Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’!
Full disclosure: I come from a Bulldog family and was one up until Johnny Weathersby opened my eyes to all that awaited me in Oxford at Ole Miss our junior year of high school. I’ve been Red and Blue and #hottytoddy ever since. But my memories of riding around with my daddy from dove season to deer season listening to Jack Cristil I wouldn’t trade for anything. I clearly remember when John Fourcade punched it in for the win. And in 1983, I was in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium when God showed his true Rebel colors with a tornadic wind gust on an Artie Cosby field goal attempt.
Over the years, the Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans have been front and center in the Egg Bowl. Delta players go back decades and generations. I caught up with a Bulldog – Rod Gibson who played in 1998 and 1999 and a Rebel – Joe Hall (from a previous interview) who played in 1983 and 1984 and talked about their Egg Bowl experiences. They both were undefeated.
Gibson, a running back from Greenwood, works at MSU as the Recruiting Communications Coordinator. He played under Head Coach Jackie Sherril and loved every minute of it. They won the SEC West and played in two bowl games including the Cotton Bowl.
“It explains itself -regardless if you pull for MS State or Ole Miss, when it’s time to play, everything is off the table. It’s a weird game, it’s always a weird game. I was fortunate enough not to lose (28-6 and 23-20).”
Hall played in probably the most bizarre Egg Bowl.
“We won that wind-blown game (the Immaculate Deflection),” Hall said.
With tornados out and about that day, the game had been back and forth but Ole Miss had come from behind to take a one-point lead – due in part to Hall’s interception late in the game setting up Ole Miss’ lead. But with time winding down, State’s Artie Cosby set up a game winning field goal from chip shot range.
“I went to block that kick, when I dived, I looked back I thought, ‘well, we lost it.’ But the wind cut that ball and sent it right back towards us.”
Hall remembers before the infamous play that Brewer had called the defense over for one last pep talk.
“He said, ‘listen, Joe, you and Barry Wilburn try to block it. That’s all we’ve got and hopefully you can give me one. Barry and I both missed it.”
The next day, Hall’s phone rang and former Mississippi legislator C.B. “Buddie” Newman was on the other end.
“He called me and said, ‘Joe, I’ve got a word for you. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the blowing of the wind.’ And I said, (laughing) ‘I guess so.’”
Let’s hope it’s a good one, Hotty Toddy, y’all!