It’s Egg Bowl time, folks. Things have been hectic and weird this week, so I figured I’d check in with someone familiar with Ole Miss and ask about things that are more normal for a rivalry that is generally anything but normal. Alex McDaniel over at USA Today’s For The Win was generous with her time and responses just as the Lane Kiffin Twitter shenanigans started getting heated up.
Note: There are no Kiffin related questions in this very serious and important piece of journalism. Mostly because I sent the questions before Twitter got weird.
Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss: Egg Bowl Q&A with Alex McDaniel
Ethan Lee: Can you name your five favorite things about Mississippi State?
- Brian Hadad
- Decent gas station food
- The Reflector (yay, student journalism!)
- The Famous Maroon Band
- Its proximity to Oxford
Ethan Lee: Mississippi State fans helped you raise a lot of money for some really cool marching band stuff. In turn, you showed up to last year’s Egg Bowl to root for the Bulldogs. How much money would Mississippi State fans need to raise for you to wear a giant cowbell costume to next year’s Egg Bowl?
Alex McDaniel: First of all, I want to thank everyone who helped us raise money last year for the Ole Miss Band’s new practice field. We raised $25,000 in two days, which might seem like a drop in the bucket considering it takes millions to build a new field, BUT we built up so much momentum by talking about it on social media that the school raised the rest of the money and they’re starting construction soon.
I was more than happy to follow through with my end of the deal, but I have to say it would take A LOT MORE to get me in a cowbell costume.
Ethan Lee: Follow up question: did you end up cursing MSU by rooting for State and was it your plan all along to take money from MSU fans and then curse our team?
Alex McDaniel: We all know there’s rarely any logic involved when it comes to which team is going to come out on top, so I truly had no clue what was going to happen. That said, I promise I will never cheer for MSU again just in case I am, in fact, capable of curses.
Ethan Lee: Do you have a favorite bizarre bit of Egg Bowl history/trivia that stands out in your mind?
Alex McDaniel: In 1993, Mississippi State officials canceled the pregame prayer before the Egg Bowl because students/fans always used it as an opportunity to yell, “Go to hell, Ole Miss!”
Ethan Lee: What cheap beer best represents Ole Miss? What cheap beer best represents Mississippi State? Why?
Alex McDaniel: Ole Miss: Miller High Life – An overinflated sense of confidence for what it actually is, but looks pretty on a bar.
Mississippi State: PBR — A classic working man’s beer. The People’s Beer, some might say. Also, during Prohibition, Pabst started making and selling cheese to stay in business, so.
Ethan Lee: It seems like everyone has a favorite Egg Bowl. Which one is yours and why?
Alex McDaniel: I’d have to say 2021, and not because of the outcome of the game, which was admittedly very cool for me. The deal was I had to be a State fan all day, not just at the game, which meant I got to tailgate in the Junction and meet all sorts of wonderful people beforehand. The Bellsmith even made me a custom Ted Lasso cowbell which I keep in my office.
My buddy Brian Hadad was my MSU chaperone/person-who-made-sure-I-followed-the-rules-of-the-bet and he planned every moment so I could really experience being a State fan. Was I thrilled about having to watch my team close out its best regular season in decades from the MSU student section while wearing maroon? NOT PARTICULARLY. But I can’t deny it was a great time and easily the most fun I’ve had at a game in years.
Ethan Lee: Not Egg Bowl related at all but can you explain your hatred of Arkansas in five or fewer words?
Alex McDaniel: 4th and 25.
Ethan Lee: If you had to rename this rivalry, what would it be?
Alex McDaniel: The Leg Bowl (hiked, that is)
Ethan Lee: If you were to predict the outcome of this game, what would that prediction be?
Alex McDaniel: I just hope both teams have fun!
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