Saturday afternoon Mississippi State played Alcorn State at MSU's home opener. Jeffrey and I and 55,000 other fans were there to watch. We hadn't been in our seats any time when I noticed something discomforting: The Alcorn State marching band played wily-nily, with no regard to the announcements being made or even if Miss. State's band was already playing. In fact, it almost seemed as if they were doing it on purpose.
I had been out of college less than a year when I began working for the convention and visitors bureau in Jackson, Mississippi. As part of that job, we were involved in coordinating the logistics for the parade and pep rally for the Capital City Classic in November. This football game is a big rivalry game between Jackson State University and Alcorn State. It's a big deal. Alliances run deep and emotions run high.
I was in charge of getting the Jackson State band down Capitol Street to the central location where the pep rally was. My being "in charge" was a joke - the band director was not studying some young girl telling him when and when not to march. I knew it wasn't time for them to march, yet marching they were. I jumped out in front of them on the street and held up my hand, "No! Net yet! It's not time yet!" And promptly jumped out of the way, as they kept on marching and would have marched right over my body twitching right there on Capitol Street, I have no doubt.
After they got to the central location (ahead of schedule and when my boss asked me why I had let them get there so early) they began playing and Alcorn's band played. Alcorn State's cheerleaders began a cheer and JSU's started one right over them. Why, it was rude. They weren't taking turns!
I'm sure my eyes were wide when I turned to my co-workers, all wordly city-slickers from Jackson, and said how, "Ah couldn't BELIEEEEEEVE these folks were being so rude to another. It's just not verah nice, is it?" There was a moment of incredulous silence before they burst out laughing at me. I was being completely serious - I couldn't believe how rude the two schools were being to one another.
It was the same thing on Saturday: Come on. Act like you're from town - that's what I wanted to say.
At halftime I left my seat and stood in line for twenty minutes for a snow cone that I didn't even want that badly but that was my form of protest - refusing to watch the Alcorn State's halftime show.
Mississippi State went on to win the game 51-7. On another day, I might have thought, okay, call off the dogs, no need to run the score up like that. But they had made me mad, being all rude. Fix their little red wagon.