Subpar Nachos, dotMOM, & Oh Have Mercy A Dak Attack

First of all, raise your hand if you cannot get Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” out of your head.

I know that doesn’t really have anything to do with anything. But considering that it’s been playing on a loop in my brain for the better part of two weeks, I just felt like a group acknowledgement might turn down the internal volume a little bit.

So. I got home from Nashville early this afternoon, but only after a slight detour through some beautiful Tennessee horse farm country (I dropped Melanie off at the airport this morning before I started home, but in an attempt to bypass a blown-up bridge on I-65, I took the wrong exit and immediately developed a deep dependence on the Google Maps app). Despite my navigational troubles, I had the best time being at dotMOM and getting to visit with some folks that I don’t get to see nearly enough (even though I’m still sad that there were a few people I didn’t get to see at all). I’m reminded every year that dotMOM really is such a sweet conference, and I hope the mamas who were there left feeling encouraged and rested and relaxed.

Melanie and I got to spend tons of time together while we were in Tennessee (yay for that – we were way overdue), and as is our tradition, we managed to find some truly subpar Mexican food not far from our hotel. We split some fajita nachos, and while I could pretend that they were delicious, the truth is that they were a real low. I later told Mel that I knew we were in trouble when our waiter delivered the nachos and my first thought was, “Gosh, these sort of smell like Italian food.” The saving grace was that the chips and salsa were tasty, not to mention that Edie happened to be passing through and was able to meet us at the restaurant. OH MY WORD WE LAUGHED. And all that laughter did my heart a world of good even if my stomach was considerably less enthusiastic.

Now. Let us talk about the game.

If you are uncertain about which game I am referencing, then clearly I haven’t done a very good job of introducing myself over the course of the last nine years.

It was a little after 5 Saturday afternoon when Melanie and I left the church that was hosting dotMOM, so we went back to our hotel, changed clothes, and drove to our friend Mary Katherine’s house. Mary Katherine is also a big college football fan (specifically: Alabama), and for two years Mel and I have talked about how we’d love to watch a game or eight on Mary Katherine’s back porch. This past Saturday night was our first opportunity to do just that, and it just so happened to coincide with State’s road game against LSU. I wouldn’t say that I had high hopes for the game, but I did think that it would be a good one, and I was mighty curious to see how the Bulldogs would play against an SEC team.

I’d told myself ahead of time that I was going to be a normal person and watch the game on the porch with everybody else, but as soon as we started our first offensive series, I had to put myself in solitary confinement in Mary Katherine’s den. I mean, I don’t think my particular brand of college football crazy is any big secret, but I knew that I’d need to pace and talk to the TV and maybe even yell and I didn’t want to be a distraction to my friends. When State scored I pretty much kicked and yelled and jumped in many graceful and sophisticated ways.


And not too long after that, when our defense stopped LSU on our goal line, I managed to stay put in a chair, but my reaction was basically like this.


GIFs via Tumblr

By halftime I was feeling borderline confident, but I didn’t dare speak the possibility of winning (long-time Mississippi State fans will totally understand this reaction). And even when it was late in the 4th quarter and I was actually sitting on the porch and feeling somewhat relaxed about the outcome, I still didn’t speak about a possible win because HISTORY HAS BEEN A VERY GOOD TEACHER FOR BULLDOG FANS.

So when we snapped over our quarterback’s head and LSU picked up the ball and scored, I quietly left the porch and returned to solitary confinement in Mary Katherine’s den. If the Bulldogs were going to self-destruct, I wanted to be able to weep (and maybe kick some things) privately. And moments later, when LSU scored again, I started pacing like a madwoman. I even contemplated turning off the TV and just letting the sound of the reactions from the porch tell the tale.

Eventually, though, I decided to stand in Mary Katherine’s hallway and watch the game from a considerable distance. I don’t know why the hallway seemed like a good idea unless subconsciously I wanted to be near a bed in case we lost and I needed to lie down for a bit, but at the time I appreciated the space between the TV and me.

I watched the final play with my hands over my face, and OH, HAVE MERCY, when Will Redmond intercepted that last pass, I am fairly certain that I cried out to the Lord and maybe even fought back a few tears. Our boys just played so hard, and it was great to see things go their way. Mississippi State folks are a loyal bunch regardless, but it’s so fun to be able to celebrate after a game like that.

It’s been a long time since Bulldogs had a reason to smile in Tiger Stadium.

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 9.46.51 PM

Once my heart rate returned to normal, I went back outside and savored the win for a bit before Mel and I drove back to our hotel. We talked about football pretty much the whole way. State has a bye week coming up, and then October 4th, we play Mel’s beloved Aggies. They’re #6, we’re #14, and I’d be willing to bet that there will be a podcast sometime between now and then so that we can talk about all of our football-y feelings.

