Because I'm bored and in an effort to coax Whiskey Wednesday's ass out of blog hibernation, I'm doing this now...a week and a half into 2010. Get over it. We didn't really think about writing this until maybe a few days ago anyway.
The title is self-explanitory enough for me to skip the wordy introductions and cut right to the chase. The five greatest moments in Rebel athetics from the last calendar year are as follows:
HONORABLE MENTION - January 27, 2009: Rebels defeat Wildcats. Y'all may have forgotten this, but last season saw Andy Kennedy's squad defeat the Kentucky Wildcats, a feat no Ole Miss team had accomplished in eight seasons prior. Keeping this moment out of reach of the real countdown as an honorable mention is Kentucky's poor season last year (wasn't that something like the worst Wildcat team in a few decades?) and our outbreak of musculo-skeletal breakdown.
- FIVE - April 25, 2009: Draft Day. Michael Oher and Peria Jerry were drafted back-to-back, becoming the first tandem of Rebels chosen in the first round. Jerry would, unfortunately, suffer a season-ending knee injury early in his career as an Atlanta Falcon, but Michael Oher showed everyone just why Michael Lewis featured him in the book on left tackles. Oher's dominance, alongside the release of The Blind Side, did fantastic things for Ole Miss' PR and, as I would imagine, has had some positive impact on our football program.
FOUR - Several dates: Magnolia State > Natural State. Whiskey Wednesday and I discussed this recently during a rousing GChat session (see: it kept me from falling asleep at work), and both agreed that the outcome of all of our major athletic contests against the Razorbacks during 2009 were most exhilarating. That is, we won. They didn't beat us. Why does this matter than, say, our victories over other SEC opponents? Look at this t-shirt. It is a popular list of grievances fed-up Razorback fans had with Houston Nutt a few years back during his final years in Fayetteville. Notice, the mention of Nutt's 12 wins over "Miss schools" as an attempt to denigrate his SEC record while coaching the Hogs. Yep, that's right, to Arkansas fans, wins over Mississippi State and Ole Miss should be foregone conclusions.
Well get this: hubris is a real, angry bitch of a bitch, Arkansas fans. In 2009, Ole Miss did not lose to Arkansas in football, basketball, or baseball. Our Rebels accomplished a clean sweep of the three biggest sports in our conference, a feat which rarely happens between any two SEC schools, and it happened just this last year. We are not an automatic win. Do not let your unfounded, provincial, black t-shirt wearing (where do you shop, Hot Topic?) nonsense fool you into thinking otherwise.
Have fun beating ass in cross country. We'll be over here doing shit that people actually notice.
Oh, and another thing, quotation marks are not used to show emphasis, Northwest Arkansan t-shirt designers.
- THREE - May 16, 2009: Baseball Earns SEC Regular Season Title, Sorta. So we tied with LSU, and so they took the series from us. The SEC still said we're champs. Hell, they sent us trophies and rings and all of that shit so there. Congrats-ish to Mike Bianco and the boys for, once again, getting us really excited about our chances to make it to Omaha, only to stuff our dreams into a zeppelin before crashing the damn thing into some power lines.
- TWO - January 2, 2009: Cotton Bowl. This Cotton Bowl was actually one that people watched and were subsequently glad they watched. It was also the very Cotton Bowl which thrust us into the bizarre and undeserved realm of "media darling" which, until Bradley Sowell's trepidation and Jevan Snead's regression to the mean joined forces to just shit all over everything, was pretty damn fun. Sending Michael Oher, Mike Wallace, Jason Cook, and Peria Jerry out on an extremely positive note felt very good deep down in all of our Rebel hearts, and watching the much adored and highly favored Texas Tech Red Raider squad throw hissy-fits all over the field after losing to Houston Nutt's three ring circus put a smile on all of our faces.
- ONE - November 21, 2009: Les Miles Exposed. "Dear" LSU, we told you so. Signed, the rest of the SEC. I needn't really use much detail to explain why this season's LSU victory was so great. The weekend in Oxford was thrilling, the Grove was a blast, and finally giving LSU the heartbreak of a bizarre, last-second loss was enough to make that day and the weekend which surrounded it one of epic proportions.
Whiskey Wednesday will deliver shortly with the five most nauseatingly terrible moments of 2009. You masochists know you can't wait.