For a state other than Texas, Florida, California, or Alabama it’s nearly impossible to have two schools ranked
in the top 5 in college football. It’s even more improbable for that state to have less than 1% of the population.
Such is the case for the state of Mississippi with Ole Miss and Mississippi St. tied for 3rd in the nation.
Although I respect what those schools are accomplishing on the field I have mixed emotions about their success.
To be honest, Mississippi is not one of my favorite states. Even though I have family and friends there I’ve never
been and have no intention on ever visiting. Maybe I’m too much of a “Northerner”, but I don’t fully embrace a
culture that continues to glamorize the Old South and has school mascots named Colonel Reb.
I’m sure there are people who will say I shouldn’t judge a place I’ve never been and things have changed in the past
20 years. Perhaps I’m holding a grudge and unwilling to forgive past indiscretions. It’s been a long time since Martin
Luther King Jr. called Philadelphia, Mississippi the most racist city he’s ever seen and my grandmother promised never
to visit again in her lifetime. Times change and people change.
I’ve always viewed sports as an opportunity to bring people together. Even if you don’t like a group of people there is a
bond forged when rooting for the same team. A part of me wants to think that is what’s happening in Oxford and
Starkville. Another part of me thinks I would be a fool to ignore the state’s sketchy past for the sake of a few football
teams having a good season.
At the end of the day I won’t root against Mississippi schools, but I also won’t get caught up in all the hysteria that surrounds
them at present. Something tells me they’ll be just fine without my support and others that share my apprehension. Your