Week 4 – Mississppi State Bulldogs

I believe it was a great American philosopher in his treatise on contemporary American mores and social responsibilities who famously quipped:

I’m starting with the man in the mirror,
I’m asking him to change his ways.
And no message could have been any clearer,
If you want to make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and make a change.
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)

Wise words, to be sure. But what’s that, you say? Why am I getting all philosophical on y’all? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And make no mistake, we live in desperate times. A loss this weekend to Mississippi State could well send our beloved Dawgs into a tailspin, the likes of which this young team might not easily recover. And so it’s time to dig deep within ourselves. It’s time to start with the man in the mirror.

And what do we see when we peer into this mirror? We see a team struggling with its identity right now. It’s been a tumultuous off season with many significant changes to the defense. We’ve got new coaches and a new scheme. And with the recent rash of injuries and other…unfortunate circumstances…not to mention breaking in a brand new quarterback, it’s hardly surprising that our offense has yet to find solid footing.

Interestingly enough, the Mississippi State University Bulldogs are a near mirror image of the University of Georgia Bulldawgs. They too have new defensive coaches and a new defensive scheme (Manny Diaz, MSU’s new defensive coordinator, was a name thrown about in certain Dawgs circles when we were looking for our own new defensive coordinator this past winter). State’s offense has also struggled, juggling two different quarterbacks and clearly missing their star player from a year ago, Anthony Dixon, who has since moved on to the League. And that’s not all. Against a weak Memphis team, the ‘Dogs looked like a very solid squad. But once conference play started, they faltered. Sound familiar?

But enough with all the doom and gloom. That’s what the DawgVent is for. How about taking a look at the more positive aspects of these two schools’ similarities. For instance, we both care very deeply about the welfare of our student body and in an effort to raise social awareness, we both offer public service announcements from our scoreboards during games. Previous Dawgs Athletic Director, Damon Evans, very (in)famously pleaded with students to be responsible in their celebrations during gameday:

On behalf of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes, we welcome you to beautiful Sanford Stadium. We appreciate your support of the Dawgs, and we invite you back for another exciting Saturday between the hedges.

We ask that, when leaving the game today, that you be responsible. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let your friends drink and drive. Because if you drink and drive, you lose. So choose a designated driver before each game, and have a safe drive home.

Go Dawgs!

And he showed all of us just what happens when you don’t heed his words. I have to say, that’s a pretty scary result and I have to applaud Mr. Evans for going all out and making an example of himself. Not to be outdone, Mississippi State offers advice on responsibility of a different nature:

First, let me go ahead and say that I’m sorry. By no means am I trying to make light of anyone’s belief system nor would I belittle a charter member of the SEC and a great institution’s traditions. But, well, it’s just that…I don’t really know how put it tactfully but I’m sure going to give it a shot. It’s a freaking cowbell. A cowbell. A sound making device used by cows for a sort of primitive signaling system, one can only assume. A cowbell.

So, on the one hand, our message to the student body is “If you drink and drive, you stand to lose everything” and we back this up with a real life example. Whereas State’s message is “If you don’t ring your cowbell responsibly, you stand to lose…your cowbell”.

Now, to be fair, after a little more searching (which turned up some pretty amusing finds, I must say), I came across this rather more formidable video:

Kind of gets the heart pumping, don’t it? It’s nicely paced, with lots of flashiness and great production values. And I admit, when this video first started, I thought, no, surely they’re not using Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls in conjunction with, wait for it, cowbells. I was proven wrong. You know, I think my favorite part of this video is the subliminal flashes of an image of the almighty cowbell every time the bell tolled during the song’s intro.

But you know what? As impressive as the previous video may have been, we’re the Georgia Bulldogs. The real Dawgs. And we are not going to be outdone by some State school and their fancy motion pictures. So, Mississippi State Tofu Dogs, we’ll see your cowbells and we’ll raise you, well, we’ll raise you this:

So I’ve taken a look in the mirror. And I’ve seen the grimace of a team struggling to find something to build on. At least I think that’s why the team is grimacing. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with any sort of infernal racket coming out of the stands. No, in the end, I believe these Dawgs’ grimaces are brought on by the determination to continue fighting. My grimace, on the other hand, is caused by some real quality time spent editing a video. Oh, and also by being nervous about tomorrow’s game. But mostly it was the editing.

*Special thanks to some special friends for their willingness to, well, you saw what they did.

How ‘Bout Them Dawgettes!


One Response to “Week 4 – Mississppi State Bulldogs”

  1. […] consists of me rambling on tangentially about our upcoming game. If you’ll recall, I opened last week’s “preview” of the Mississippi State game with a quote from Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror along with these lines: […]

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