Game Time Is Party Time (Winning Optional)
Sat., Nov. 17, moments before the 2:30 p.m. kickoff
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
The excitement is building in the student section at the south end of the stadium. "Are you ready?" someone shouts, launching the Ole Miss cheer. "Hell, yes! Damn right!" comes the response from the boys in blue blazers. "Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty, who in the hell are we? Flim flam, Bim Bam. Ole Miss, by damn! Wuuuuuuu!"
Ole Miss gives No. 1-ranked LSU a spirited fight early on, trailing only 14 to 7 at halftime. But as LSU pulls away late in the game, the rousing Ole Miss cheers trail off. And the LSU band gets to strut its stuff, with the tubas thumping "Hold That Tiger."
Down in the depths of the stadium, the LSU players whoop and holler as they head into the visitors' locker room. The No. 1 ranking is secure for another week. They emerge later in purple sweatsuits. A few are limping. One player hobbles along with an ice pack taped to his leg. They grab boxes of Popeyes chicken and sports drinks and head out for the buses. They probably won't spend much time relishing the victory. In his news conference, Coach Les Miles is already talking about the dynamic running attack of Arkansas, LSU's next opponent.
Football is done for the day, but the Grove is still in business. Ole Miss fans spill out of the stadium and return to their tents for more revelry. What's the point in sulking? As one T-shirt on campus puts it, "We may not win 'em all, but we sure know how to throw a party."
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