clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2017 Egg Bowl was a perfectly chippy mess for 4 hours

New, comments

Ole Miss’ win over Mississippi State included all sorts of shoving, jawing, and taunting.

Every game in Rivalry Weekend is heated, but the Egg Bowl might be the only one in which both schools’ ADs feel compelled to release a joint statement discouraging uncivil fan behavior. An already wild rivalry had reached a boiling point amid Ole Miss’ bowl-banned, scandal-bound season, and Thanksgiving night, it bubbled over a little bit.

1. Pregame

On the field, we had a dang pregame brawl during warm-ups...

... and another staredown dust-up before kickoff:

It didn’t stop there.

Leo Lewis is, of course, the star MSU linebacker who’s made a hobby of trolling the Rebels on Twitter and is currently in the middle of the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss.

2. During the game

The game itself was a total wreck, with seven combined turnovers and 22 combined penalties. Things really got going again in the second half.

After Ole Miss receiver AJ Brown caught a long TD pass, the Starkville native added more fuel to the fire, declaring the hometown crowd to be his constituents:

The fan reaction included a bird:

Following that, Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf celebrated a long TD by peeing on the Bulldogs, a la Odell Beckham Jr.:

When Ole Miss defensive end Breeland Speaks recovered a Mississippi State fumble, he waved hello to (probably not) the camera or (presumably) the MSU crowd, but that’s not the best part.

Later in the game, he got ejected on a crucial personal foul penalty for whapping a Bulldog in the face, and AGAIN WAVED TO THE CROWD AS HE WAS LEAVING.

Even one of the most heartfelt moments, MSU starting QB Nick Fitzgerald being carted off with injury, still involved a middle finger, though apparently one meant with affection. Fitzgerald later clarified that it was a gesture of brotherhood toward backup Keytaon Thompson.

Mississippi v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Where was the game’s Egg Bowl trophy throughout this? Exactly where it should be.

3. Postgame

After Ole Miss’ victory, Rebels claimed the turf claimed for Oxford.

And on social media, Ole Miss fans lived it up, naturally. Here’s a Rebel and Olympic gold medalist turning one of Lewis’ legendary Rebel-mocking tweets against him after his team lost:

This rivalry doesn’t have the most polite history, to say the least, and that’s just the way we like it.

In 1926 after a 7-6 Ole Miss win, the matchup ended in a brawl. From our friends at Red Cup Rebellion:

The Golden Egg was in fact born of violence. In 1926, Ole Miss students initiated a violent encounter with authorities and CLANGA fans as they tried to rip down the goalposts following a 7-6 victory over State. I’ll let Alex McDaniel take it from here:

“The postgame scuffle inspired a plan to award a trophy to the winning team each year “with the primary purpose of creating a better spirit between the two institutions and preventing any fistic encounters which may occur at the end of the game.”

“Though some accounts infer the trophy wasn’t called the Golden Egg until after it was made and fans realized it looked more like an egg than a football, that was merely a coincidence.”

“Ironically (and fittingly), the Battle for the Golden Egg, born from the desire to find common ground and avoid future fights, has evolved into one of the nastiest rivalries in college sports.”

That bad blood between these two fan bases is very much alive, as my colleague Steven Godfrey reminded us in 2013:

But on Egg Bowl week it's still suitable to boil everything down to the rednecks vs. the country club.

Before the game, you notice how willing the participants are to play to their own stereotypes.

This is not the Iron Bowl. There are no national titles at stake. There haven't been since the early 1960s. The Egg Bowl is a potent distillation of Mississippi as compared to its neighboring Southern cultures, a stronger high and a harsher burn.

Live in Mississippi long enough with an open ear and you can learn to hate everybody. Trust me.

You're either a red-dirt, hillbilly dipshit, kin to farming families outside Tupelo (and a cheater) or a racist, fork-tongued Jackson lawyer (and a cheater). And tonight everybody's a damn cheater, a "cheeeetin son of a bitch" precisely, as it echoes through the stands.

I've often wondered out loud around Oxford and Starkville that if everybody's cheating so damn much, is anybody really cheating? The answer around Thanksgiving week is, "yeah, those sons of bitches are."