I think it is past time we all get together for a little “family” meeting. In any large family like the one we have in Mississippi there will be some conflicts and some growing pains.
We need to have a talk because right now our brothers from Mississippi State are having a really hard time and I think it’s important that we help them work this out.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans have always enjoyed a pretty deep seated hatred for each other and historically the Rebels have dominated the Bulldogs in football, while State has had a little more success in baseball and basketball in the modern era.
Recently, Ole Miss has taken over all three sports winning two of the last three Egg Bowls, winning the SEC basketball tournament in 2012 and taking a trip to Omaha in 2014.
Ole Miss has not lost a game in the recent calendar year, sweeping MSU 7-0 in the major men’s sports for the first time in 40 years.
Prior to Dan Mullen, MSU had not won three straight games over the Rebels in football since World War II. They honestly thought things were changing.
Hugh Freeze took over the Ole Miss football program at a low point with little to no experience while Dan Mullen had national championship rings from his time as a coordinator at Florida. It was a good time for the Maroons.
But then a funny thing happened, which is likely in a rivalry. The pendulum swung back to the other side.
Hugh Freeze brought in a new attitude, a harder work ethic in recruiting and blew out MSU in 2012 and he hasn’t looked back.
Dan Mullen had his best team ever in 2014 with 10 wins regular season wins, only to get blown out by again by Hugh Freeze, 31-17.
It is more than some State fans can handle, apparently.
Just a few years ago, the Magnolia State rivalry was a fun little diversion from daily life but now it’s a personal fight that some MSU fans are taking too far.
After the outrageously successful 2013 recruiting class for Ole Miss, the Rebels were nationally celebrated, signing the nation’s top player and a top 5 class.
MSU, in 2013, was placed on probation by the NCAA for illegal recruiting of a two-star defensive back.
There has existed an element of revenge by MSU fans ever since, to the point that MSU fans in the media have even gotten in the fray. A MSU-fan radio host in Jackson attempted to validate a MSU message board as a legitimate source on Ole Miss recruiting. As they created the phrase “the network” to try to disparage Ole Miss and take some of the negativity away from Starkville.
This “expert” only known as “Coach” (but not an actual football coach) was allowed to slander Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze for his 15 minutes while the radio host gave legitimacy to unproven illegal recruiting tactics at a state University.
A part of “The Network” included alleged illegal social media contact by Ole Miss fans. Due to the expert testimony of “Coach,” MSU fans and media have searched high and low for illegal contact on twitter and facebook, even stooping so low as to actually drive to people’s house and search for those operating twitter accounts.
(Let that sink in for minute.)
There are hundreds of thousands of college age kids that talk to each other on twitter and facebook. Is it “illegal contact?” Possibly. Are we going to stalk and search every house for the operators of said twitter accounts? Good God, I hope not!
The level of paranoia in the MSU fan base is unprecedented and out of control.
The problem is, MSU fan feels slighted. The are angry and it is clouding their logic.
I could take these guy’s seriously and get upset but I understand how they feel and I think we need to offer them a token of peace.
There is an Italian proverb that says, “He who offends writes in sand; He who offended, in marble.”
A lot of us had a big brother or older relative growing up. It was easy for him to walk by our room, thump us on the ear and just walk out without another thought about it the entire day.
The pain from that simple thump on the ear sticks with the little brother. The pain is quickly gone but the perceived disrespect lasts forever.
For some kids, the back and forth competition becomes an obsession. It can drive the little brother his whole life, giving him motivation to scheme and work hard in sports or school to do better than his big brother in something, anything.
When MSU finally for the first time in 60 years accomplished three Egg Bowl wins it was like standing on the mountain top. It was a lifetime accomplishment for some MSU fans. They felt like they did something to make that happen.
Then the next year, big brother easily knocked MSU off the mountain and continued to beat them at every opportunity.
I have never seen a time where my school was swept by MSU in every sport but I can imagine it is not fun to be a State fan right now.
Imagine if your favorite shirt or hat only serves to remind you of the time and money you have lost watching your team get beat by your most hated rival, in every sport, time after time.
Imagine if everything in your being just knew that your rival was cheating and recruiting illegally but yet, your team was currently on probation for recruiting illegally and providing cash and cars to players.
Imagine if your worst nightmare came true as your baseball team got beat on your biggest home baseball weekend of the year. What if your basketball team lost four straight to your rival and your best football team ever in your history, was just not good enough.
If any of this happened to me, I would have to tip my hat and give the other team props. That is what normal people would do, but these guys are not thinking clearly.
They actually have a clinical disorder. It’s called “Little Brother Syndrome” or LBS as it is known.
So what is LBS? The Urban Dictionary defines it as…When one person feels they have a rivalry with another far superior person (Ole Miss). The superior person (Ole Miss) usually doesn’t know about it or feel that the little brother (MSU) is any kind of a threat. The little brother usually puts forth maximum effort in meaningless situations in order to get the feeling of a win over his rival.
In a medical definition, LBS is known as an inferiority complex,“An acute sense of personal inferiority resulting either in timidity or through overcompensation in exaggerated aggresiveness.”
I understand it is fun to joke and prod other fans, i will admit i enjoy that more than most. But you have to realize these games are played by 18-22 year olds. We as fans are not helping by stalking fans or fabricating recruiting violations that don’t exist.
There are some MSU fans that will never accept the fact that Ole Miss is a top 15 football program in bowl victories and has a rich football history. Ole Miss has six SEC titles, three national championships, tons of All-Americans, NFL players that have made huge impacts in the NFL and have become house-hold names. The Grove is known as college football’s tailgating mecca.
MSU just doesn’t have any of that. It’s just the truth. So you have to understand that some of their fans will be jealous. The reality is that in today’s college football with the obstacles facing smaller schools like Ole Miss and State, MSU will likely never match the records of Ole Miss.
And it drives some of them crazy!
I really appreciate MSU fans. One of my best friends has LBS. Jake Wimberly, co-founder of this website and writer for Maroon and White Nation is ate up with Ole Miss jealousy. He can’t stop comparing MSU to Ole Miss and that’s ok.
Don’t get me wrong. Not every MSU fan is like this. There are some really good State fans who don’t get caught up in all this personal hate. Most MSU fans banter back and forth with some good-hearted ribbing with their Rebels friends and family in the spirit of the rivalry. I personally know some GREAT people who are State fans. So let me make this clear, this post is not about every single State fan out there.
So when you encounter one of these super fans (or as i call them, the “MSU Mafia”) just be understanding and give these guys some space. Some of these guys just need to find another hobby or at least not get so upset when they lose a game. It is just a game and when they learn to love MSU instead of hating Ole Miss, they will have a much better life.
Hey, I sat through 2010 and 2011 Ole Miss seasons and I didn’t shed a single tear or try to get a MSU fan fired because my team got beat.
To my Ole Miss friends, don’t react or even read any of this Ole Miss-hate/propaganda. Just love them and give your little brother a shoulder to cry on.