FAN REVIEW––Ole Miss: A culture of supremacy

We’re on a three week journey examining the fanbases of each of the fourteen SEC schools. Yesterday we dared to wander into the world of the LSU fan. Today we get out our fine china and head to Oxford.

Ole Miss football has a rich tradition.

Talk about football at Ole Miss someone automatically mentions the Grove. Apparently we have to act like nobody tailgates under tents on campus anywhere but at Ole Miss. I literally remember my first trip to Oxford, looking forward to walking through and seeing what all the fuss was about. The only difference I saw was people eating on fine china, and some of the tents had chandeliers hanging from them. The gaudy display reeked of self-aggrandizement, or maybe just desperation to establish some sort of dignity in losing.

Ole Miss fans like to dress up to come see their team get beat. Argyle sweater vests. Red pants. Bow ties. Seersucker suits. Seeing the Black Bear Rebel Thingies come close but not quite get it done again is cause to really deck yourself out and dress to the nines.

Look at the neat pants this Black Bear Rebel Thingy fan is wearing as he waits for his team’s next loss.

Ole Miss fans pack their impressive 60,580 seat stadium on game days ready to yell the kind of cheers that would make any Texas A&M fan proud:

“Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who the hell are we, Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
OLE MISS BY DAMN!”

Now there’s a profanity laden cheer that a father can share with his young child.

I’m serious, I’ve just shared with you the highlights of Ole Miss football. When talking heads speak of Ole Miss, these are the things they lean on. Tailgating (which again, no one does but at Ole Miss), dressing up and the Hotty Toddy cheer. These talking heads almost always get that look in their eye, like “they lose, but look how much fun they have doing it.”

And you know what? There’s something to be said for that. I think we at Alabama get too wound up in winning National Championships, racking trophies, and being the best in the nation. Maybe we need to learn from our Black Bear Rebel Thingy friends and just have more fun.

Perhaps Ole Miss fans have to rely on having fun out of frustration. I mean, if Alabama’s mascot had gotten caught up in the tidal wave of political correctness, we might be embittered, needing a side road to divert our frustrations too.

Colonel Reb, the white, civil war plantation owner mascot that “some” people in this world thought was racist.

The Ole Miss fan was forced by political correctness to shed his white, civil war era plantation owner mascot in favor of a black bear. Son, that’s just, I say, that’s just downright wrong. Let racists be what they want to be. Is this not America? Do we not have rights anymore? Can we not shackle whom we choose? It’s frustrating, really.

The new black bear mascot teaches the new generation that it’s okay to be black and at Ole Miss.

After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, just four months (not decades) ago, hundreds of Ole Miss students gathered to exchange racial epithets and violent, anti-Obama chants, throwing rocks and burning an Obama sign. A burning in Mississippi? That’s wierd.

It must be terribly frustrating being forced to ignore, even change your heritage to accomodate the winds of the current political climate. And students, of all people, should have a right to express themselves however they choose, shouldn’t they? And I’m certain those students conveyed the sentiments that were expressly their own, and not those of their wealthy white families financing their education at the University of Mississippi.

Still, with all this apparent problem with racism, it made complete sense for some of the top black athletes in the nation to want to sign with Ole Miss earlier this month. Following a 7-6 season under new coach Hugh Freeze, who was coaching high school football a short time ago, Ole Miss somehow harvested the #7 signing class in the country, according to Rivals. What a recruiting effort!

Robert Nkemdiche, the #1 recruit in the nation, wanted to sign with “The University of Ole Miss.”

Even if their top recruit didn’t know the correct name of the University with whom he was signing, it was no matter. “If he has broad shoulders and a strong back, he’ll be of good use to us,” some Black Bear Rebel Thingy fans told themselves.

But unlike some of its SEC sisters, at least Ole Miss has some tradition relative to the field of play. The Black Bear Rebel Thingies claim three national titles, though they all came around the time John F. Kennedy was president. They own six conference titles, and as recently as 2003 claimed a share of the SEC West crown. They were shut out of Atlanta by way of a tie-breaker, but some Rebel fans were overheard saying there was probably nother there to see anywhere, since it burned and all.

