Hate Narrative Hugh Freeze Preaches Lives On


Nov 21, 2015; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze reacts after a play during the third quarter of the game against the LSU Tigers at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State fans don’t like Ole Miss, but do we literally hate them the way Hugh Freeze says we do?

Give Hugh Freeze some credit – the man knows how to create a narrative (albeit a false one) that Ole Miss fans can rally around.  And as Egg Bowl week progresses, we see this narrative being advanced relentlessly by the Black Bear faithful on Twitter.

One year ago, I wrote this about how Freeze solidified the narrative in the mind of Ole Miss fans that State players and fans are all haters, while Ole Miss “plays out of love.”  I won’t rehash the article here since I’ve given you the link above, but it’s clear that the Ole Miss fanbase  has really bought into this phony narrative.

Here are some examples from Twitter this week that illustrate my point:

Yes, Ole Miss Fans get razzed on game day when they come to Starkville.  It is part of the rivalry and it’s all in good fun. Okay, the post-game razzing sometimes gets a little rowdy when the Bulldogs win.  I participated in some rowdy taunting of Rebel fans after the 2013 game.  If you were an Ole Miss fan walking up University Drive after that game, you probably encountered our group. I actually saw Rebel fans crossing the street to avoid passing directly in front of our lot after the game.

But let’s not pretend this only happens in Starkville.  I’ve been to the Egg Bowl in Oxford a few times myself, and only one of those times did MSU prevail.  And yes, we were abused after the game by Rebel fans.  I simply kept my mouth shut and walked on.  And to give credit where credit is due, many Ole Miss fans who passed by us after the 2013 game did the same thing.  Some even smiled as we hooted and rang our cowbells. Those are folks who actually get it.

But those who persist in perpetuating the myth that State fans genuinely “hate” Ole Miss while Ole Miss merely dislikes State should consider one other thing.  Perhaps what you are witnessing from State fans is a visceral reaction to your own pomposity and arrogance.  Try acting a little more down to earth and maybe some of the “hatred” you see will subside.