[QUEUE THEME MUSIC FROM "TWENTY-FOUR."
Whether as the long-running gag of the Late Show or the code-name for Keith Olberman's cable news worship service for Barack Obama, nothing grabs your attention like a good countdown. The FBI has aroused great attention for the poor, unnoticed criminal masses with its "Most Wanted List." The American Film Institute re-releases every year its "100 Greatest Films of All Time." From Casey Casum to Santa Claus to Schindler, everybody's got to have a list, and, sure as there's a hound dog in Georgia, we at the Cup are no different. In 10 days, Ole Miss football will be upon us. Well, eleven days. But we take off on Sunday because some of us care about giving Jesus his vacation time. Appropriately, we'll be ... nostalging ... over the 10 greatest moments from Ole Miss football 2008.
[CUT THEME MUSIC FROM "TWENTY-FOUR." QUEUE DRUM ROLL. FIRE SOUND EFFECTS GUY.]
Coming in at Number 10 ...
Instead of popping the cork to really start this celebration, we thought it'd be appropriate to show you video of the methaphorical cork being put back into the symbolic bottle:
The scene for me is the basement of the Pink Palace in Memphis. Yours truly was all set to visit the State where everything has to be Natural (else, we'd have to morally impugn the union of Grandma and Uncle Grandad), but love got in the way in the very literal form of One Man marrying his sweet wife and FotC (we'll call her "Shoestring Tackle"). It probably shouldn't have been a wet wedding, since running drunk up and down stairs from the reception to the basement (where sat what was, apparently, the only radio in all of Memphis) might have been a pretty significant liability risk. Neverthless, when the Rebels went up by nine with 1:45 left in the game, I was comfortable enough with the margin to head back upstairs, grab a beer, convince the lovely couple's parents that I had not bailed on the festivities to drink beer alone and listen to the radio, and promptly return to my state of drinking beer alone and listening to the radio. "Last one," said the bartender. This was going to be a good beer. This would be my victory beer.
Anyway, I got back just in time to hear the Razorbacks kicking the extra point to pull within two points, and, holy crap, I was certain that I was an on-side recovery and miracle field goal away from Whitfield. Rarely have I had the sense of "WE ARE OLE MISS" foreboding that drew across my countenance in that basement in that city that mixes delightful Mississippi gentility and Arkansan mental illness.
"Man, I sure do hope [ONE MAN] and [SHOESTRING TACKLE] don't have some douchebag Razorback limo driver because these are the sorts of people that would jeer newlyweds," is what I would have thought to myself, but, alas, I was totally consumed with my own happiness and stability.
On-side kick recovered by Arkansas.
It all seemed to be coming true. I was overcome. I saw apocalyptic visions - a serpent with the face of Bobby Petrino and the grammar of Gonzohog striking at the heels of Colonel Reb himself. I saw Chancellor Khayat crying and Ed Orgeron laughing. The top had been blown off my victory beer, and it [the beer] was pouring mercilessly, metaphorically on the ground.
But, then, fate or providence or, perhaps, simply the greatest ally one can ever have in combat - I mean, of course, the error of your opponent - intervened, or, I might say, pushed the cork back in the bottle, when London Crawford reached out and touched somebody. Pass interference, no completion. Incomplete. Incomplete. Incomplete. And the Rebels take over on downs. At that moment, somewhere, I think Robert Khayat's (real) fake knees (methaphorically) turned to diamonds. Colonel Reb had stamped the head of the serpent. And my beer had not been emptied onto the cruel ground. It was contained. Preserved. And, instead of being lost, everything that came afterward was twice as sweet as I could have expected.
I eventually came out of my apocalyptic trance, though I am sure that for the rest of the reception I was singing whatever is analogous to hallelujah choruses when you're drunk and hopped up on someone else's athletic achievement. And, so, I went on generally acting like Shooter McGavin and documented it all carefully so that I might share it with you as the tenth greatest moment in the 2008 history of OLE MISS!!!1!