Moving

First of all, I would like to thank all of my followers for being so great over the past year.  I also wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break from SoA for an undetermined amount of time.  However, I am not taking a break from writing.  You can find me over on rebels247.com as well as GameTime Rebels magazine.  I am excited about the opportunity to continue my coverage of Ole Miss athletics.  I hope to see you all over at Rebels247.  Thanks again!!


Pressing On


I’m for the Red and Blue

Embarrassed, shocked, disappointing, typical, failure; these are just a few of the words used by the media and naysayers to describe Ole Miss after this past Saturday’s loss to Vanderbilt.  The loss has caused a great uproar across the Rebel Nation.  People are frantically placing blame where they think it is due and calling for change.  Change all over the place from the players to the coaches to the administration.  The entire organization has been successfully thrown under the bus.  Two early losses in the season have created similar turmoil that came about years back when the Rebs stumbled out of the gate, losing to Memphis and Texas Tech early only to finish tied for the West on their way to a 10 win season. There were grumbles then much like they are now.  It is sad.  The way with which the so called Rebel faithful have handled this loss is shameful.

No matter how the remainder of this season goes, we must stand strongly behind the Red and Blue.  That means Houston Nutt is our coach and Pete Boone is our AD.  Whether we like it or not, they are Ole Miss Athletics and they need the Rebel Nation in their corner through thick and thin.  No more second guessing the calls or decisions made by those who have been selected to make them.  As hard as it may be for some of us to understand, the coaches actually know more about the sport and their players than we do.  What nerve of those who sit in the crowd wearing the Ole Miss colors and booing the Rebels!  Whether the boos are intended for the staff or administration is irrelevant.  The players that kill themselves in the off season workouts in order to do the best that they can for this University and its fans are collateral damage to the crowds bitter negativity.  It must stop.  If you dislike Ole Miss that much then find somewhere else to go.  Either you are for the Red and Blue no matter what or not with them at all.  There is no middle ground.

It is easy for me to be for the Red and Blue because I am confident that they will turn it around. I have seen Ole Miss play some very bad football from time to time but I have never seen them quit.  I believe these Rebels have plenty of fight left in them. I believe the Rebel Nation still has some fight left in them.   And I believe that fight will be exploding into Vaught Hemingway Stadium Saturday.  I believe these Rebels stand ready.  They have what it takes to knock off Georgia and Fresno State and then stand their ground through the remaining gauntlet of SEC games.  I believe Zack Stoudt is the type of old school gunslinger that will have no trouble picking up the pieces and leading the Rebels forward.  I believe our defense is now ready to handle anything thrown at them with the type of swagger that has not been seen on that side of the ball in quite some time.  I am excited to see how the Rebels respond.  Can they recover from the haymaker that Vandy landed in Nashville and storm forward and shock the SEC?  I believe they can.  I believe they will.

See you at the Vaught!!!


The Best Kept Secret at Ole Miss

There is something special going on at Ole Miss right now.  There is something that the Rebel Nation should be very proud of.  The word is out on the best kept secret in Oxford.  The Rebel Women’s Volleyball Team is a national contender yet again.

There is only one sport at Ole Miss that allows the spectator to be so close to the action they feel as if they are a part of the game.  This sports fast pace had me forgetting to breath.  The intensity with which these ladies play the game rivals any I have ever seen before.  Anyone attending the Ole Miss Volleyball games this past weekend would have instantly become a fan after seeing how hard these Rebels play.  They play with the type of passion, focus, and joy that every coach dreams that their players would possess.  They are Ole Miss.

These Rebels, led by two outstanding seniors, stormed through the Magnolia Invitational Tournament this past weekend claiming the title for the fifth straight year.  The atmosphere created at the Gillom Center when these ladies hit the hardwood was electric.   It was made obvious immediately that the hard work and preparation that goes into being ready for these games takes a special athlete to endure.  The crowd rewarded the Rebels dominating play with cheers and ovations that had the place rocking by the end of the night.  With the Rebs piling up wins it truly was a perfect Ole Miss weekend.

It is hard to do better than catching the Volleyball Rebels on Friday night and then heading to the Grove and Vaught on Saturday.  It will only get better as the season continues.  They will host LSU this Friday night at the Gillom Center for their SEC opener.  What I find especially exciting is the first opportunity for Ole Miss to beat the bull pups from Starkville this year will come November 2nd.  The Ole Miss Volleyball team will serve as the tone setters for all other sports this season.  The Rebels cannot sweep State in every sport this year without winning the first match.   I encourage the Rebel Nation to be on hand not only to see them destroy State but also as they battle through the SEC in hopes of another NCAA Tournament appearance.

See you at the Gillom!!!


