As an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, I am, and forever will be, proud to call myself an Ole Miss Rebel. It is something that can never be taken away from me. The relationships that I made during my time in Oxford, and the unity that I felt among the student body was something that I have yet to feel since I graduated.
Fast forward to this year, this football season, and the culture has totally changed. I read on message boards, and I talk to people in the Grove on Saturday, and all I heard about was how this person should be the coach or they won't buy season tickets; or that person should be the new coach or the football team and athletic department won't get their money. I even witnessed Ole Miss fans throwing other Ole Miss fans out from under their tents only because they disagreed on each other's opinions. I may be a bit naive, but never once did I think that Ole Miss fans, Rebel fans, would ever treat each other with such disrespect. It just amazed me.
I understand that Rebel Nation is very frustrated with the current state of not only Ole Miss Football, but Ole Miss Athletics as a whole. And we all agree that change was needed, but no matter what the outcome will be on the decision for a new head football coach, I strongly believe that we all need to rally behind the new coach and the program, for it is fan support that will be a major factor in the future. If you don't agree with the decision that will be made by Archie Manning and Mike Glenn, then we don't need you bad mouthing our program. If you are not willing to spend the money on the season tickets because of your disagreement with the hire, then don't spend the money, and let someone else who wants tickets get your seats.
Let me give an example as to what I am talking about; when it looked like LSU fans were putting pressure on their administration to fire Les Miles after the 2009 season, the administration resisted. But the fan base stood together as one and now in 2011, LSU is just two wins away from playing for the National Championship.
No matter what disagreements we may have among each other about the state of Ole Miss Football, we MUST all stand together as one and support OUR program, because that is the only way we are going to get through this. If the party would just be half as good inside of Vaught Hemingway Stadium on Saturdays as it is in the Grove, then our football program would have the support that they deserve.