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Know Your Enemy: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. —The Art of War by Sun Tzu as read by Joe Mantegna (yes, that Joe Mantegna, seriously)

BOO!

Did I scare you? How about if I said, “Candidate A wants to take all your money and give it to someone else”, or “Candidate B is an angry old man that wants to continue the failed policies of President C.” Scared yet? Nah, I’m just funning with you. After conducting my own successful campaign right here on this blog, I’ve grown a bit tired of all the travel, the constant smiling, and outright lying that are required of me. To be sure, I will not be vexed when this beauty pageant you call the KSR Favorite Blogger Contest is over–even when I win handily…or protest the winning of whoever the winning winner is.

No, we’ve got more important issues at hand that trump the pomp and circumstance of this campagin season. We have Halloween…and Sylvester Croom. First up Halloween. If you’ve never heard of this holiday, you likely don’t know the backstory of why we Kentuckians are the only state to celebrate October 31 by dresssing up and giving each other candy. It all began in 1939 when Governor Happy Chandler declared that dressing up in costumes would surely, finally, mercifully get us out of the Great Depression once and for all. While he didn’t have a lot of evidence or even reasoning as to why this would be the case, his fellow Kentuckians chose to follow the lead of their governor and chose October 31 (Fred from Scooby-Doo’s birthday) as the day to dress up. When October 31 rolled around, some hobos from the trainyards of the old L & N wandered into various Kentucky towns and went door to door in search of food. The populace, believing the hobos to be fellow revelers, joined in on this practice and the idea of trick-or-treating was born. Sure other states find our ritual bizzare, looking askew upon the practice of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but Halloween is a source of pride for me as something that I can point to as being wholly Kentuckian.


Ah, history

Next up, Sylvester Croom and his Mustache of Doom. I actually think that that will be the name of the next crappy Indiana Jones film, when they find that Harrison Ford is unavailable. The Croom Broom (copyright 2008 Mosley Enterprises) had a breakthrough year last season, managing to return the Bulldogs to a bowl for the first time since the Korean War (note: facts may not be at all accurate) and upsetting the greatest football team ever assembled in the process (2007 Kentucky Wildcats). Croom’s goons were then poised to return in 2008 with a newfound confidence and looking to at least make some noise in the SEC West. However, after an early season defeat at the hands of vaunted Louisiana Tech, and being on the losing end of the most ridiculous score in college football history (3-2), things are looking a bit bleak for Sly and the Family Stone. Things are not due to get any easier, though, as the Cats come marching into town reeling from a unprecedented loss to Division I-AA upstart, Florida and their little-known quarterback, Jim Greenbow. That’s why Rich and Company (I mean Rich Brooks and the Cats, not the manufacturer of dog diapers) will need to be extra prepared as they head down to StarkVegas. If you could gaze into the future, [Future, future], You might think life would be a breeze, [Life is a breeze], Seeing trouble from a distance, yeah!, But it’s Know Your Enemy. Ten points.


The Starkville Awful Football Purification Ritual has, so far, proven unsuccessful

Location:
Starkville may be the smallest SEC city (Note: again, facts may not be accurate), but that doesn’t prevent them from making outlandish claims in an effort to compensate. Exhibit A: Starkville claims to be the “Baseball Capital of the South”. The city claims that Tee Ball was invented there and Cool Papa Bell was born nearby. Add to that the fact that Mississississississississippippississiiiiiiiiiiii State has traditionally been an SEC power in collegiate baseball and you may have a case for Starkville being the “Baseball Capital of…Mississippi“. But, “…of the South”? I refuse to try to think of other places that would qualify, you know, on account of the effort involved, but I simply can’t believe that no other place in the south can match those pedestrian achievements. Starkville, you sit on a throne of lies.


