Nov 16, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze leads his team onto the field before the game against Troy Trojans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
I am married to the most beautiful woman alive. She is everything I could have possibly hoped for when I got married. She is as close to perfect as they come, with the exception of one thing.
She graduated from Ole Miss.
This has never really been a problem in our house. She would typically rather watch grass grow than watch anything sport related. During the Egg Bowl last year, she chose to go do some Christmas shopping rather than watch the game. She isn’t the only family I have that is a Rebel. My brother is and that is where it gets a little more dicey.
My brother is a pretty calm guy normally, but when it comes to sports, especially Ole Miss, he is a hothead. I can understand getting upset about games when your team loses, but there are people that get so mad and sullen, others don’t want to be around them. My brother is one of those guys. Back in 2001, the last time that State beat Ole Miss under Sherrill, our family went to my grandparents’ house that Friday after Thanksgiving to eat Thanksgiving leftovers and he was still a real grump to be around. My mom, God rest her soul, was furious with him. People were trying to have a good time, and he was being a jerk. He gave short, one word answers to everything and was completely unengaged. Keep in mind, my brother was a 25 year old married guy at the time. This wasn’t a teen who was being a brat. This was an adult male. Back in 2010, my uncle, who is a State grad like myself, invited my family over to watch the Egg Bowl at his house, but my brother didn’t get the memo. My aunt said someone should call him, and I quickly reminded her what he is like when Ole Miss plays and we all agreed that it was best if he didn’t know.
If you’re like me, and you have family or are surrounded by Ole Miss fans in the area you live, here are some good ways to keep the tensions from boiling over.
Know Your Limits
You are probably going to watch the game with this person, especially if the other person is your spouse, and you should have an idea on how much gloating you can do when Mississippi State does something well. If you want to make the rest of the evening or weekend go poorly, rub it in as much as you like. If you want to try to carry on a conversation with that person the rest of the night, then try to stay behind that line. Remember this as well: if the evening starts to go poorly for the Bulldogs, then it might be brought back on you tenfold. You have to tread carefully here.
When Necessary, Leave the Room
If State is doing well, and your overly volatile friend or family member is boiling over in fury, pick some spots to leave the room. Get a drink, go to the bathroom, or just find any excuse you can to get yourself out of the room. Your presence there is probably making them angrier because they know that the source of his or her misery is the source of your new found joy. A brief minute or two respite can help some of the pressure from reaching a point where the other person might burst into flames.
Dish Out Only What You Can Take
This goes back to my first point. You might very well be the hothead that your significant other is as well. If you are, you might need to start practicing a little self control to make sure you aren’t throwing out jabs that you can’t take in return. If you don’t want someone all up in your face about how poorly your team is doing, you might not want to be the person doing it to someone else.
Find an Outlet
If the Bulldogs are doing well, there isn’t any reason that you shouldn’t be able to celebrate with other Bulldog fans. Post about how happy you are on Twitter or on Facebook. There is always a place you can go to celebrate (or commiserate depending on how the game is going).