The face of Ole Miss football is still Archie Manning, who they’ll roll out at any opportunity in an effort to rub their shoulders with accomplishment. I would too, as the Manning family is quite extraordinary with Peyton’s and Eli’s successes as well. But every time Archie shows up on the CBS set, is there a more obvious effort by Ole Miss homer Tim Brando to try and prop up the school where his daughter is enrolled?

Ole Miss football.

So today we salute you, Ole Miss fan. Your history is as white as freshly fallen snow, but your future is a black bear with an Ole Miss hat on. Oh, and more 7-6 finishes that are somehow grandfathered in as successful seasons.

Past reviews:
Alabama – February 11
Texas A&M – February 12
Tennessee – February 13
South Carolina – February 14
Vanderbilt – February 15
Auburn – February 18
Georgia – February 19
Kentucky – February 20
Missouri – February 22
Mississippi State– February 26
LSU – February 27

Next:
Florida

22 Comments

Add Yours
  1. 1
    Casual Fan

    I am not an Ole Miss fan by any means and I understand this is a Pro Alabama blog, but how can Alabama claim 15 national titles? I don’t claim to be an expert on NC’s but I did some research and some years that Alabama claims national titles they finished second or even lower I believe. Not trying to stir the pot but I have always wondered where the 15 come from. I believe it’s 10 times that Alabama finished undisputed #1, which is incredible in its own right! Just a casual fan who is curious. thanks!!

    • 2
      ITK

      There have been multiple systems in place to determine the national champion. College football has always been somewhat subjective in how it crowns its champion, unlike other sports that let the games be played in tournament fashion.

      The modern era, from about 1960 on is the most reliable. Today’s method is even more reliable. But that does not mean that past methods aren’t legitimate. Would I want them used now? No. But were they accepted then? Absolutely. So therefore, any claim Alabama lays to a title awarded to them is legitimate. The NCAA actually recognizes Alabama as having five more than UA claims.

      Usual fans who question Bama’s titles are fans who are battling bouts with college football jealousy. It happens to the best of us.

    • 3
      capstonereport

      If we use the poll era, Alabama has ten titles awarded by the AP or Coaches or BCS. While that isn’t 15, it is more than anybody else.

      Of the 15 claimed, 1941 is the only one that I have a problem with….and you can make a case either way on it. So, I’m inclined to not complain about Alabama claiming that title considering all the other teams in college football claim crazy titles too.

  2. 4
    Bob Hovious

    I am compelled to reply that no Alabama supporter has any grounds to talk about racism at Ole Miss. The University of Alabama didn’t integrate until 1963, a year AFTER the University of Mississippi, and then it was over the strident objections of then-Governor George Wallace.

    But all of that 50 years ago. Today, both the president of the student body and the homecoming queen at Ole Miss are young black women. Anyone who tries to accuse the Rebels of being racist in the 21st century is out of touch with reality.

    • 5
      ITK

      I’m not accusing anyone of anything. All I did was point out what YOUR students did on YOUR campus just four months ago.

      Equate that with what happened 50 years ago in Tuscaloosa if you will, but we both know that argument is about as legitimate as your 2013 signing class.

  3. 6
    David DeLeeuw

    I would have to echo what Bob Hovious says regarding any talk about racism at Ole Miss. The writer of this blog is obviously out of touch with what is happening at The University of Mississippi. Racism is no more prevalent at Ole Miss than it is at Alabama, Auburn, LSU, or any other school in the nation.

    In addition, is this also the kind of cheer that would make any Texas A&M fan proud? Just curious…

    Hey Auburn!
    Hey Auburn!
    Hey Auburn!
    We just beat the hell out of you!
    Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, give ’em hell, Alabama!

    Finally, Ole Miss isn’t the only University with a mascot different than its nickname. Do the Texas A&M Aggies not also use a collie? Do the Tennessee Volunteers not also use a hound dog. And dare I even wonder about the Alabama Crimson Tide Elephant Thingies??

