Bumper sticker war goes to Mississippi State

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Nov. 28, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University 15, Ole Miss 6.
Okay, okay. That wasn't the final score of the Rebels and Bulldogs 100th meeting and 75th contest for the Golden Egg.
Ole Miss crushed MSU 31-0 at Davis Wade Stadium on Thursday in front of a national ESPN television audience.
But if college football games were decided by bumper stickers, window decals, window flags and the like, MSU crushed Ole Miss. At least down this columnist's route of U.S. 45 North to U.S. 82.
Granted one rear-window sticker for MSU was counted on an unoccupied car on the side of U.S. 45, but one assumes, the passengers not wanting to miss the game forsook their vehicle to hike it to Starkville.
Considering how the Bulldogs' season has gone for a third straight year, horribly, coach Jackie Sherrill may have preferred the "who does your vehicle root for method" to determine the final score of his team's last game.
Despite some broadcaster's claim of a certain team being a runt, there are few things bigger in the Magnolia State than the annual showdown between Ole Miss and MSU.
Sure the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have first dibs on Thanksgiving being their football days, but when the pros are done, many eyes turn South for the game that has been shorthanded to Egg Bowl.
The 21 cars tallied to make the first line of this writing are from the road and the road alone.
The 53,582 counted attendance at Thursday night's show down at Davis Wade Stadium saw quit a few more vehicles decorated with either MSU's crimson and white or Ole Miss red and blue.
But come on, the real challenge is counting these things up on the road when traveling at a good highway speed and not spilling your medium size coffee from the corner gas station.
So why is this guy talking about car decals?
Simple, this import to Mississippi has had the privilege of making the journey to this annual in-state college football showdown since he came to the state three years ago. Call it his own little Thanksgiving tradition.
And each year, your friendly neighborhood assistant sports editor has enjoyed counting up the fans on the road as he makes the trek to the game field.
It gives me something to do, aside from playing with the radio dial.
Plus, the first year the journey was made to this mysterious contest, which had everybody talking, the greenhorn reporter felt out of place in a car not just without something on his car to show support for one of the two programs but the vehicle still had Missouri plates.
There was some fear that the car wouldn't be allowed on campus. Luckily, it there was not an admission problem.
So despite coming to this game for three years now, I'm still amazed by the support shown by the fans through their cars.
Thanksgiving night belongs to Mississippi football.
The game has been aired nationally by ESPN for the last six years, and it feels like anyone still awake after consuming pounds and pounds of turkey makes their way to the site of the contest.
While some make look at certain programs as the smallest of the litter, one look at how much this game means to the participants, fans and state makes Thanksgiving night's game look like the pick of bunch.