What is “True Maroon”?


Sep 21, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot Bully rides on his dog house to lead the team out to the field before the game against the Troy Trojans at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State, like every other school in the SEC, is identified by certain things. Whether the school had a say in it or not, there are icons that make people think of Mississippi State instantly. Take the Cowbell for instance. The sheer fact that I capitalized the C in Cowbell show just how much of an icon that one item has become for Mississippi State. It also shows that the school itself can have things develop that it never planned. The Cowbell became a symbol for our University by happen stance many years ago thanks to a game that Mississippi State won when a cow wandered on to the field.

Just like there are things that Mississippi State didn’t plan out to become icons, there are others that the school has meticulously planned. The school has gone to great lengths to make the “Hail State” theme prevalent and to get the #HailState hash tag seen as much on Twitter and now Facebook since it has adopted the practice. Another one that is most interesting to me is the campaign the school started a few years ago called ” True Maroon”.

It’s a catchy little phrase. It’s one that rolls off the tongue easily and conjures up images in people’s minds about what that might actually mean. I have my own ideas. It’s more than just being a fan, and here is what I think it means.


It’s one thing to say that you love your school. Lots of people will say that. Being True Maroon means that Mississippi State is a part of your identity. People who are True Maroon live it out in their everyday lives. They love to talk about their fondest memories about the school, whether it is at a football game or at a fraternity or sorority party. Their passion for Mississippi State is so apparent, that it doesn’t take long for people you have just met to identify you as a Bulldog.


People who are True Maroon are also loyal for years. Mississippi State might have a great year in football next year. If they do, you will see more people call themselves Bulldogs than they previously did. Those who are True Maroon will have been there from the beginning. It is easy to pull for a team that is winning, but those who can call themselves “True Maroon” have endured both the good and the bad. You don’t have t0 be old to be True Maroon. Maybe you’re a teen who was born into a family of Bulldogs. Continuing to love the school of your family despite recent successes or failures show that you deserve the title as well.

Representative of the School

When you hang your degree from the University or put on your best MSU shirt for Maroon Friday, you realize that you represent the school. You may not do so in an official capacity, but when people see that they think of you as the Mississippi State fan base. Right or wrong, that is what happens. If you go to games and shout obscenities in the presence of children, you are giving the entire fan base a negative label. If you go to games and let your temper get the best of you, that reflects on the rest of the fans. People that are True Maroon want to show the world the dignity that is such an integral part of our University.

Devotion for the Entire School

The last, and probably most important thing that makes a person True Maroon is the simple fact that you love the entire school and celebrate all of its successes. People who only care about the athletic teams have no real interest in seeing the entire university thrive. Those who are True Maroon know that for the football, basketball, and baseball teams to do well, the Engineering school needs to do well. If we want to win an SEC Championship, our Performing Arts students need to find careers doing what they love. If you want to be True Maroon, you must take your eyes off of Davis Wade Stadium occasionally and remember how great the Mitchell Memorial Library is. If you want to be True Maroon, on the way to your tailgate in the Left Field Lounge, stop and take in the splendor that is our Drill Field. If you want to be True Maroon, when you set up your Tailgate at the Junction, don’t forget how may hours you toiled in Lee Hall trying to raise your Grade Point Average.

I don’t consider myself to be a better Bulldog fan than anyone else. I love my team and my school. The great thing about our University is that so many of our students, alumni, and fans can proudly say they are True Maroon. We have our fringe just like every other school that sometimes bring us down, but that doesn’t stop us from doing all that we can to show our Maroon and White Pride. Keep it up Bulldogs and Hail State!