In the meantime, I’m gonna savor this one. I actually watched the game again earlier tonight, and I was so happy that we won all over again.

I love it when that happens.

Hope y’all have a great Monday!

Hail State and Go ‘Dogs.

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  1. I thought of you the entire time I watched that game! I don’t have any Bulldog watching history to speak of – if we’re honest, before I encountered the joy that is your blog a few years ago, I’d have told you Mississippi State was one those made up schools on a teen sitcom. But they were a treat to watch yesterday, even with the mild collapse there at the end, completely unstretchable given all the starters they pulled. But it was a great game! I love that it was such an upset, that it got y’all a spot in the polls and that by the end there, no one had need to call you a medic! ;-)

  2. Rest assured, WVU Mountaineer fans know exactly what you’re talking about. History
    Has taught us well, too.

  3. Oh how I would have loved to be there to watch you watch that game! I had spent part of the afternoon at my sister’s watching our Gators self destruct. Trust me when I say it would have been much more fun to watch you than it was to watch my sister. The SEC WEST is a BEAST this year. I’m not sure any one team will emerge undefeated when all is said and done, but how great would it be if y’all did?

  4. I was picturing you and Mel watching it in your hotel room… So glad you didn’t have to, because I was sure you had tracked down the maids cart and borrowed the vacuum cleaner! So happy for you and the Bulldogs…even though it was a tough loss for us Tiger fans… Knowing how happy you were made it a little easier… :)

  5. thought about you while I watched that game. Sitting on the edge of my chair those last minutes.

  6. It may be sad/bad to admit this, but I’m not a big football fan. However, I so enjoyed this post. It gave me a smile on this early morning Monday. Have a great week.

  7. That really was such a good game.

  8. Until I became aware of your blog, the score of a Mississippi State game coming across my tv screen would not mean anything to me, but I thought of you every time it did on Saturday. Happy for you, Sophie! :)

  9. I am rejoicing with you on our beloved Dawgs!! My family abandoned me to watch the game alone which was perfect. Me, Twitter,and texting my brother was the best way to watch. At the end I was also pacing the floor. I am surprised I did not wake the entire neighborhood when we WON!!

  10. My favorite part of that last picture was the lack of LSU fans in the stands at the end of the game, and the big chunk of Bulldog fans sitting right there in front! I’m an ardent Aggie, and I was shocked at how the Tiger fans left before the game was over. I had to laugh at your description of how you watched the game, because that’s pretty much how I watch the Aggies and the Saints. I’m pretty sure they can hear my helpful tips through the television….

  11. Hand raised on TSwift’s “Shake it Off”. I have a feeling after that win, your Bulldogs will be ranked higher! LSU got manhandled for the first three quarters! It was a great win! Congratulations to all the Mississippi State fans out there!

  12. As a Purdue fan, I totally understand the feeling of not getting too excited at halftime – but ranked #14!!! Go Dawgs!~

  13. You and I watch SEC football in much the same ways – close up, screaming and pacing or far away, watching between our fingers. The only difference is the Dog/Dawg! However, on Saturday night, I was a true MS Dog! What in the world was your coach thinking when he refused that penalty that would have sent them to 4th down?!?!?! Oh, the angst that could’ve been saved in the minutes following! Glad to say it turned out well and no one required an actual defibrillator application. Hail State and Go Dawgs too!

  14. Glad the game turned out good for you! I would love to hear another podcast soon and please include your thoughts on your favorite fall fashion trends. What do you all think/feel about the leopard print trend?

  15. I’m also not a big football fan, but my 10-year-old girl and I love the “Shake it Off” video, and I absolutely LOVED that you put the gif of Mary Katherine Gallagher in there – help me, that Molly Shannon was a hoot in SNL. I used a clip of hers in my blog about turning 50 (“I’m 50; 50 years old” – Just had to comment on the cultural connection. Love your blog, as ever.

  16. OMGoodness, the game was all kinds of nerve wracking, but oh so much fun! I’m so happy the LSU voodoo didn’t work on us Saturday night. Hail State! :)

    Can’t wait for the next Bulldog/Aggie podcast. You girls crack me up!

  17. Love this post! I’m a football fan from Arkansas, so I’m for the Razorbacks over every other team.

    And, being from Arkansas, it goes w/o saying that LSU is dead to me, so I was cheering for your Bulldogs to win! I talk about the bloggers I stalk like they are real friends in my real life, so when I said, “Oh, I bet Sophie is so excited,” my husband said,”WHO?”