    • 7
      ITK

      That may be true, but Ole Miss is the only school (between the two…or any in the SEC for that matter) that had an openly racist protest led by YOUR students less than half a year ago.

      And David, I would be sick of hearing that cheer too had I been on the wrong end of ‘Bama games all but 8 times in the 60 game history between the schools. Beating Ole Miss at Alabama is as common as winning the A-Day game.

      And until you correct that fact…and it’s a fact…you can’t talk about anybody’s mascot.

      Happy cross burning!

      • 8
        David DeLeeuw

        ITK, keep in mind that the “protest” involved no more than a dozen students who were actually “protesting” the election, burning campaign signs, and shouting racial slurs. About 200 students stood around and watched the drunken students. About 10,000 students were in their dorms or apartments either studying, sleeping, or watching election returns.

        Also, of note, a few days later, over 600 students participated in a candlelight vigil organized, in part, by the University in response and to show solidarity against such behavior.

        Also, note that four years earlier, thousands of Ole Miss students were in The Grove in support of President Obama as he debated John McCain on campus.

        If you’ll go back and read my comment, I never said I was sick of the Alabama cheer. I merely noted that it also had “hells” in it, as does the Ole Miss Hotty Toddy. Did your father enjoy sharing the Alabama “profanity laden” cheer with you? Do you enjoy sharing it with your child. I am just curious.

        I’m not sure what “fact” I’m supposed to correct in order to have the “priveledge” as you apparantly do to talk about anybody’s mascot. One fact is true. Alabama has a crimson elephant thingy as their mascot.

        Never burned a cross in my life. Why would I?
        Resorting to childish replies only makes your reply look petty.

        • 9
          ITK

          David, I’ll just say this. It’s easy to organize a rally to offset something embarrassing like what happened after the election. 200 people is a lot of folks to act spontaneously. One rally is orchestrated, maybe fabricated to save face, the other comes from the gut of who you are.

          • 10
            David DeLeeuw

            About a dozen “protested.”
            200 watched.
            Your take is without merit.
            Please do your fact check before categorizing an entire University as racist oriented.

  4. 11
    Bebe Ole mIss fan

    I am an adopted southerner, I am from the North originally so I feel that I can talk about Mississippi or Ole mIss with a different outlook than some. So my opinion about the above article might be looked at a little differently. I might see his point of view.I DON”T THINK SO !!!!
    So the reason for your journey to sec fanbases is to belittle them and make your own(Alabama) seem better. Is that right? Is Alabama’s that bad?
    You couldn’t possibly have been to the Grove at Ole Miss and come away with the review that you had. You are supposed to be a blogger with some kind of professionalism .NOT
    and lets talk about the racism at Ole Miss. Once again, you couldn’t possibly have been to our school if your declaring that. Do yourself and Alabama a favor,STOP Writing!!!! Your an embarrassment to your school .I would invite you to come to the Grove sometime but I really don’t think you could have a good time anywhere. So don’t come because we like it just the way it is and welcome all to come and enjoy it including our new recruits who by the way have been to Ole Miss campus and really know what it’s like ,unlike you .B

    • 12
      ITK

      I have been to Ole Miss half a dozen times, and walked through the Grove every time.

      It is exactly how I painted it to be: overrated. But it’s all you have…a concocted tradition unlike tailgating that goes on everywhere in the South.

      So give me an unself-inflated break.

      And the purpose of this series is to take an honest look at our fanbases, apart from the sunshine pumping bull you often hear. You can’t belittle what isn’t stupid, and that hasn’t been the case with every review we’ve done.

      But the propped-up traditions at Ole Miss are stupid, and so that’s how they were painted. I invite you to focus your efforts on dealing with that fact rather than sounding stupid in penning a response.

      • 13
        William

        Speaking of racism, how are things going with your white sororities at Alabama? Maybe you should clean up your own backyard before worrying about some students at another school protesting Obama’s election.

