Most of my readers know that I'm a Bulldog, through and through. From the time I was a child, I was wearing maroon and white and cheering on Mississippi State. My parents took us to a few games as kids. I distinctly remember going to a home game against Tulane and getting in trouble for booing the other team. And a trip to the Liberty Bowl around 1991-1992. I don't think visiting the campus made as much of an impression on my sister because she doesn't remember going to games! He he!
In August 1998, I officially became a Bulldog. I started out as a young 18 year-old, and graduated with my bachelor's degree in May 2002. The four years I spent at State were some of the best of my life, and I was fortunate to spend it with my best friends in the world, who also attended college here.
One especially fantastic year was 1999. I was a sophomore, and that fall something remarkable happened - we had a really, really good football team! In fact, we went 8-0 before losing a game! We also went to the SEC Championships that year, which we unfortunately lost.
During that season, I had the incredible opportunity to work for ESPN during one of our televised games. I was a broadcasting major, and we got paid $50 to be assistants. My job assignment was to help run cable for a camera on the Bulldog sidelines. I had an all access press pass to the stadium, and was on the sideline for the entire game.
The particular game I worked was Kentucky. It was cold that night, and I distinctly remember wearing my favorite pair of jeans and a navy J Crew pea coat. (Which I still have....) It was an exciting night, and instead of expressing it with words, I will share this video of the end of the game.
As you can see, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was right there as this unfolded. On the sidelines. With our team! Not 10 minutes before that field goal was kicked, Scott Westerfield looked over at me and winked. I was chatting it up with Kelvin Love and Fred Smoot on the sidelines! It is definitely a night I will never forget!
We play Kentucky tomorrow night at home. Last year we beat them in a thrilling game in their territory, and are pretty evenly matched against them this year. This is going to be a big game for us, because after have several terrible seasons in a row, we are finally on our way back up. We are 6-2, bowl eligible, and still have to face Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss in our last four games. (Quick soap box - SEC is THE HARDEST conference in the nation. Had to get that off my chest.) Its a BIG GAME for us, and I'm really excited about spending that time with my family.
I have been a Bulldog all my life. From childhood, to my college years, and now as an adult and employee of this great university, I have always been a Bulldog. And no matter what, win or lose, I will remain a Bulldog because I believe in this university, I believe in its people, and I believe in its purpose to educate our state. Having a good football team is just icing on the cake!