As a former Ole Miss coach who liked spending his money in the Tampa area might say, we’ve taken the first few steps in our journey across 2020. The start of this journey feels much different than last year’s, mainly because hope and excitement have replaced wailing, gnashing of teeth, rubbing ashes in our hair, and wearing sackcloths*.
With the hiring of Lane Kiffin as head football coach, there’s a feeling that maybe, just maybe, Ole Miss has done the impossible and taken a step in the direction of getting out of its own way. It’s too early to tell if that’s true, but we do know, at least on the surface, it doesn’t appear to be more of the same, which has been Ole Miss’ specialty.
Because another helping of HE’S A GOOD REBEL may not be a part of 2020, we need to make a few changes via resolutions. However, like any veteran Ole Miss fan, we know the pro move is to always (ALWAYS) hedge against potential emotional devastation.
*Obvs only the most stylish sackcloths because we have to keep up appearances in The Grove.
(1) Buy Season Tickets
I’M BACK, BABY.
I had season tickets since 2012 but did not renew prior to last season because I decided that, in a fit of reasonable thought, I should place greater value on my time and money. Miracles can happen!
Now with the Lane Train roaring to life, take my season ticket money and spend it on something dumb like recreating the entire set, with games, of The Price Is Right in the Indoor Practice Facility instead of giving it to the player - hang on. This would be good not dumb. And it would be even less dumb if an entire episode of The Season was devoted to filming players and coaches playing the Cliffhanger game.
But also pay the players.
(2) Attend The Opener Against Baylor in Houston
I live in Austin, which is about a 2.5-hour drive from the endless concrete, so I am bound by guilt to go. If you went in 2018 when Ole Miss played Texas Tech, you will remember that a good time was had by all.
STORY TIME: After that game, I had plans to meet up with my esteemed Red Cup Rebellion dot com colleagues. Fortunately, the bar I first visited was within walking distance of the bar where they were.
After trucking it through the horrific humidity, I arrived at said bar, got a beer, and started looking for them, but I determined they were not there. I texted one of them, “I’m at Designated Bar, where are y’all?”. The response was, “We are at Designated Bar, and you are not.”
Turns out I stopped about two blocks early and went in the wrong bar. About the time I realized this, a humidity-fueled thunderstorm erupted. As much as I enjoy their company, I wasn’t about to get soaked and/or struck by lightning to do so.
That meant I sat there by myself for 30 minutes while waiting out the storm. However, all was not lost, as I got to watch Michigan Men lose to Notre Dame.
(3) So, D.J. Durkin?
Ah yes, love when my favorite sports team reminds me that sports and the demand to win above all else can be extremely gross. I’d like to think Ole Miss, particularly Keith Carter, wouldn’t sign off on this hire without Durkin admitting he made psychotic choices* and failed his players, but I don’t know!
Ole Miss allegedly talked to people who know him and/or worked with him to determine if he was a person they could trust to not be an asshole, and they decided he was. When they interviewed Durkin, I hope he recounted his terrible mistakes, expressed sorrow, and explained how he has changed.
Maybe he did, but again, I don’t know (reminder: membership to this site is free). If he has, I shall believe it when I see it.
*Notably the “motivational” videos and not keeping tabs on his lunatic strength and conditioning coach. Of course, that brings up whether he failed to monitor him or knew what he was doing and let it happen because he approved of it. I find it hard to believe he didn’t know or have an idea of what was going on, but, you guessed it, I don’t know. The point being, his leash should be about a quarter of an inch long.
(4) Adjust Expectations For Men’s Basketball
If you watched the second half of the Texas A&M game on Tuesday night:
It was only the first conference game, and things can change but hooooooo boy. They didn’t lose because of a bad shooting night or an opponent hit a million threes. No, friends, they lost because they stink right now.
The NCAA Tournament seems quite unlikely at this point, but let us hope they figure it out quickly or else this season could be over at the end of January.
(5) Explore The Space Of The Transfer Portal
Ole Miss needs help in several spots ASAP but most notably on the offensive line, which, if you recall, CAUSED SIGNIFICANT ANGUISH, BOB. Godspeed to the bag men as they try to navigate this new territory.
(6) Always Be Crootin’
While the sequel to the first Signing Day is less than a month away, 2 Signing 2 Day probably won’t feature drifting through city streets or a raging celebration at the bag man’s estate. However, the next recruiting class is the one to watch.
Kiffin and company need to do the opposite of, in terms of results, the short-sighted #MISSISSIPPIMADE garbage. If they can do that, then we’d have reason to feel pretty good about this staff.
(7) Purchase The URL To My Keith Carter Fanboy Site
it me pic.twitter.com/yrKUklHgyW— Gray Hardison (@BellyoftheBeast) December 9, 2019
Right now, the leader in the clubhouse is www.keithcarterelpresidente.biz.
(8) Adjust Expectations For Baseball
JK, bring on the situation bunting!
(9) Watch The Spring Game
These games are a waste of time, but we’ll have our first look at Lane Kiffin’s super vanilla version of his team, which the dumb football addict part of me needs. Plus, we can’t pass up a chance to watch Kiffin run up the score on himself.
(10) Have Crippling Anxiety During An Ole Miss Football Game?
Surely you jest, as I can’t remember the last time this happened. The one positive of Years 2 and 3 of Matt Luke’s first year at Ole Miss was that there was no need to get excited because you knew what was coming.
While somewhat depressing in the big picture, those games were relatively free of stress, as you could rest in the freedom of knowing this was a failure, and we were running out the clock until things change.