        I realize this is an pro-Alabama blog, but don’t pretend that everything stinks at every other school, but it’s always peachy at Alabama.

        • 14
          ITK

          It’s not always peachy at Alabama. But we do always beat the sh** out of your team, whoever your team is. Can’t say that everywhere else.

          Roll Tide!

  5. 17
    Bebe Ole mIss fan

    So ,let me try to understand .You say( we’ve) in your response ,so there are more than one of you. Omg does that mean 3 or 4 little people are writing this? and you all go to Alabama ,how proud they must be !!I can imagine how popular you were in highschool or how popular you are now!!
    I bet when you walked through the grove (a half dozen times ) it made you angry because people were having a good time and why did you come a half dozen times if you don’t like it???
    The propped up traditions are only stupid when people like you are assessing them. Some traditions are worth keeping even though you don’t think so.
    Alabama doesn’t have any traditions? I bet they do and I bet their loved by your student body, just like ours.
    I really don’t want to point fingers at your state but your past is not without flaw either. so don’t point your finger at Mississippi’s past as you do in several responses above.
    You don’t need to take on fan bases at universities if you don’t want feedback. I’m really sorry for ya’ll . You probably live sad lives. You look for the the bad and not the good. We have plenty of good at Ole Miss.B

    • 18
      ITK

      I love feeback, friend. You’re more than welcome to share whatever is on your mind here. I’d prefer less run-on sentences, but that’s beside the point.

      I never said Ole Miss’ traditions weren’t worth keeping, I just said they were stupid. There’s a distinct difference. But unfortunately you’ve apparently fallen victim to the thin-skinned mindset destroying America, where everyone has to agree with you or it rocks your world. Who cares what we think at capstonereport.com. We certainly don’t care what you think about Alabama. The University of Alabama’s rich tradition and long history of success stands on its own. Cast all the stones you want, it doesn’t change a thing.

      But that’s not the case everywhere. Maybe if Bama hadn’t tasted gridiron significance in 50 years I’d feel the same way. It’s hard to say, because we win the National Championship just about every year. With that in mind, my life is anything but sad, but Alabama football is just a small reason for that. I’m blessed beyond what I deserve, mainly because Alabama football is a compartmentalized part of my life, not my life. But if it were my life, there’s enough there to make it happy on its own. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Alabama is pretty good at this game we call football.

      So with that, I’ll point my finger where I want, and at the moment it’s pointing toward Oxford at a fan struggling with standing on his/her own two feet without the wide acceptance of others. ‘Gosh almighty!

  6. 19
    pamela

    Geez, this kind of mean-spirited commentary makes me ashamed to admit I was born in Tuscaloosa. Real class wouldn’t have to talk like this.

  7. 21
    Bob Hovious

    ITK, you are retreating to childish insults and people are laughing at you, not at your attempts at humor. Let it go and learn:

    Ole Miss had a couple of students burn Obama posters after the election. Bama has football players beating up and robbing other students. You’re in no position to throw stones.

    Ole Miss is ahead of Alabama in racial relations after 50 years:

    Here’s some reading for you:

    http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/21857828/article-Lawmakers%E2%80%99-visit-marks-segregated-past-of-Alabama?instance=secondary_story_left_column

    It said there that Alabama’s student population is 13% black. At Ole Miss, its 15% black plus a large international student population.

    From what I could find online, it appears that Alabama did have black student body president back in 1976, but it also seems that your student government has been dominated by a secret society of all-white fraternities and sororities known as “The Machine.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machine#1992_and_suspension_of_the_SGA

    http://blog.al.com/live/2009/09/university_of_alabama_sga_pres.html

    So Alabama had/has a secret society of white fraternities and sororities controlling who can be officers in the SGA? It got so bad that the SGA had to be suspended for a while? It seems like the only black people on campus who get respect play football for the Crimson Tide.

    You’ve got a national champion football team. That’s something of which you can be proud, The rest… not so much.

  8. 22
    Randall

    Wow. It sure appears that national championships don’t equate to having class. This article was a shot that did not need to be taken.

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