Ole Miss Football: We All Have An Opinion, So Here’s Mine

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Terrance Smith
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Terrance Smith /

Ole Miss football is very important to me. However, it’s not as important as what we have going on in our country right now. Now, we have separation. We are not united at all. I have a problem with it.

I love Ole Miss football. However, as much as I love Ole Miss, it pales in comparison to the real things in my life which also mean something. For a long time I’ve worked on something I call the Four F’s. Those are Faith, Family, Friends and Freedom. I’ve done my best to make sure these things meant more to me than anything else. So, when players react to a flag I have an emotion.

To cut this piece short and to the point, I’ll tell y’all once again about a man named Doc. No, his name wasn’t actually Doc although he was a doctor. His name was HH Skipper and he was my hero. Doc was a Marine during WW2 and a decorated war hero. He was also an orphan who believed his destiny was fighting for his country. He literally had nothing to lose. After two Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star he didn’t ask for much. The greatest war in world history had taken its toll on Doc. However, he loved his country and the Flag.

Doc’s Allegiance

Ole Miss Rebels Football
Ole Miss Rebels Football /

Ole Miss Rebels Football

I can remember going to my first Ole Miss football game when I was younger. I can also remember Doc telling me to put my hand over my heart at a Ole Miss ballgame. I remember the game and Archie broke his arm against Houston. My very first Ole Miss game I would ever attend. However, that wasn’t uncommon for the time.

All fathers would have done the same with their children, wanting them to demonstrate their patriotism for their country. Then, I did as my father did. I placed my hand on my heart and respected my country and it’s flag.

Then I did it because it was expected of me, however later in life I would have my own choices and decisions, There were more than a few games in my dad’s later years which I wasted in The Grove and didn’t make it to our seats until after kickoff. When you could still park cars in the Grove. Yes I’m old.

It’s in these moments I realize I had fallen short. My dad was always there and he always fussed about me not making the National Anthem. He could have cared less about me missing the entire first half. It was the anthem which I learned was more important to him than Ole Miss football.  “I hope you had your hand over your heart when they played the National Anthem,” he said. “Of course,” I said in my Groved state.

Here We Are

So, here we are some 40 odd years later and our country is in a conundrum. We’re at a disagreement over a song and a flag. We are also at disagreement over one of the finest displays of human talent since the birth of the Olympics, the NFL. Anytime you mix two great things together you get a mixture. In this case, you get a mixture of emotion and ego. That’s all any of this nonsense really is.

The whole thing is about freedom of speech and personal choice. Take away either one and you have none of the other. This is the United States of America where people fought and died, sometimes not by personal choice, for the freedoms we have. One of those main freedoms is the freedom of speech and peaceful protest.

As much as a NFL player has the right to protest police brutality during the National Anthem so do fans have a right to proudly stand with their hands over their heart and boo. Honestly, one is just as bad as the other.

Section C

Doc loved Ole Miss football and he really loathed LSU football. The last few years we went to games Doc could barely get around. However, he always stood for the National Anthem and I stood with him. Every game then and since there’s been a guy who sits a couple of rows in front of us, I don’t know his name. However, every home game he is there and every National Anthem at the end he hollers “GO TO HELL LSU!” regardless of who we happen to be playing.

Doc always remarked how disrespectful it was. Not because it was LSU but because it was during the Anthem. The guy still does it. When I don’t hear it I actually miss it. Every time I hear it, it makes me think of Doc.

Of course, I sat and watched a few NFL games this past weekend simply because I’m in a couple of fantasy leagues. Naturally, there was a lot of focus on the National Anthem and player protests. I watched and listened and thought of my dad Doc. I wondered what he would be more bothered by, the players protesting or the fans booing.

Then I remembered what he said about the Ole Miss fan in Section C who hollered ”GTH LSU” at the end of the National Anthem. Even though he hated LSU, he still thought it was disrespectful. “But he has every right to express himself, it’s his choice,” Doc stated. Doc knew what he had fought for. He had fought for our freedom. Our freedom to make our choices and speak our hearts and our minds.

Next: Keys To A Rebel Victory!

We live in a country today which is divided. However, it’s divided because different people view things different ways. There is no more live and let live. There is no more ‘it’s his or hers choice’ unless it corresponds to our own way of thinking. We find a personal offense in anything and everything simply because we can. Where does it end? It ends where it began, with us.