The Good, The Bad & The Oh My Word We Play LSU Next

Well, Sister and I went to the Mississippi State / Auburn game this past Saturday.

Yes. Yes, we did.

And listen. The first six-ish hours of our day were a giant happy rainbow. We left my house around 6, drove straight to Starbucks, fueled up for the trip with some big ole cups of Pike Place, then hit the road. We started driving east just as the sun was starting to peek over the trees, and it made for an absolutely beautiful drive. About two hours later we pulled into The Loveliest Village on the Plains, and since I’d reserved our parking space earlier in the week at one of AU’s covered parking decks (EVERY school should have these; I am such a fan), we parked without any problem at all.

The stadium was only about three blocks away, so after a short walk from the parking garage, we crossed the street and saw the site of Saturday morning’s SEC battle.

Would you be embarrassed for me if I told you that I was really, really nervous?

Because I was really, really nervous.

But I guess that is totally understandable since I play such a vital role in the Bulldogs’ game plan. I mean, I don’t mean to brag, but this arm of mine? IT IS AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON. I can throw the football upwards of five to eight and one half feet AT ONE TIME. So clearly the ‘Dogs like to use me in 3rd-and-short situations, not to mention during all those plays where they benefit from the distraction of having a player who squeals a lot and kicks up her back leg real purty-like when she releases the ball.

Oh, I kid.

Because y’all know that I really play cornerback. Fred Smoot taught me everything I know.

Sister and I decided that it would be fun to join the other State fans who were going to greet the team buses when they got to the stadium, so we walked in that direction and took in Auburn’s gameday atmosphere. Honestly, I was expecting more tailgating than what we saw, but I’ll give the Tigers the benefit of the doubt since it was a morning game and all. Plus, whatever Auburn lacked in the tailgating department, they more than made up for with the landscaping.

Do you see all of that perfectly placed pinestraw? The whole campus looked that way, and it was absolutely beautiful. Call us cow colleges all you want, but nobody can landscape like ag schools can. Combine the beautiful surroundings with down-to-earth, friendly people, and you have an atmosphere where visitors are quick to feel right at home. I’ll take that kind of genuine hospitality ALL DAY LONG. It makes for a mighty fun day of football.

While we were waiting for the team, Sister and I snapped a picture of ourselves despite the fact that we were both suffering from a terrible bout of the flat head. Neither one of us achieved our hair volume goals when we were getting ready Saturday morning, and I told myself that it was because the Lord wanted us to walk in a place of pre-game humility. My hair was so flat, in fact, that I was almost overcome by hair shame, but I felt better knowing that my flat-headed sister was with me. The Lord never lets us walk through these sorts of difficult times alone, you know.

Also, my head is enormous.

Seriously. EPIC.

We headed for our gate about an hour before the game started, but we had a wee small moment of panic before we went into the stadium. I may or may not* have had a cowbell in my purse, and Sister may or may not* have had a cowbell in her purse, and we were worried that our ALLEGED cowbells might be confiscated. We didn’t have any intention of ringing our ALLEGED cowbells during the game, but we’d taken them to meet the buses and ALLEGEDLY wrapped them up in t-shirts and put them in the bottom of our purses.

We also allegedly stuffed socks around the clangers so that they wouldn’t make any sudden noises.


Our concerns were unfounded, though, and we made it through the bag checkpoints relatively unscathed. A few minutes later we found our seats and were pleasantly surprised to find that we 1) actually had really good seats and 2) were sitting in THE BLESSED SHADE. We were so excited about that second thing, and even though we knew we couldn’t avoid the sun forever, it surely was nice to know that we had a temporary reprieve.

As the stadium started to fill up we realized that while there were lots of State fans in our section, there were also lots of Auburn folks, and you really never know how that’s going to work out. I have to say, though, that we totally hit the Auburn fan jackpot. The people around us were so nice, so gracious, and so understanding of our occasional (and by “occasional,” I mean “frequent”) need to very vocally support our team.

Like, for instance, when they ran back in the locker room after warm-ups.

The game, in a word, was crazy. Initially Auburn was fired up and State was just flat-out rattled. Eventually, though, the ‘Dogs started to find their way. By the end of the first quarter we had us a real-live ballgame, and Sister and I were as nervous as a couple of long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. By the beginning of the 4th quarter I started to think that the ‘Dogs were out of it for good – but then lo and behold we rallied, pulled within 7 and had a chance to tie or maybe even win the game in the final seconds.

