Last night I had a dream. In that dream, I was being chased by two men built like Dwayne Johnson but with Martha Stewart's face. They caught me, and they beat me mercilessly, all while teaching me a nifty trick to keep my muffins from sticking to the pan. What does that have to do with this post? Nothing, other than to say that fear is the ultimate motivator. Recently, both MSU and Ole Miss fans have let themselves be motivated by hate. Hate for each other; hate for each other's successes. But I'm here to tell you, Rebels and Bulldogs alike, that we have focused too long on the wrong threat in the state. Too long we've turned a blind eye to the growing issue in south Mississippi. That's right, I'm talking about the University of Mississippi, Southern. While Ole Miss and Mississippi State battle it out on the recruiting trail, in message boards, and on the gridiron, we just ignore everything that goes on in Hattiesburg, and that can be dangerous for our futures. Let's take a quick look at why I think we need to focus on a potential sleeping giant:
- The Southern Miss motto is "Creative. Bold. Determined." That last one is what scares me. Are they determined? Determined to do what? Determined to move to the SEC in 2024 and suddenly reveal this $400m athletic budget funded by the BP oil spill? Determined to seize control of all recruits within the state and hire NIck Saban for $15m a year? Determined to win another New Orleans Bowl? The possibilities are endless, and frankly, frightening.
- Their stadium is nicknamed "The Rock." Ummm, HELLO PEOPLE. Have you seen that movie? Frightening. Who knows when, during a game, Ed Harris sprints out onto the field, taking the entire stadium hostage with an arsenal of biological weapons. What if Sean Connery isn't there to break back in to the stadium he broke out of years ago? Like I said, the parallels are there, and they are scary. Also, Michael Bay directed The Rock. Does that mean he has Southern Miss football tickets? No, but can you say with 100% certainty that he doesn't? No, no you can't, and that means you can't be certain that there aren't two transformers stored in the depths of the stadium, waiting at any moment to attack if a team gets up by four touchdowns on USM. Also, who knows how many awful scripts could be stored there.
- We haven't even discussed all of the powerful alumni that the campus has turned out. First there is Jimmy Buffett. Can you name another man that has turned one song into literally millions of dollars, a never-ending tour, and a line of semi-successful home margarita makers? No you can't. This man literally bummed it up at Southern, and they still were able to provide him success. What do you think they could be capable of with someone who DIDN'T smoke pot and play guitar all day? Yep, scary. Then there's Brett Favre. Favre's time at Southern landed him a career as one of the denim industry's greatest spokespersons. He also would play more football, but his career at Wrangler is where we should really be worried. Favre's education at USM coupled with his life skills honed in "The Kill" created a monster like the advertising industry had never seen. Real. Scary. Potential. People. Lastly, even though there's a longer list than we'll mention here, there's Mack Brown. Yes, that Mack Brown. The man who can barely color inside the lines yet has access to the most powerful football program in America received a graduates degree from Southern. That degree was in "offering Quarterbacks as Safeties", and Mack got a C, but still, Mack is a Golden Eagle at heart. Have you heard the rumors that Mack will return there soon to lead the Eagles to a national championship? You have now. Spread them, because soon it will be a reality. We need to be prepared people, and the enemy grows stronger everyday.
- In the past ten years, USM has had head football coaches named Bower (rhymes with Power), Fedora (a cool hat), and now Monken, which is derived from the root word Monk. Is the current coach a decendant of monks: the men thought to be closest to our higher power? Could be, and that's a scary thought, to think he may be able to throw up a prayer on 4th and 26 and get a hailmary touchdown to win the big game.
I think I've made my point. There is massive potential in Hattiesburg, and it's time we stopped ignoring it. Too long we've focused on each other, but that ends today. Today we turn our attention south, so that ten years from now we aren't sitting in our same seats at home, watching Southern Miss win its 5 national championship behind Mack Brown and Nick Saban, while we drown our sorrows in this fantastic homemade MargaritaVille Margarita.