[Ed - This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.]
Juco All-American: My most memorable Ole Miss moment occured on October 31st of 1998. The first Ole Miss game I ever attended saw the LSU Tigers travel to Oxford for a sesquicentennial matchup (marking 150 years of Ole Miss) for the ages.The box score is here, but let me explain. Behind an incredible four touchdown performance by Romaro Miller and 176 yard day from Deuce McAllister, Ole Miss was up 28-10 at the half and appeared to be crusing. The score got worse for LSU at the end of the third quarter as Ole Miss had a 31-10 lead. Then came the worst fourth quarter of play I have witnessed. LSU scored 21 points to our zero, tying the score and sending the game to overtime with two seconds left in the game. I didn't really even care about the game, but I was upset. I can only imagine how my dad, a die-hard Rebel for the last 40 years, felt. Well, LSU won the toss and chose to defend. The Rebels scored in two plays on a beautiful pass from Romaro Miller to Cory Peterson. I was excited. We were right were we needed to be. Then we missed the extra point. Yeah. Rough. So LSU had the ball needing to score a touchdown and would likely win if they did. LSU ran the ball four times and passed once, bringing the ball to the Rebels 4 yard line at fourth and goal. This was it. This was the game. LSU called a timeout. They huddled up and got the play in. The play began. Herb Tyler rolled out of the pocket and threw to an open LSU receiver in the endzone (I have no idea who it was.) He dove and appeared to catch it. I couldn't see the ball at all because his back was to me. The LSU fans went nuts for 0.3 seconds.... then there was deafening cheer. The receiver had dropped the ball. The Rebels had prevailed 37-31. But we haven't gotten to my moment yet. Sure, the win was fantastic. But it was nothing compared to what I witnessed in the Grove after the walk back.
You see, one of my
friends acquaintances at the time was a huge LSU fan. I had seen him before the game started, and he had talked some ninth-grade smack. He may or may not have been wearing an airbrushed t-shirt with a tiger on the front. Anyway, he just knew Ole Miss would lose the game. Well, I just so happened to see him in the Grove afterwards at his parents' tent. He had his head hung and was sobbing uncontrollably. That is my most memorable moment. At that moment, I knew that I would give anything to experience watching an LSU fan weeping after having been defeated by the Rebels. It was then that I chose which allegiance to take from my parents, my father having gone to Ole Miss and mother having attended LSU. It was then that I was an Ole Miss fan... though I wouldn't cultivate that fandom until many years later.
One Man To Beat: 31-30, Florida ball, in Gainesville. Timmy "JC" Tebow tries to get a couple yards and a cloud of dust on a 4th and 1 to further solidify a UF FG try, but he is stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain. I threw a chair and screamed repeatedly "Give us the ball back, Tim, give us the ball back!" It was the first big win Ole Miss had secured since 2003, and the Sports Illustrated cover on the shelves of newstands made me proud to be a Rebel like never before.
Ghost of Jay Cutler: My most memorable moment as a Rebel fan was definitely the 45-0 Egg Bowl. Certainly it was soured by an embarrassing and inexcusable Egg Bowl loss the following season, but the 2008 edition of the Battle of the Golden Egg was definitely the most satisfying way to end the 2008 regular season. Mississippi State may beat us in the Egg Bowl, but I am fairly confident they'll never completely rape us quite the way Peria Jerry did on that overcast Oxford afternoon.
Ivory Tower: Ben Obomanu's dropped pass on the Plains in 2003. His butter fingers moment was, contemporaneously, the instant where I thought, "Oh ... maybe this season is going somewhere." It did not hurt that I was still very bitter about Tommy Tuberville's infamous exit from Oxford; I had a picture of the scoundrel on my wall with the subscript "Pine Box" for the rest of the semester.
Brian Walker's Elbow: 1) I am going to use the 2007 Egg Bowl as a microcosm of the Orgeron years. My first three college years were defined by Oregeron's close but no cigar campaign. All of this came to a head in the 2007 Egg Bowl. As sick as I was about the loss, Ed was fired the next day. I lost my mind after that game, but it's a nice, fuzzy feeling in retrospect. 2) My next favorite moment was the 2009 Cotton Bowl v Texas Tech. I had spent the entire season in South America, and due to how sucky the other teams in my college years were, I thought I was a "curse" for the football team. As in, the only reason they were winning was because I was not in the US. Anyway, I come back for the Cotton Bowl, and we quickly get down 14-0. I was certain it was my fault. After we ended up whipping their collective butts, I felt a lot better about my fandom. 3) Lastly, the game against LSU in November of 2009 was a blast. The refs tried to cheat us out of that game early, but we just kept fighting. A combination of our grit and fight and LSU's crapping the bed made for a great day in my life. Definitely on of the best moments of my Rebel fandom. Loved heckling the LSU fans afterwards.
Please share your own most memorable Ole Miss moments.