So there's been some buzz about the tuberwebs in these here parts, regarding a letter sent to Doctah Jones from some concerned Rebel fans and Alumni. It was all very hush, hush to start with. Very cloak and dagger, don't tell ya mom an nem but... type of stuff. Turns out, all the secrecy and reluctance to put this out in the open was for no other reason than some guys wanting to hang on to the knowledge that the "biggest secret in town" started on their private website.
I was able to get copies of the letter sent to Jones, his response and the groups response to his response, got that? Good, cause there's a test at the conclusion of this lesson.
They are long letters, but worth the read. I'll run a quick summary in case anyone has trouble with the written word, or a couple thousand of them.
Basically, they explain to Jones that the past 40 years of OM sports results are completely unacceptable, and outlined 3 steps they believe will help rectify this sporting injustice. Whether you agree with those 3 steps or not (I just so happen to concur), you have to give them credit for offering solutions, not just complaints.
Jones responds by promising them that.....(blah, blah, blah... uhhh.....is that peanut butter on my shirt.... damn.... ahhhhh...shhhh, what? What happened? Did I fall asleep?) which amounts to a promise to keep moving on the same current course, just, uhhh, well... faster and with gusto, I guess.
And then the group responds to his placating, impotent, flaccid letter with some sassitude and direct point by point beat down of Jones' rah rah bullshit.
Overall, they said alot of good things, they explain our frustration as a fanbase (at least, those of us concerned with winnin n shit) very well and demand change. They even do a great job of pushing harder in the response letter instead of taking Jones' fluff piece back to the poker room as some sort of sad triumph in recognition from a top man at OM.
They failed however, to speak directly and candidly about the people in charge who blow spectacularly sized elephant rocket (PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BBBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE) and who continually show less than average intelligence, leadership, fund raising ability and strategic planning skills and have done so to the OBVIOUS detriment of the entire program during their entire tenure as AD. I would like to have seen them call out the people who suck, and praise the people who have done some great work. But, maybe they are saving that for later, because they were fully expecting Jones to blow them off, and they wanted to save the best for last. In fact, they vaguely allude to the fact that this whole mishegoss ain't quite over. Perhaps they are starting small with a private (oops) letter to Jones to allow him the chance to handle this at his discretion, there by avoiding what will only become more and more heated and ugly as more fans, students and Alumni get on board.
One thing, and perhaps the most disturbing thing about Jones' response is the undying man-love he seems to have for his old buddy Petey. He does not admit a single mis-step, falter or mistake in the entire letter. He mentions that we aren't where we all wish we were, yes. But he refers to the great job Pete and his staff are doing repeatedly. He sounds like he's writing Pete's online dating blurb. Jones sounds completely contented in the product Pete Boone is giving the University of Mississippi. And THAT, my friends, is damn scary.
I for one, want to be involved in the next round of letters. Be that some language guidance for the letter, or simply my signature, phone number, address, work address, email, daily schedule, license plate number, blood type, etc just in case Doctah Jones or Petey Boy wanna chat.