likely have forgotten that this whole incident ever even happened.
Still, if this ain't the type of drama that makes the Egg Bowl fun and infuriating, then I don't have a clue what is. "We beat people over the head with antiquated farm equipment welded to a bicycle handle; they sue people."
*Look at Sleazey Veazey over there on the State blog all typing and shit. We see you, Veaze.