But we didn’t.


By the way, the sun was brutal during the second half, and while Sister managed to construct an effective sunshade out of an Alpha Gam fan (courtesy of the sweet family next to us) and an MSU shaker, I was not quite as fortunate. At times I draped the t-shirt that I had allegedly used to conceal my alleged cowbell OVER MY HEAD, but apparently my SPF was no match for the BALL OF FIRE in the sky. My sunglasses, however, were very effective, and that is why my face is now hot pink with the exception of two very large white circles around my eyes.


(*YES MA’AM we had cowbells in our purses. THAT’S OUR HERITAGE, Y’ALL. But we really didn’t ring them in the stadium.)

Anyway, even though I have A LOT OF THOUGHTS about how some things went during the game – especially in the second half – at the end of the day none of that stuff matters. Both teams fought like crazy, and in the end, Auburn won.

But did I mention that it smarted?

After the game we walked over to the Student Activities Center so that we could cool off and nurse our wounded pride for a little bit, and about 20 minutes later we decided to walk back to the car. The sun BALL OF FIRE was pounding on us every step of the way, so when we finally climbed in my car, I turned on the air and let it blow full-force for about five minutes before I even made an attempt to back out of my spot. We were BURNING UP – and when we stopped to eat supper on the way home, I am happy to report that I consumed approximately one gallon of assorted liquids. I alternated between water and unsweetened tea, and our poor waitress got a workout trying to keep my glasses refilled.

I believe the word you’re looking for is “dehydrated.”

All in all, though, it really was a great day. It was a great game. I wish things had gone the Bulldogs’ way, but hopefully we’ll bounce back this Thursday night against LSU.


Because I don’t know if you’ve heard, but they are sort of REALLY, REALLY GOOD.


How’s that for optimism?

Go ‘Dogs.

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  1. You are a hoot! Loved your football tale!

  2. Belinda (Karen Smith's friend) says:

    You totally make me laugh out loud! What an incredible writer you are!

  3. Such a cute pic of you & your sis!
    I thought about you since I knew they were playing AU!

  4. If it makes you feel any better, this LSU alum is for Thursday’s game. For some reason I completely didn’t know we were playing y’all on a THURSDAY. And everyone knows that LSU plays best under the lights of Death Valley, at night, and on a SATURDAY. Not Thursday. And not in Starkville. Yikes!!!! May the best team win! Should be a fun game to watch. From home. Without the sun :)

  5. Oh, I’m so sorry about your game. Heartbreaker…I’ll be rooting for you against LSU!

  6. That game was killing me y’all sounded (ESPN radio) great especially considering it was on their turf! So sad y’all lost and in so sorry you have to play LSU next week, they were terrifying against Oregon! But hey, anything can happen an it’s a home game!

  7. We did not get to go the game this weekend but at times in the past, my husband might or might not have had an alleged cowbell rubber banded to his leg with toilet paper wrapped around the middle to prevent it from making noise!! Have a good week and Go Dawgs!

  8. I’ll bet you totally rock the coon eyes!
    Sorry about the loss. We were sweating bullets watching our game and we were in our living room! We beat Georgia and it was sweet. Watching on television just isn’t the same, though. Love your optimism. It’s you.



  10. I love that you so inconspicuously hid your cowbell! Sorry about your team’s loss. Penn State was KILLED by Alabama this weekend. It was rough to watch. About four minutes into the first quarter, Alabama looked like they could play some serious football for the next several hours/days, and my poor Nittany Lions looked like they needed to go lie down and take a nap. It was already a sad afternoon, and it didn’t help that the announcers kept saying “PENN STATE HASN’T BEATEN A TOP FIVE TEAM SINCE 1999!!!”

    Next weekend we play Temple University. I sure hope we win that one, because if not, we’re in for a long season. Good luck against LSU!

  11. Oh it was a great day for the SEC Saturday – well, except for the Dawgs but hey, you can’t win ’em all.

    By the way, a friend of mine says that long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs a bit differently and it’s totally hysterical. She says “a bunch of sore-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs”. Have a great week!

