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30 August 2007

The curse of my generation.

I've often wondered if my generation is cursed, at least from the stand point of being Ole Miss fans. It seems that since my birth Ole Miss has been mediocre at best.

I'm 34. I arrived just after the glory years of Ole Miss football. The first big win in my life I don't remember as it came in 1977 against Notre Dame. The first bowl game we played in was in 1983, I was 10. In my lifetime I've celebrated 195 Ole Miss victories and suffered through 189 defeats. In those 34 years we have only appeared 11 times in a bowl game. Only two of these bowls, Gator and Cotton, have been major. Against the power teams in the SEC, we have been horrible. Take Alabama for example, we are 4-21 against them since 1973.

What has caused Ole Miss to fall from it's College football powerhouse status? Is my generation really cursed? As, my southern baptist pastor dad would say, curses aren't real.

Is it because of our affiliation with the "old south"? Possibly, there is no doubt that other coaches used the "flag" and "dixie" against us to dissuade football players from coming to Ole Miss. It is also true that our image around the country was tarnished by our use of certain symbols and the happenings in 1963.

Has it been because of poor administration? We fell greatly behind in the 70's and 80's with our lack to "keep up" with the rest of the SEC. We have made great strides lately but are still behind.

Could it be because of our fan support or the size our fan base? Other universities located in similar states have done well. Alabama and Auburn have been able to be competitive and are still thought of as powerhouses.

I don't why we have fallen. Perhaps some of you with more "behind the scenes knowledge" know the answer.

It hasn't been easy being a Rebel in my life time. However, I wouldn't exchange it for any other experience. I live and die Ole Miss. And this is not just in football. I went to the Women's elite 8 up here in Dayton. I was so nervous, I couldn't eat. I kept thinking to myself, it's women's basketball, I don't personally know anyone on the team, why am I so nervous? I eventually realized it's because I so badly wanted Ole Miss to be ultra-successful in something. We seem to be on the cusp of greatness in some sports. We haven't been able to achieve super success in any sport with the exception of tennis.

It's time to take a step forward. Not a giant leap, baby steps. Six wins or more this year and we are on track. Perhaps we are already on track with our recruiting. I long to feel the tinge of something spectacular in the air. The way it felt at the LSU game in 03.

Who is with me? Forward Rebels, March to Fame....

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