[ED: I'm frontpaging this. Good points and observations here.]
But let's be honest, what else is new? Unfortunately, Ole Miss' past is a lose-lose situation. There's no escaping it. And no matter how much we run, it's always going to catch up. I mean, did the administration honestly believe that once the Black Bear made his appearance our problems would vanish? Because, guess what? They aren't. This article is in response to Rebel Roundup August 17, 2012 (sort of). Details after the jump...When I said response to the Rebel Roundup, I meant that it is more like an addition. My concern is the article from the Kansas City Star, "Traditions define SEC football, especially at Ole Miss." When thinking of Missouri and Texas, you should think of them of as strange new worlds being colonized by SEC football. To help the locals understand the schools, they use a medium like a newspaper. Now I completely agree with The Ghost of Jay Cutler's assessment on the article. It's definitely more mainstream and does give us a fair shake. However, that is only if you are well versed in the SEC, Ole Miss, and all the baggage that's handcuffed to our wrist that comes along, which the locals of Kansas City are anything but versed in the SEC.
The average local Kansas City resident is either decked out in his red and blue, Rock Chalk attire pulling for his beloved Jayhawks or, the more relevant resident, is rocking out in his/her Mizzou hoodie, flip flops, pants, shirt, probably underwear, and all things MIZ-ZOU-RAH! These people are the scum of the Earth, and new members of the SEC. But, hey, we needed fourteen and they were there. Additionally, Mizzou folks don't understand anything about the SEC or Ole Miss. In fact, the most that they did know was that, "The Grove was great when we tailgated down there back in 2007" (that quote courtesy of a co-worker). So the Kansas City Star naturally sets about informing it's readership about the SEC in general.
When I say, "in general" I mean that the article about Ole Miss is one of many. And this where I start to get a beef with the Kansas City Star. So let's run down the list of their up to date, "Life in the SEC" series:
"Huge stadiums rule in the SEC" - South Carolina piece, loyalty of fans, in the South football is king, etc.
"Mizzou is ready to dive into SEC's football culture" - Pretty much a good pep talk to a fan base that's either scared shitless or delusional with grandeur
"At Florida, Spurrier made the SEC play catch-up" - A weird puff piece for the Spurrier, and how he alone made the SEC great. Plus, a feel good article for 90's Florida football. All in all weird...
"Tennessee, Summit opened door to women's sports" - Title IX, Tennessee puff piece, feel good all around
"Texas A&M opens new world for Texas recruiting" - Fairly self explanatory
"Football takes backseat in the Bluegrass State" - Their attempt to explain why Kentucky is in the SEC.
So all in all, these articles or more or less positive for their respective schools. They make you feel warm and fuzzy and walk away with that, "Ah... I didn't know that" feeling. And then the Ole Miss bombshell dropped. Destroying our chances of winning over a new public. So when Mizzou fans think of Ole Miss in the KC area they'll think, "Oh yea... the racists." Pretty much, our article, our "puff piece", is an ugly dedication to the darkest time in our history. And there's nothing Tre Stallings can say or do that's gonna help us. And like usual, we can't escape our past despite all of our attempts to change. This is the last thing we need when we are introducing ourselves to a new audience. But worse yet, there's nothing we can do, but fasten our chin straps and embrace the suck. Me especially, because now I get the pleasure of explaining to co-workers the confused saga of Ole Miss history, which they still don't get. Because it's just easier to understand it through Mississippi stereotypes. Yet, even easier to ignore their own integration issues from back in the day.
I guess what I'm trying to say is the article is good, until it's put into context. Then it's probably one of the more terrible things I've read. And, I know I'm just preaching to the choir here, but I pray Ole Miss starts to win football games because if we don't we'll never get out of October 1, 1962's shadow.