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Volume 69, Issue 18, Thursday, September 18, 2003

Sports
 

Bulldogs bullish on traditions, wins

The Trashman

Keenan Singleton

This is a disclaimer. If you take this column seriously or as fact, your parents are probably blood relatives. The column's nature is lighthearted, over-the-top satire. Enjoy.

In their own third-world state, Mississippi, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are third fiddle.

Need proof?

The best quarterback from Mississippi? 

Southern Miss' Brett Favre or Ole Miss' Archie Manning.

Best wide receiver from Mississippi? Mississippi Valley State's Jerry Rice.

Best running back from Mississippi? Jackson State's Walter Payton.

Best inept football program? Ding, ding, ding: Mississippi State University. The Bulldogs should shudder in shame with an overall record of 462-481-39.

Looks like they're actually the fourth-string fiddle.

Mississippi State University (or Texas A&M-Starkville) has long feasted on A&M's leftovers. To date, they have pilfered the color scheme (maroon and white), the nickname (the Aggies, until 1961) and the official name of the school (Mississippi A&M). Sadly, they didn't assume TAMU's winning ways. 

Maybe they were actually borrowing from another maroon and white clad Aggie team, the New Mexico State Aggies.

Hiring Jackie Sherrill in 1991 was a no-brainer for the Bulldogs, considering he was the former coach at TAMU. Sherrill, who coached at A&M (1982-88) is known for spreading positivity around high school homes around the country. That and money.

See, the head man at MSU left Texas A&M in '88 not because it was a greater program or they offered more money. He left under a cloud of scandal and corruption. 

The NCAA hit the Aggies with major sanctions.

Cheaters never win. MSU was already used to this concept. In fact, MSU is under investigation currently for allegedly paying a high school recruit $800 to disgracefully don the maroon and white.

In 104 years of collegiate football, the Bulldogs have participated in 12 bowl games. That one bowl game about every nine years. That's also pathetic for a team from the Southeastern Conference.

Vanderbilt is known as the doormat of SEC football. But they have an excuse. Vandy is a reputed academic institution, which prevents them from recruiting the cream of the crop. They also are the home of the Commodores, the best funk band of the 1970s.

MSU is just pooted on. They have yet to win the SEC title in football since it joined the conference in 1933 - that's 70 years or the span of two life expectancies in Mississipppi.

Recently, Sports Illustrated on Campus named Starkville, Miss., the location of the MSU campus, as one of the worst campus towns in America.

In 1961 MSU adopted yet another nickname -- the Bulldogs. You mean to tell me in 1961, that's the best the school, students and alumni could come up with? Bulldogs. They previously had been known as the "Maroons." They seriously considered using the other color in their scheme (whites), but Mississippi already has a nefarious reputation with racism.

The greatest tradition at MSU? Cowbells. No one is quite sure of the noisemakers origin, but some speculate that the tradition began sometime in the late 1930s.

But who cares about cowbells?

Bully, the moniker of the MSU live animal mascot, is a weak version of the University of Georgia's Uga, also a bulldog.

According to the Mississippi State football media guide, when the first Bully died in 1939, the "entire cadet corps, three battalions strong, the Maroon band of 86 pieces, the football squad, every student and many visitors took part in a half-mile procession."

They should have a second "death march" for the football program.

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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