A Rebel with a Cause

After a loss the easy thing to do as a fan is to complain.  It is easy to dwell on the negative aspects of the game.  It is easy to kick players and coaches while they are down.  Sadly the Rebel Nation is no different than any other fan base.  The fans are angry, disappointed, and tired of losing.  I encourage you not to take shots at your players.  Those players have been killing themselves all summer long for this great establishment and should be shown more respect than they are receiving.  That is why I would like to focus on the positive.  Some may think that finding the positive in a heartbreaking loss would be a difficult task.  I beg to differ.  I saw plenty of hope on Saturday and the more I thought about what I had seen, the more excited I became.

The phrase “glimpses of greatness” has been used to describe up and coming athletes over the years.  I believe it refers to a young player that has potential and in one of their early performances, in small instances, they look spectacular.  Although the Rebels fell to BYU this past Saturday, there were still glimpses of greatness.  There were glimpses of something that hasn’t been seen in Vaught Hemingway Stadium in quite some time.  There were glimpses of something that can and I believe will restore order to Ole Miss Football.  A quarterback, a leader, a Rebel with a cause showed us glimpses of what is to come this season.

When Zack Stoudt took over at quarterback for the Rebels, he did so with purpose.  He seemed to take complete control of not only the offensive plays but also the players.  He was barking out orders to his receivers and lineman as if he had been an SEC starter for years.  He would diagnose the defense and then make calls accordingly.  He showed uncoachable patience in the pocket as he looked for open receivers down field.  Not since Eli Manning has an Ole Miss QB looked so much like your prototypical position player.  On top of all of the athletic qualities he possessed, Stoudt also played with great confidence and joy.  He looked as if he was a child on Christmas morning receiving his gifts.  That type of fiery passion and love of the game is contagious and it is just what the Rebels need.   Stoudt could be the answer the Rebs have been searching for.  He could be the leader that helps restore Ole Miss Football to what it once was.  We should all be very excited to see what is to come.  I urge the Rebel Nation to simply hang on.  Glory is right around the corner.

See you at the Vaught!!!


New Rebels

There will be many freshmen out on the field for the Rebels on Saturday.  Who will stand out?  Who will make there name known to the Rebel Nation?

 


The Eve of Autumn

The abilities to hear and smell are such powerful senses. They can completely take over your mind. They can take you to a place that you haven’t been since you were a little kid. At this time of year, there are smells that are more intoxicating than any perfume. There are sounds that are more joyful than any song. Smells of fresh cut grass and sweat sweeten the air around your local practice field. Sounds of whistles blowing and plastic clashing together make the heart beat faster and faster. College Football season has returned!!!

A walk across the beautiful Ole Miss campus on a day like today should be on the top of every Rebel fan’s bucket list. It’s not simply the scenery that makes the stroll so enchanting. The walk could be made blindfolded and I strongly believe it would be equally amazing. It’s the sounds and the smells and the feelings you will encounter on your walk that make it so special. It’s the rush of the students scampering about to their classes knowing that books are the furthest thing from their mind. It’s the slight breeze that blows on a 96 degree day that gives you just a quick glimpse of the upcoming autumn season. In the distance you might be able to hear The Pride of the South practicing their game day routine. You would be able to smell the fresh cut grass out in the Grove. You would without a doubt hear conversations about Saturday. You would feel the energy and excitement in their voices. You would feel the campus coming to life in anticipation of what has become one of the University’s greatest events…GAME DAY.

At this very moment there are thousands and thousands of people making plans for Saturday in the Grove. They are setting their menus, making travel arrangements, getting their game day attire in line and everything else that goes with the eventful weekend. A great deal really goes into the planning. For some it is a week long ordeal of stressing out over every little detail. The long and sometimes painful process will be repeated week in and week out by the Rebel Nation and has been for many years. All of it made completely worth it when they make those first steps up the tunnel into the Vaught. Last season’s failures are in the past and new and greater expectations have been made. It’s always fun to set the bar high early and see if the Rebels can reach it. Football season is such an emotional roller coaster for the fan. There are twists and turns, exuberances and heartaches. What an amazing experience!!! Are you ready?!?!

At this very moment there are about 105 Rebels getting ready for Saturday. It has not been a weeklong event for them. These preparations began in November of last year. They are not too concerned with travel arrangements. They will stay in Tupelo Friday night and bus straight to the Walk of Champions on Saturday. They are not too concerned about their game day attire. They will be decked out in their Red and Blue game uniforms. This is not just any other football game. This one is special. It’s the first game. It’s the tone setter. There will be new faces making their Rebel debut, a couple of them being quarterbacks. Can you imagine how the players are feeling right now? Dreams are about to come true for several of them that have been waiting for this Saturday since they were little kids. The life of a college football player could not be any farther from easy. If examined, with all of the physical, mental, and emotional stress that comes with the job, one can’t help but ask, “why“. Why do it? What’s the point? The answer will be made crystal clear on game day. The emotions and intensity with which they play the game, screams the answer to why they play it. They do it because they love the game. They respect the game. They do it because they weren’t built to sit in the bleachers. They are football players. They are kings of the gridiron. They are the Sons of Autumn and for that reason we should be forever grateful for their continuing sacrifices. Long live the Sons of Autumn!!!

See you at the Vaught!!!