Ole Miss has embarked on their seventh-annual BancorpSouth Rebel Road Trip this spring and summer. Per tradition and just like the six before it, this “road trip” has featured Ole Miss fan meet-ups in Charlotte, Pensacola, New Orleans, and Birmingham, among others. The tour culminates its summer trek in Jackson, Miss., on July 17 and Memphis on July 19.
But the one spot that caught our eye here at Red Cup was the one last Friday in New York City. Yes, we are talking about the first journey for the BancorpSouth Rebel Road Trip to the city that invented barbecue, tacos, and Chick-fil-A, which means it’s worth documenting.
Participants traveling to the home of Rutgers University’s main TV market include head football coach Matt Luke, new Rebel women’s basketball coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork, and Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, who is somehow still allowed to attend meetings that are intended to generate excitement and confidence among Ole Miss fans. While we’re sure Luke, McPhee-McCuin, and Bjork may offer comments of note, we are mostly enamored with Luke and his itinerary in Manhattan.
So, we dug deep into our budget, got the go ahead from the higher-ups at SB Nation, and embarked on a Rebel Road Trip of our own to join our football dad in the Concrete Jungle, where dreams are made of.
Here is the Red Cup Review of our time spent with Coach Luke in the The City So Nice, They Named It Twice.
The first thing you want to do when you visit the BIG CITY is not look like a tourist who fell off the daggum turnip truck. Matt Luke, a veteran of all things cosmopolitan, knows this and was able to seamlessly blend in with the locals.
Where else but New York, the greatest city on Earth, can you find a Rolex for $20 and some Oakley’s for $5? Plus, a kind gentleman looking to make it as a rapper sold his entire discography to our beloved head football coach to listen in on his Discman on the flight home. The players back home are really going to enjoy the new tunes in the locker room this season.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are happy to report that none of the locals at the Hershey’s Chocolate World in Times Square had any idea Luke wasn’t one of them.
If you’ve ever been to New York, you know that finding great food isn’t a problem, but deciding where to eat can result in arguments more heated than why a home team can’t get out of its own baseball regional (TOO SOON?). Fortunately, Matt Luke knew what he wanted to eat when he walked out of the hotel, which is the type of focus you can expect from someone who knows taking your best player off the field inside the 10-yard line qualifies as mild-altering stupidity.
Coach Luke perused the hotel provided menu of fine dining nearby - Red Lobster, TGIFriday’s, Olive Garden, really the murderer’s row of eats. But, instead of opting for a more formal restaurant, Luke chose to go casual and grab one of New York’s most famous sandwiches.
Just add ketchup and it’s ready to devour!
After a hearty meal like that, it’s smart to slow down an- HANG ON. Stop right there. ENHANCE.
ONCE MORE, PLEASE.
ENHANCE TO THE POINT WE’RE INSIDE THE RESTAURANT.
But of course.
No trip to New York is complete without experiencing the arts, whether it’s a museum, play, or musical. There’s an endless supply of options, but, once again, Matt Luke knew exactly how he wanted to spend his afternoon in the city. With a little bit of luck and #TheNetwork doin’ work, HAMILTON TICKETS FOR HIM AND CROOTS IN THE AREA.
The cast of Hamilton and playwritght, Lin-Manuel Miranda, were so honored and excited to meet a real-life Power 5 football coach that they broke out into song.
“WHAT’S YA NAME MAN!” - cast
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BLOOD TO BE FAMILY, YOU JUST GOTTA BE REAL!” - Luke
“...no it’s...this is the part when you say ‘Alexander Hamilton’.” - Miranda
“Let’s try it again...IN NEW YORK YOU CAN BE A NEW MAN (just you wait) IN NEW YORK YOU CAN...” - CAST
“AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI WE ARE GOING TO BE BLUE COLLAR AND WE ARE MISSISSIPPI MADE”- Luke
“fine, forget it, great to meet you, coach” - Miranda
“G O O D!” - Luke
We must say, it was splendid going to The Big Apple and getting to hang with coach. His eyes were lit up with not only the bright lights of Time Square, but of inspiration and hope for a successful 2018 and a bowl game in 2019. Thanks again to SB Nation for letting us take this journey with coach and to witness greatness.
Can’t wait for the 2019 Rebel Road Trip and the sequel, Mississippi Made in Manhattan: We Can Go to a Bowl Game.