The 2017 Egg Bowl was unreasonably chippy, perhaps and in part fueled by an ongoing NCAA investigation that’s relied heavily on Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis’ testimony regarding impermissible benefits offered him by Ole Miss. These teams always already hate each other, and their respective fan bases couldn’t detest the other more than they would a leprotic rat.
The 2017 Egg Bowl ended with an Ole Miss victory, 31-28. It was close and fought tooth-and-nail to the bitter end, until the Rebels recovered a CLANGA onside kick attempt and kneeled the game into zeroes. But that was merely the conclusion of a foul-ridden and penalty-laden affair that saw the ejection of arguably Ole Miss’ best up-front defender, Breeland Speaks. Speaks recovered a fumble, smiled for the cameras, then later hit a man in the face — twice — and earned an ejection. Here’s how he exited the stadium
Breeland Speaks after he was DQd. pic.twitter.com/2HUKqV91Vz— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) November 24, 2017
Prior to Speaks’ lauded exit, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf caught a wondrous touchdown pass then proceeded to pantomime a dog peeing on CLANGA’s end zone. Mississippi State’s mascot is a bulldog, by the way.
In the week’s lead-up to the game, Mississippi State and Ole Miss’ athletic directors issued joint statements calling for civility and respect during the game, perhaps in anticipation of something like Mark Schlabach’s moribund op-ed dubbing the Egg Bowl the country’s most venomous rivalry. It’s venomous in the way that a casketed snake is venomous: leave it be and it’ll tire itself out eventually. No need to shake the basket.
Anyway, after Thursday night’s shenanigans — in part fueled by the ESPN broadcast’s insistence on how damn intense this rivalry is — interim head coach Matt Luke, D.K. Metcalf, and Breeland Speaks offered the following apologias for Ole Miss’ collective bad (hiccup) behavior.
Ole Miss released statements from Matt Luke (top), D.K. Metcalf and Breeland Speaks about Egg Bowl behavior. pic.twitter.com/o2jeQKe74E— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) November 26, 2017
Boilerplate stuff that says what everyone who was offended wants to hear without saying much at all. There’s really no need for canned and prepared statements like this, with the possible exception of Speaks, who nearly blew the game for Ole Miss. D.K., you are entirely forgiven, not that you needed an indulgence in the first place. Luke, you’ve exhibited yourself as an exemplary College Football Politician.
There will surely be howling about 2017’s Egg Bowl for years to come. And why not? Nick Fitzgerald, one of the country’s best quarterbacks, was taken down in awkward fashion and had his foot turned around. He’ll be out for a long time and that fucking sucks, because he’s fun to watch, even if he fights for the enemy.
Civility and respect.