Hopefully, by the time you sit down to read this today (Saturday), Mississippi State will have stamped its ticket to the College World Series national championship series. If not, then the Dawgs still have one more chance to punch their ticket to the finals today. So, either way, and if you haven’t already, go out and get you some bananas to show your support.
If you don’t know the story of the rally banana for the Dawgs, here is a brief synopsis in Jordan Westburg’s own words: “I got hungry in the second inning (of the June 3 regional game against Oklahoma) and went in the tunnel and grabbed a banana. When I came out, we weren’t throwing a whole lot of strikes and we weren’t getting a whole lot of outs. I decided to get weird and I put it on my head. We started throwing strikes and getting outs after that.”
The Dawgs had lost to the Sooners by 10 runs just two days before, but since the arrival of the rally banana, and after two straight wins over OU, the Dawgs are 6-1 and have outscored their opponents 57-26.
The rally banana even has its own Twitter handle:
Now, if you haven’t read my column before, just know that I am a diehard LSU fan. However, there is a piece of my heart that also belongs to the Maroon and White.
If I had to break it down by percentage, I would say that my heart is 75 percent purple and 25 percent maroon.
I have written in this space before that as long as LSU and MSU are not playing one another, I ALWAYS pull for the Dawgs.
Yes, I own a cowbell. And, yes, I have rung the bell and hollered until I was hoarse while showing my support of the Dawgs.
I’ve been to games at Dudy Noble Field, The Hump and Davis Wade Stadium. I even met my brother and some of our friends to watch State play in the Liberty Bowl. I may not be a card-carrying member of Bulldog Nation, but I am a loyal supporter and follower — as long as they aren’t playing LSU.
The main reason(s) that I pull for State (as long as the Dawgs aren’t playing my Tigers) is because of my dad and, even moreso, my younger brother Sam.
In the course of my fan-hood of LSU, which dates back to 1990, I have witnessed the Tigers claim eight national titles (two in football and six in baseball). I just want my brother to experience that same euphoria.
Winning a national title in football pretty much trumps winning one in any other sport in these parts, but when you have never won one in anything, you will take whatever you can get.
Remember the last two Aprils, when MSU fans were so giddy that the Lady Bulldogs basketball team played for the national championship but fell just short both times? It was excrusciating for me to witness and I can only imagine how the diehard Maroon-and-White-clad fans felt.
I have my own rally banana-dog that has been on top of the TV in our living room since Miss. State played in the Super Regionals two weekends ago. It’s a chew toy that I found at Walmart and apparently it has a little bit of luck in it. State is 4-0 since it has sat in its current spot.
Hopefully, it will remain in place until at least Tuesday (or Wednesday at worst) and then I can celebrate in front of my rally banana while Sam and the rest of Bulldog Nation gets to go bananas.
Josh “The Guru” Nichols is former sports editor of the Leader-Call. He lives in the Big Creek Community.