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For the Love of the Game

Mississippi State University College World Series, For the Love of the Game by Jenny Cox Holman, Jenny Cox Holman writer, Mississippi State University

In Mississippi, we are recognized for a lot of things. We make national polls for being on the bottom of one list, and on the top of others for hospitality. But one thing that we can all agree on is that the fandom of sports and sports rivalry runs deep in the heart of Southerners. On back porches, tailgates, baseball stands and living rooms with big screen televisions, the chatter and cheers of unabated devotion to a sports team can be heard loud and clear.

As Mississippi State takes the national stage today in baseball, fans ring their cowbells cheering on their Dawgs. Yet for those who have loyalty to other SEC teams, the sight of an opposing team and not their team in the national spotlight might make them squirm. So what do you do when you find your house divided? Not on politics or religion, but where your loyalty lies when it comes to sports?

{ Create Your Own Tradition Together }

Maybe you grew up going to every Ole Miss game with your family, but now you are marrying a Mississippi State fan, and the thought of the Egg Bowl makes your cringe. Well, you two will be making some new traditions. A good lesson in compromise might just present itself in deciding how Saturdays during football season will be spent perusing in The Grove in Oxford and ringing those cowbells in Davis Wade Stadium.

Bulldog fan, go ahead and enjoy an afternoon in The Grove with your Rebel gal and see all the pageantry and elaborate tents with food and decorations that would be fit for Royal Wedding style. Devoted Rebel fan, make yourself ring a cowbell and take a selfie sporting some maroon and white for all of social media to see with your man. It’s all for fun and making memories with your loved ones anyways, right?

{ Meet at a Middle Ground }

When it comes to the gridiron, baseball field or basketball court, find sporting traditions that your spouse or loved ones enjoy and embrace those traditions. Does your loved one enjoy tailgating at home games with family and friends? Maybe the thought of being in a crowd of cheering and adoring fans from the opposing team doesn’t seem like a fun Saturday to you? Well, take one for the team and show support for the passion that means a lot to your loved ones.

{ Generations Unite }

From elementary aged fans, to college students and grandparents, sporting events bring generations together. Sharing the stands as spectators of sports gives grandparents time to reminisce of "the good ole glory days" of their team and celebrate new victories with their family members. It's a time to disconnect from technology of the young social media savvy generation and focus on the present with the game at hand.

For the little elementary aged fans, they can have fun donning a festive fan attire and enjoying some tasty cotton candy. Celebrating and enjoying a time together at a sporting event is truly special for all ages.

{ Celebrate with a Community }

It may seem silly, all the passion behind the diehard sports fan and their deep devotion to their team. But when non sports fans think about it, we really all want to be a part of camaraderie. Sports brings strangers, friends and families together. Devotion to a team brings a community together, and enjoying the adrenaline that comes with an exciting sports game together is quite fun! Sports can teach us a lot. As a team, working together we can accomplish much. Collectively, we want to belong and be a part of cheering together for a win.

We all want Mississippi to be known for the best we have to offer and our sports programs and devoted fans are top notch!

{Written by: Jenny Cox Holman}

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