Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Trip to Oxford, Mississippi

*A thought: Ole Miss fans really haven't embraced the Rebel Bear mascot just yet.

Like many of the members of Cougar Nation, I decided to head down south to Oxford, Mississippi, for the opening game of the 2011 BYU football season. To say I wasn't disappointed would be like saying ice cream isn't horrible or trick-or-treating isn't boring or my two-year-old daughter isn't calm when she doesn't get her way.

The trip was a lot of fun for many reason, but what stood out early on was the tailgating scene on campus at The Grove.

These pictures really don't do it justice. Sure, it looks like a lot of people (and it is), but it is only a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of people there. Acres of tent and people and BBQ made the gathering an eyesore in of itself. Lots of awesome, hospitable people with a handful of knucklehead's sprinkled in (like any fan base has).

Coming from someone who really hates walking around at fairs and the rest of that ilk, I couldn't get enough of walking through all of this and getting a good view of the culture surrounding The Grove.
Here's when the Ole Miss buses pulled up for the players to do the "Walk of Champions." Pretty cool sight.

BYU huddles up at the close of warm-ups. I kept waiting for them to do the Haka, but me and my posse ended up disappointed that all we saw were football exercises and such. Oh well.
BYU runs onto the field led by former Cougar and current Baltimore Raven Dennis Pitta. I hear Austin Collie was also at the game, but I didn't see him. Then again, I heard it after I got home, so I didn't really know to look for him.
Mike Hague and Jordan Johnson await the unleashing of the "unstoppable" SEC Speed. Were they wondering what they got themselves into?
Jake Heaps and the rest of the BYU offense take the field before the first offensive play of BYU's independence.
Scoreboard! Here is a picture of the rebuttal to any Ole Miss fan trash talk after the game (surprisingly, there was more after the game than before). I didn't really take too many pictures during the game, as I wanted to be able to enjoy myself.

Here are some more pictures after the game. Jake Heaps and Kyle Van Noy took their turns talking to BYUTV's Robbie Bullough.

Overall, a lot of fun was had by all. I remember being down 13-0 and thinking, "If we lose this game, I probably won't say a word to anyone in the car during the entire 10-hour car ride home. In a matter of 15 minutes or so, that attitude change. I'm so happy I was able to be there to witness BYU's first game as an independent.

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