  18. I was in Memorial Stadium Saturday night watching my beloved Huskers beat the Miami Hurricanes but when I saw the final score of the LSU game I thought of you! Like Marty above I feel like the bloggers I follow are my actual friends…

  19. We still haven’t found good Mexican food. There are a couple decent places and there is Chuy’s, but still. We have found the BEST authentic tacos and they are cheap and yummy. And the people speak broken English, so you know you’re getting the best! Glad Nashville was fun! (PS–new music for you to fall in love with: Twin Forks.) :)

  20. Oh my word that game about gave me a heart attack! So thankful we pulled it out! I did my fair share of hollering at the tv too ;)

  21. Dak attack is right!!! Those dawgs were out in full force!! Hailstate!!!

  22. Sophie…my husband and I are die-hard Bulldog fans. He was in FH fraternity back in the day, I was a little sister…we LOVE our dawgs!

    We relocated to Kansas several years ago, but we still do everything we can to watch them on TV (including switching to DirecTV, because our local cable company didn’t carry certain channels).

    I, too, had to leave the room after that botched snap. I couldn’t watch! I stood in my kitchen where I could hear the game, but not see it. Those boys played so well and so hard, I was overjoyed when they won. The first thing I said when I woke up the next day was “I can’t believe we won that game!”


  23. Can I watch a state game with you one day? Please? I just know that we are sisters! YES,
    Taylor swift is on repeat on my phone! I love it! Did you see Derek dance to it on DWTS? It was awesome 😊. I was covering my face at the end of the game too! I walked to the kitchen to get away a little bit. Haha. Your post made my day. Love ya!
    Come see me in Louisville!

  24. Sophie you are such a delight. You post made me happy.

  25. Oh that game….I dared to start relaxing in the 4th quarter. Silly me! Les Miles’ voodoo almost prevailed, and I died 1000 deaths while that hail mary pass sailed toward the end zone. Couldn’t be prouder of our Dawgs! So ready for next Saturday in Davis Wade!

  26. Barbara Hervey says:

    I only became a MSU fan after my daughter graduated from there!! Great game and then I had to watch the Florida State game(graduate) …Needless to say…I was exhausted! On Sunday it was the Packers…..2 out of 3! I was pleased!

    Hail State

  27. As we watched the game, the Hubster asked, “When do we start vacuuming?” I forgot you weren’t home because I assumed your carpet was plumb wore out by the time the game was over. It was probably good you weren’t there!

    I’ve never been an SEC fan, but now because of you and Mizzou, I’m firmly on the bandwagon!

  28. I don’t vacuum when Alabama plays – I re-do my kitchen cabinets. They always look wonderful during football season. :) I was so excited for MSU that I went to the Android app store and found a MSU app that simulates a cowbell ringing. It also plays the fight song. I sat on my sofa (in Wyoming) and rang responsibly and screamed when y’all won. I’m now going to use the app to wake up sleeping students in my 11th grade history classes.

    • Oh Amy, this makes our Dawg hearts very proud!!! We thank you for ringing responsibly and being smart enough to use on those students!

  29. I was so happy Sunday morning when I woke up and realized that it was NOT a dream!! Thought of you the whole time and knew you would find a place to watch the game (I knew it was dotmom weekend!).
    I pray they keep it up and prove the naysayers and those belittling commentators wrong!
    And like you, I almost left the room at the end and jusy listen from afar – must be some evolutionary protective fight or flight instinct to keep from going slam crazy by screaming at the tv and then melting into a heap on the floor! Anyhow, it all ended well and all I can say is Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Pett wallowed says:

    Well I’m betting you were very close to my house.we don’t live far from where the bridge hit blown up.glad you enjoyed the scenery! At Zumba tonite I spoke with a girl that was at the conference . I hold her about your blog,she had no you’ll be getting another reader!

  31. Oh Sophie, I think these Dawgs of ours have taken YEARS off our lives but you know what? Dan Mullen has changed expectations. And Dak? Could he not be more precious? Great story on SEC pregame show about his story. Tim Tebow said we should be talking more about athletes like Dak and less like Winston (FSU). I agree. Suck a better role model. I’m so happy for him and the while team. And us fans. We don’t have fans, we have family. HailSTATE!

  32. I’m so glad I got to see you and Melanie at the conference. It was like a live podcast! ;)

  33. When I heard that State won I was so happy for you! And reading about it on your blog just totally cracked me up. This is how I watch football too. It’s so bad my own husband can hardly stand to watch a game in the same room with me. (I feel like I should feel some level of shame about this, but I totally don’t.) I’m gonna have to stop reading your blog while I’m at work though. I start laughing out loud and my co-workers wonder what wrong with me.
    Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

  34. Sorry, Sophie, but Gig ‘Em, Aggies!!!