Matt Jones, 2006

Notable Alumni:
We profiled Rafael Palmeiro last year and I refuse to write anything about John Grisham because I’m convinced that what I would write would be better than his collected works, so we will turn our attention to Machine Gun Kelly (I would’ve gone with the founder of Pizza Inn, but in this section we shame the other school–we don’t shower them with praise). George R. Kelly (Machine Gun was not his Christian name, it turns out) was famous in the era of “gangster” crime characterized by criminals wearing fedoras and ties, robbing banks, and generally smoking cigars while being chase by J. Edgar Hoover and his federal agents. Kelly can be mentioned in the same breath as such names as Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. His time at Mississippi State was unsuccessful as the best grade he received in his 2 years there was a C+ for “personal hygiene”. Yikes. That would seem to be a class that wasn’t especially difficult, there, MSU. Couldn’t come up with any easier classes like, say, “Waking Up”? Gotta keep the student body GPA up somehow, even if it does smell of body odor and Doritos. Where am I? I got a little lost.


One of MSU’s finest. Odd seeing one on this side of the bars, though.

Cheerleader Scouting Report:


Excellent assortment–something for everyone, including the coach/sponsor/whatever on the right.

Coaches

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m fascinated by Slyvester Croom. Maybe it’s the white mustache, or the sleepy eyes, or the shotgun and hunter’s orange that is known to wear, or even that fact that his last name is so much fun (I’m convinced if he ran a motel, he’d call it “Croom’s Rooms”), but Sly is interesting on all levels. James Joyce even named his most famous protagonist after him (Leopold Croom). For those of you who are idiots, Croom played at Alabama, but was spurned by the Tide for Mike Shula when the Crimson Elephants went a-lookin’ for a new head coach several years back. Croom didn’t get the Bama job, but did land the MSU job taking over from the once decent Jackie Sherrill (every time I hear the name Jackie Sherrill, I think “recurring guest star on the Love Boat” for some reason). In doing so, Croom became the first African-American to head up an SEC program. All are important points, but let me just make sure you are completely creeped out by my man-love for Sly by letting you know, if you haven’t already figured it out, that I’m most fond of Croom’s assonance.


Coach Croom

Players

I have to come back to Wesley Carroll’s picture that we previewed last year–it is truly something that I’ve giggled about numerous times. Wesley started against the Cats last year and played like Phil Simms in securing a victory for the Bulldogs at Commonwealth. This year, however, he is relegated to backup duty with Tyson Lee set to start. No matter, still, we are pleased to bring you Wesley Carroll, who, if not playing “fur” the Bulldog faithful, with certainly be playing “Fur Elise”:

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Airtight Predictions

Randall Cobb-ingham runs like a scalded dog in tomorrow’s game, racking up over 250 yards on the ground and not finding it necessary to pass in the first half. While his offensive teammates will be pleased with his success, they will quickly tire from running down field and Tim Masthay, Lones Seiber, Ryan Tydlacka, J.J. Housley, and Norm McDonald will become the new offensive line. Dicky Lyons, Jr. will return to action by dressing up like a football player without torn knee ligaments and will dominate the second half by collecting 16 receptions for 432 yards and 9 touchdowns. Only after the game, does someone remind him, in a Roadrunner to Wile E. Coyote fashion, that “just because your character doesn’t have knee problems, doesn’t mean you can run without pain”. Dicky makes this realization and immediately has to lunge for his crutches. Also, Micah Johnson bites off someone’s big toe, giving him the team lead in forced appendages lost with 8. Cats struggle a bit in trying to refreshen their offense a la a nice bottle of Massengill, but still manage to put up a respectable victory winning 82-8.

Summary Make sure that you do your trick-or-treating tonight, because tomorrow you’ll want to celebrate the fact that WE’LL BE GOING BOWLIN’ for the third straight year for the first time since the French Revolution. Cobb does well keeping the metaphorical mitten that is the quarterback position warm for Newtakowski next year as he leads the Cats to a stirring victory of Slyvester and Croom’s Grooms (That one didn’t make any sense either, but the “oo” sound has tickled my fancy today). Just go ahead and pay for the per viewing, because you’ll definitely want to see history occur. Go Cats.

Article written by Mosley