As I sit in my living room just 5 days past a Rebel victory that will likely stand amongst the most notorious & celebrated wins of the past half century I can’t help but take a moment to relish the moment. Too often we sports fans avoid living in the moment, as it can indicate a stagnancy or complacency that ignores the constant need to improve & push forward.
"We’re not where we need to be."
"This is a process."
"There’s a lot we need to work on."
Quotes such as these are commonplace amongst the coaching profession which requires one to stay vigilant and never get comfortable, no matter the level of success. In the same vein, it’s normal for a fan to look towards the possible as opposed to simply enjoying the actual.
I want to take this moment and implore fans & alums of Ole Miss to try and do both. As a person who tends to struggle with anything moderate I can relate to our penchant for extreme emotions(Hence the two extreme meanings of WAOM referenced by OxpatchReb this week). But I want to caution the Rebel faithful….good times don’t always continue but they can always be enjoyed as they exist. So please….take the bye week to enjoy the fact that we have 3 losses and 0 losses. Take the bye week to appreciate the passion with which our players enter and exit the field. Take the bye week to realize that, like much of life, the joys we are experiencing are not infinite. They are meant to be savored like fine wine or the touch of a woman. The undefeated streak may not last but the memories of this September will be eternal.
Hugh Freeze will not be the coach of the Ole Miss Rebels forever. I know…it’s blasphemy to utter such words so early into his existence. But truth be told, in all likelihood one of two things will occur. Either 1)Freeze will continue to build this program until he himself moves on to bigger and better things or 2)this program and its expectations will(eventually…certainly not immediately) outgrow Freeze. I can assure you that these are generally the only two ways these stories end. If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Hugh leaving us for another opportunity. He will likely stay after another 2-4 years with the Rebels but sometimes these things evolve on a timetable on their own.
I say all this to suggest that you embrace this moment. Should Hugh get a better opportunity it would be welcome news. It would signify that he has improved our program significantly and we have truly transformed our place in the SEC. I also mention this to say that I think Hugh Freeze is genuine in his feelings for Oxford, its people, and the university. If Hugh does leave, his decision will not be solely capitalistic but rather because he has contributed all he feels he can contribute and he thinks there is another challenge elsewhere.
You should expect such a move. Not because we are ‘little old Ole Miss’ that can’t compete but rather because, after much initial skepticism, I have begun to believe that Hugh is a truly special leader. His authenticity is becoming more evident daily to those around the country & I have little doubt that this will grow as the exposure to our program grows.
You should expect such a move because I expect this program to experience a helluva lot of fun times over the next few seasons. I expect us to look some fantastic, impenetrable programs in the face and I expect us to come out on top sometimes. I think that we will truly experience emotions this fan base hasn’t felt (save for 2003)in decades. And I fear that if we don’t take this moment….yes this bye week….to savor the moment and truly embrace the fun we’re going to experience, that the moment might pass us by.
Let us not get caught up in what is possible. Let us not get caught up in what might have been. I hope that the Rebels that read this site as well as the Rebels who do not learn to savor the wins as well as the rollercoaster that will also include some very tough losses. Let us get caught up in who we actually are. Let us get caught up in Hugh Freeze and his brigade of Rebels.
I hope you don’t miss a second of this band of Rebels. Or, as our leader Hugh Freeze would say……...................