  12. What a perfect recap of an SEC game. I just love you and how passionate you are about the bulldogs and big hair! God Bless!

  13. Cowbells ALLEGEDLY hidden in your purses is hilarious. That would be the thing I would forget was in there and then at some inopportune time later in the week I would pull it out and stick it up to my ear thinking it was my phone.

  14. You are such a great writer…you should either a) write a book or b) write for some newspaper or article. That’s all :)

  15. I was hurtin’ for y’all Saturday. I really believed State would beat Auburn based on the way the two teams played the previous Saturday. Auburn looked terrible last week! They must have spent their practice time getting ready for your Dawgs rather than preparing for Utah State.

    I understand why you won’t share your many “thoughts about how some things went,” but I doubt anyone will read my comment. The way your coaches were treated was ridiculous, first of all. Second, there were two (that I remember) game-changing referee decisions that had us folks at home jumping off our couches in protest.

    Finally, I can’t believe you guys have to turn around and play LSU 4 days later!!! That is crazy-difficult! At least it’s a home game. Don’t let Miles eat too much of your turf. :)

  16. Sorry girl…not a chance against our LSU Tigers!

  17. My sweet MSU lovin’ husband missed the ENTIRE GAME because he was helping in the tech department for the Beth Moore Simulcast. I’m pretty sure this is the first time he ever REALLY wished he wasn’t a pastor. If he weren’t, he would have shirked that responsibility for this game!!!! :-)

  18. It was such a great surprise to see you before the game. Loved it!! And so glad to read that you were able to get your Cowbell into the game too. A true MSU fan for sure. I only wish we would have pulled out a victory, but you know how it is to be a MSU fan. :)

  19. I watched the game Saturday while doing a little baking and thought of you the whole time. Other than being an SEC girl by birth I had no reason to cheer for either team but thinking of you “vacuuming” your way through that game was the only reason I needed to cheer on your Bulldogs!! Sorry about the game…they fought hard and I wish you the best next week….my husband is from Louisiana and my son is a Baylor boy (you know the school trying to keep A&M out of the SEC). Stay positive and I’ll think of you next week while you vacuum your way though the next battle!!! :0)

  20. That game was nothing less than heartbreaking, especially when we Bulldogs get our hopes up so high…you’d think we’d know better! However, it’s a new week, and I can’t be any more ready for Thursday night! Go Dawgs!

  21. I check up on MSU just because of you!

    My Mean Green opened the brand new Apogee Stadium on Saturday. The tailgating scene was so great, such an improvement over our old stadium. We played Houston and were heavy underdogs. But we scored first! And we had a lead! We went to halftime only down 20-17 and felt oh so hopeful. Then UH came out and kicked our tail all over the place and we lost 48-23. And it hurt worse because we had such a strong first half! Being a UNT fan is hard and humbling. But oh so worth it because college football is the best.

  22. You just make me laugh out loud!!!
    But seriously, why do some heads, (like mine) look so big in pictures?

  23. Thank you so much for the laughter you always bless me with! Your wit & way with words are truly amazing.

    And this, “I told myself that it was because the Lord wanted us to walk in a place of pre-game humility”… I’m afraid I must have a lot of unresolved pride because I feel like this very frequently!

  24. Sophie, we were pulling for y’all Saturday but this Thursday not chance!!! GEAUX TIGERS!!! Love, Jerry & Susan

  25. Ah, Sophie, what a wonderful recap, and I love how you gave us the essence of an SEC game day. Thought of you the whole time I watched the game. I will say Auburn is pretty lucky to be 2-0.

    And I totally understand your nerves. My sister and I are going to Florida-Alabama in a few weeks and I am already nervous.

    But, win or loose, you can not beat the atmosphere and the being there in person, so the nerves are worth it.


    Oh, and one other thing. Your beach dip (with cream cheese, sour cream, Rotel, ranch dressing mix, cilantro and lime juice) is now our official game day dip. I’ve made it three times since opening day, and some folks may or may not have been seen licking their plates…

  26. i feel like a stalker, but I totally thought of you the whole game. I was not there, but I was watching. Oh yes ma’am. I do not miss a tigers game. Well, technically I was not “watching”, but I was DEFINITELY listening the whole time while I sewed the day away!

