The Backstory Of Terry Powell’s Perfect Mississippi State Baseball Interview

Omaha, NE - JUNE 29: A general view of TD Ameritrade Park during the weather delay of game three of the College World Series Championship Series between the Arizona Wildcats and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on June 29, 2016 at in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Omaha, NE - JUNE 29: A general view of TD Ameritrade Park during the weather delay of game three of the College World Series Championship Series between the Arizona Wildcats and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on June 29, 2016 at in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

Here’s how that perfect Mississippi State baseball interview came to be

By now, you’ve probably seen that perfect Mississippi State baseball interview. KMTV’s Megan Stewart interviewed Terry Powell and it quickly became an internet sensation. From Facebook to Barstool Sports to ESPN, just about everyone everywhere is discussing this.

Why exactly did this thing blow up so quickly?

It’s all because of Powell’s quick wit, unique ability to deliver odd jokes with a straight face, and Stewart’s willingness and desire to showcase all of this.

I got the opportunity to interview Terry Powell about this interview. We talked about everything from Andy Cannizaro’s departure and office to Powell’s desire to see people donate to Alzheimer Research.

It was a great conversation with a great man who represents Mississippi State University far better than one could ever imagine if they saw that interview and didn’t initially see the sarcasm and humor in it.

Before we get into the interview that you did, I have another question I’d like to ask. I was searching through twitter for information on you and how to contact you. I came across this picture from Andy Cannizaro that had this light fixture/sign in his office and he was thanking you for it. Given that nobody is even going into his office, what would you like to see done with that?

Terry Powell: I first met Andy Cannizaro at a tailgate from this football season and he was obviously our head baseball coach at the time. He was right next to us. We have a huge tailgate, probably 16-20 couples. One of them made this huge “Welcome To Starkvegas Sign.” Cannizaro came up to me and said, “Hey, Terry, I need that sign in my office.”

Well, the MSU baseball offices aren’t big enough for this sign. This thing is too big and too heavy. It’s not made for the indoors. So I told him not to worry about it, that I’d make him one specifically for his office. It’d be compliments of our restaurant, Two Brother’s. So, in January, I delivered one to his office to sit behind his receptionist’s desk. And then about a month later, he resigned and our communication stopped.

And even though Andy asked for it, I’m a Mississippi State fan. I want that to be a Mississippi State thing. I want to give it to the baseball team. If that helps with recruiting and helps with the identity of the team, I want them to have it. It obviously hasn’t hurt them. I want to be able to say that I contributed to the program and contributed to Mississippi State baseball.

How many times have you made the trip to Omaha for the College World Series? Was this your first trip? Have you done other interviews like this?

Terry Powell: No, no. Okay so, I’ve done back and forth round trip drive outs. 2013 was the first time that I got to go. We go for the opening weekend in a round trip. If we’re still alive, like we were back then and are now, we watch the next semifinal game at my house.

Then, once we did that as we did back in 2013, we’ll go back to Omaha and round trip it again. The only difference was that this year during our opening game, I had a commitment that I couldn’t get out of. I play in a band and I played in the opening band of Chris Stapleton’s VIP lounge area for the concert in Brandon, Mississippi. So I flew out and drove back with them.

And we’ll drive out again this weekend so we can be there for the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday championship series.

So, I’ve seen several people discuss this interview in the context of the controversial comments that ESPN’s Mike Patrick made back in 2013. Are you familiar with those comments.

Terry Powell: Yes, yes. That’s what instigated my concern with the narrative that Mississippi State fans couldn’t afford the financial burden that going to Omaha puts on them. We go there and we take over the town. We spend more money than anyone. The vendors love us. Uber loves us. Hotels love us. We own the town and they love us and we love them. It’s a great win-win situation.

Did you ever think that this interview would get as much attention and notoriety as it has? I’ve seen this thing on every sort of platform ever. Did you expect this or is it something that is totally catching you off guard?

Terry Powell: No, I expected this. Well, I knew that the reporter, Megan Stewart from KMTV,  knew that if they didn’t turn the camera off, we’d have a good shot with this. This wasn’t what I set out to do. I didn’t set out to be an internet sensation. That wasn’t my goal. I just wanted an opportunity to vent my- to troll that narrative- to try to let everyone know that Mississippi can make accommodations for our team. That we are resilient people, our team is resilient, and we’ll find a way to get to Omaha.

If you choose to believe that we’re too broke to be there, I’ll tell you a story of just how much we want to be there for our team, how much dedication we have for our team. And I played right into that role.

I’ll do it in a way that is maybe entertaining and is maybe something that people didn’t expect. And that was the intent. I got my point across and debunk that theory, that narrative, from 2013. We obviously can’t afford it but we spend more money than anyone else and we have a great time. We love the town and the town loves us. I wanted to show that we don’t fit the narrative that they want to put us in.

I’ve got one last question for you. How far do you see this team going? Is this the team that finally brings MSU a title or is it one that ultimately falls short?

Terry Powell: Well, I’ll tell you this. I talked to Elijah MacNamee’s mother. She confided in me at the team hotel during the rain delay that she had only seen Elijah like this once before and that was when he won the state title. The confidence level, there’s not an ounce of doubt in their minds. That they are never out of it and that they are going to give it everything that they have.

She just looked at me dead in the eye and told me that they’re going to win it all. And I’ll take that to the bank.

I know the feeling that this team has for each other. I’ve seen it take us out of a 3-2 count with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Elijah lifted it over the fence to keep the season alive. We’ve got such a good chemistry and a great dynamic on this team.

I’m just so proud that I’m alive to witness one of the greatest Cinderella stories in all of college sports. Over the past three years, it’s been our run to the women’s championships and this run to the baseball world series.

And here’s the most important thing that Powell wants you to know from this interview:

Terry Powell: I don’t want this interview to go away without my main deal. I didn’t set out to jaunt this celebrity. I’m just basically being my normal personality, to just cut up. I do love the Matt and Billy Lea Father’s Day story. Where [Matt] took his dad with Alzheimer’s to the World Series and they did a road trip to surprise his dad.

Alzheimer’s is close to my heart. My mom passed away shortly after that 2013 run. I just remember that being the last great time that I had before she passed away. That 2013 run. On my facebook page I posted a donate button for the Alzheimer’s Foundation where people can bring awareness to this awful disease and give what they can to the research of it.

I’d like to turn my short 15 minutes of fame for an opportunity to make people aware of the lack of funding that this horrible disease has. This is an opportunity for us to make something positive out of that.

That’s the biggest challenging thing we have. It’s not going to be our opponent. We’re already going to win. We’re going to have a national championship. That’s a foregone conclusion. It’s this Alzheimer’s story that I’d like to see get more traction and more people donate their resources to.

And look, if you’d like to interview me as I’m grand marshal at the National Championship parade, I’ll make sure you can walk side-by-side with me.

Next: Megan Stewart Brought Us The Perfect Interview Of Terry Powell

And that is Terry Powell. He’s someone who truly believes that the Mississippi State baseball team will come out of this college baseball season with a national title. He’s someone that gave us a brilliant interview that almost anyone can enjoy. And, most importantly, he’s someone that wants to see those battling Alzheimer’s to receive the help and care that they need.