Celebrate this Moment in Time


Aug 30, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs cheerleaders run the flags across the field after scoring a touchdown during the game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeat the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 49-0. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

My unofficial role at Maroon & White Nation is to serve as the staff curmudgeon. And given that I’m old enough to be a father to most of the writers here, the role kind of fits me.  In fact, I actually embrace the role, both here and on my Twitter account.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not a grouch all the time. I enjoy having fun as much as the next guy and I still have a lot of the mischievousness that I had as a young man.  There’s a lot about getting old that sucks, but it’s not ALL bad.  In fact, getting old usually means two things for most people.  One, you generally have more money that you did when you were younger.  And two, you have something else, which is the subject of this piece – a more developed sense of perspective.

The reason older people are generally considered wiser (notice I said generally because it’s not always true) is because they have more life experience than younger people. They’ve screwed up more, and hopefully in the process, learned a few lessons that only life itself can teach.

Perspective is a great thing, because it helps you recognize those moments in life that are truly special. And for Mississippi State fans, one such moment is occurring right now.

I never dreamed that one day Mississippi State football would be talked about the way it has been talked about the past two weeks. We are ranked number 3 in the nation, have a legitimate Heisman trophy candidate, and our game this weekend with #2 Auburn is THE marquee game of the week, hands down.  We have a chance to move up to #1 – let that sink in for a moment – if we can win Saturday.  ESPN’s Game Day is coming, the national media can’t stop talking about us, and almost everyone with a playoff bracket prediction has us in their bracket.  That’s pretty heady stuff.

You see, for most of my lifetime, Mississippi State football has been mired in mediocrity or worse. Oh yeah, we’ve had an occasional good season here and there.  We even played in the SEC championship game once.  But those times have been few and far between.  Almost every State fan, regardless of age, knows this intellectually.  But it takes on a more special meaning when you’ve actually lived through the really bad years.

That’s why when I hear people on ESPN saying the Bulldogs may be the best team in the country, or listen to national talk show hosts debating whether or not Dak Prescott is truly the best player in the country, I have to pause and reflect. This is virgin territory for me.  It’s surreal. And I absolutely love it.

Which brings me to my point – don’t take this moment for granted. It is indeed special. Live it.  Enjoy it.  Embrace it.  Celebrate it. Wear your maroon with pride, whether you are at work, church, school, or just around town. Come to Game Day Saturday.  Ring your cowbell with all your might.  Pack Davis Wade Stadium.  Yell like you’ve never yelled before. Soak in every single moment as if it were your last.  Because as much as it pains me to say it, this moment is not going to last forever.

Now please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I believe this team has the tools to win a national championship – this year.  I believe Dan Mullen has set the table for our football program to experience an unprecedented period of success where these kinds of moments happen with much greater regularity.  But no matter who you are, eventually your fortunes change.  Just ask LSU about that.  Even Alabama, who everyone equates with excellence on the football field, experienced hard times a mere decade ago.

The term “Golden Age” usually refers to a time of great happiness, prosperity and achievement. Normally that term is used when looking back into history.  Well I am here to tell you that we are living in the Golden Age of Bulldog football – right now.  Don’t take it for granted. Live it to the fullest so that one day you can tell your grandchildren how great it was when Mississippi State football was the talk of the nation.