  27. I feel your pain because my Georgia bulldogs? they aren’t looking so hot this year . . . but I loved your post – it made me smile today, which I totally needed!

  28. I thought about you Saturday as I took a break from the game to mop away my nervous energy. It was just awful. And this morning I sent my pastor an e-mail requesting that he add the referees to his weekly prayer list….that they would be healed from their blindness. hrumpf.

  29. Well Sophie, I have to hand it to you. I read this entire post even though it was about football. You had me at “hair volume goals.”

  30. Girl you totally crack me up!
    I was watching from home – and was a nervous wreck – the bulldogs and the last 2 minutes of every game are gonna be the death of me I’m sure of it — I had trouble watching it – a really doozy – same thing goes for last year’s game w/them – I will be at the game this week and am already starting to get nervous!! I am loving Relf this year– awwhh the anticipation of everything!! GO DAWGS – and MORE COWBELL!!

  31. HILARIOUS!!! I feel your pain because my dawgs, the Georgia ones, can’t quite seem to string an entire four quarters of football together yet. So bummed after watching that game for sure. Nothing like an SEC game though, being there, seeing everybody in their gameday outfits, just love it. I did hear that it had been a close game for State and I thought of you :)

  32. Losing stinks! So cool that you got to go to the game though. I was conflicted about who to cheer for because, well, I am a Bama fan, and I have friends for both teams. You can be sure I’ll be cheering for y’all Thursday night!
    I went to the simulcast here in San Diego, so no football watching for me. But it was totally worth it. Have a good week!

  33. I applaud your dedication! Oh, the heat is still with us!

    The last time I went to Auburn I was there to see my Rebels play. It was Tuberville’s first year as the Auburn head coach. Despite the 11:21 kickoff in mid-September I was ABSOLUTELY going. And I did. Mid-way through the game I also had to ABSOLUTELY convince the stadium personnel that I was not having a heat stroke, nor did I need to visit the air-conditioned first aid room. (See, the heat makes me a red-faced girl – apparently to the stranger – a severe, red-faced girl.)

    I made it through the entire game and completely forgot how hot I was as we celebrated victory on the Plains! Wish you had a victory to ease your overheated mind. Maybe Thursday.

    Side Note: I’m also a nervous-cleaner, but I have to be able to see the t.v. Just listening to it while a clean another room, doesn’t work. (Unless I’m so nervous I can’t watch which leads to pacing, covered eyes, plugged ears and countless “what’s going on” questions to the sane people in my family.) Needless to say, the rooms I can clean while eyeing the t.v. soon become immaculate on college football Saturday afternoon while the bathrooms….well, they just wait their turn.

  34. I thought of you the whole game and I was sad that they lost. I have a friend whose son used to play for State. She is a HUGE fan. There is nothing like going to an SEC game and tailgating, an all that involves except when you go to said game and Bama beats your team a bagillion points to three but that was last year and I don’t like to live in the past. ;)
    Good luck against LSU. Because I don’t dwell on the past, I won’t even mention the LSU/VOLS game last year. That game nearly brought me as close to a breakdown as one can get. Again, it’s a new season. :))
    By the way, my team plays the Gators at the Swamp. Of this I a confident, we might totally win too, might.

  35. T.i.g.e.r B.a.i.t
    love ya!

  36. I wanted to offer to vacuum for you, but I fell asleep at halftime and missed the whole thing. And I’m sorry to admit that, but there you have it. That’s the kind of loyalty my team can expect from me.

  37. Oh, how you make me laugh!! And I can just hear every word you write, spoken in your southern drawl…which makes me grin from ear to ear. We “northerners” just don’t have that ability I’m afraid :) And I’m very impressed that you maintained your good attitude, despite your loss, because on Saturday I had a bad attitude. A VERY bad attitude in fact. Only because my Iowa Hawkeyes lost in TRIPLE OVERTIME to our arch rivals (Iowa State) by 3. Because we kicked a fieldgoal on a 4th and 1 play, instead of going for the touchdown!!! Oooh, it still stings just a little to even say that. Anyway, I hope your Dogs have a better night on Thursday! It will do my heart good to see LSU lose :) We can dream, right??? You are such a fun blogger!! Thanks for making me laugh! Sending you some Minnesota Love!

  38. I watched the game here in Kansas. Not knowing you were in AL, I kept telling my husband, “BooMama’s house is very clean. She’s vacuuming right now. She’s dusting. She’s washed the windows….”

    He said, “Maybe she and her friends are in a stupor from Diptacular so they aren’t awake enough to care.” This was, at least, his hope for you. Sorry that wasn’t the blissful truth.

    Love your recap! Sorry the outcome wasn’t more fun…

    Go SBU Bearcats! (A round of applause to anyone out there who’s ever heard of my alma mater!)

  39. I LOVE this account! While Southern Living may call my town one of the best Southern college towns, we are definitely not the south. I still love me some football, but hearing you tell the tale of two truly southern schools is a lot of fun. We had a similar loss this weekend and it smarted as well. Except it was one in the morning. And in Arizona (I’m a Mizzou fan). So it smarted in my sleep. We’ll all win next week, right!?

  40. Well, don’t hate, but I am a BIG Auburn fan who lives in Jackson, MS. So I am so glad we won! It was a wild game! Officiating was horrid for both teams. I will be pulling for y’all this Thursday, and the rest of your games. I don’t think we will be quite that fortunate. Still shocked we are 2-0!.
    War Eagle and Hail State!

    • Hey I am being forced to go to a reunion in Brandon Ms this weekend. I am looking for a place to watch the AU vs LSU game. Hopefully somewhere that will at least have a few AU fans! Any help would be greatly! appreciated! THANKS AND WAR EAGLE!!!!!

  41. As an MSU alumni living in Idaho (yes – IDAHO for crying out loud – some 2200+ miles from Starkville!), I really appreciated your post today. I needed a good belly-laugh, and you sho-nuff delivered. Thanks for brightening my day.
    P.S. I also suffer from chronic flat-headedness – it IS a gift!

  42. Go, Boomama!! Awesome post!!

  43. You and Sister are too cute! I absolutely LOVE the football stories! LOVE them. :)

  44. I was fortunate enough to have a precious baby’s first birthday party to distract me for the most part during the game! I’m an Auburn grad and am THE MOST ANXIOUS FAN!!! I almost dread football season…ALMOST! I went to check the score and State was first and goal…I left, knowing it was over (and our season!). WHEW! I did think of you and the cowbell! GO STATE! BEAT LSU!!

  45. Recently discovered your blog and have been laughing along with you ever since! You have a true talent in finding the humor in things, and you remind me of how proud I am to be from the south!

  46. Hair goals! Love it. I, too, suffer from chronic flat hair syndrome.

    Also? I was totally pulling for State. Any bulldog is a good bulldog (except for when y’all come to Athens in a few weeks). :)

  47. I’m glad you found some friendly Auburn fans, because I’ve been wondering if they had all got the big head with their 180,000 quarterback last year, cause the ones I interact with have been just downrite rude. And I have to say, we bulldog fans have to be the most optimistic ppl in the SEC, dontcha think? Go Dawgs! clang-a-lang

  48. They seemed to play better when I avert my eyes and hubs stands on one foot! We’ll be doing just that Thursday night! We must do our part…on to victory!

  49. Sorry for that loss. AM games can get the best of the tailgaters. Double sorry about LSU. I am married to an LSU fan and on any given day know WAY too much about those others tigers. War Eagle 1

    What is your take on Texas A&M wanting to be in our sandbox? Texas is just not SOUTH! I like Texas and all but I need to be able to drive to the game in a day if need be.

  50. As an Auburn alum and resident, nothing does my heart better than knowing you were treated well–win or lose–and that you enjoyed our landscaping. We like to set the bar high when it comes to friendliness and foliage :O)

  51. glad that you had a pretty good experience at auburn. there really are sweet people in every single SEC stadium, just like there are jerks in every single stadium. i love how the athletes congratulate each other after good plays (and goal line
    stands) and after the game, especially. and even mullins conceded that the 4th and 1 (eventual first down) that ‘went auburn’s way’ was the right call. first home game i’ve missed in 17 football seasons (home w/ a bad back) and it’s really hard to not be in the middle of it all. good luck tomorrow night! y’all DO have the team to get it done!!

  52. SUCH a cute pic of you and SuSu!!! Miss y’all!