Call him a "fair weather fan" if you like, but while the Colonel has always had a penchant for picking lost causes behind which to throw his unimposing weight, he has all but given up on his alma maters' football teams. One of the Colonel's alma maters' teams now plays only in his dreams; the other plays prominently in his nightmares.
It has been a nightmarish football season for Ole Miss, all too reminiscent of other nightmarish gridiron campaigns through which the Colonel's Rebels have marched over the past four decades during which he called his own self an Ole Miss Rebel. This year's eight loss record echoes the first disappointing season through which the Colonel suffered in his first fall of matriculation at the Harvard of the South. That 1974 season saw the Colonel's Rebels fall to South Carolina at Homecoming, enroute to a three and eight season -- South Carolina went one and ten that year.
So, there is no joy in Rebel Nation this year. Our beloved Colonel Rebel has been replaced by a Jellystone escapee, the maroonnecks won the Egg Bowl, and Pete Boone is still ruinously running things as Athletic Director.
To see just how bad things have gotten here in Oxford, one need only to have witnessed the scene at our final game against Mississippi State where our huge jumbo tron video board's sound system malfunctioned embarrassingly and the idiots (a stronger word is probably more appropriate, but the Colonel is feeling unusually gracious this morning) running the show in the stadium flashed a message on the board which said:
"We are aware of the problem with the sound system and we are woking on it."
That's right, woking.
This week, Pete Boone (whose presence here in Oxford is depriving some other more deserving village the services of a perfectly good idiot) sent an e-mail to season ticket holders apologizing for the problems with the video board sound system and other complaints regarding the stadium's concessionaires. The Colonel presumes that the problems with the fried rice concessions were connected with the efforts to wok on the video board's sound system.
The Colonel only wishes that his mind were fertile enough to make this kind of stuff up.
As the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon may remember from other of his frantically boring presentations of pusillanimous prose, the Colonel went to high school in a time far, far away in a place far, far away, which now exists only in the minds of a small minority of Americans who cling not-so bitterly to their principled guns and religious-like belief that they once lived in the most special place on Earth and learned at the most special school on this side of the galaxy. For those lucky few of us whose parents' government service took them outside of comfortable stateside confines, assignment to the Panama Canal Zone in the last century was one of the greatest blessings bestowed on minors in the history of children.
The Panama Canal Zone was a slice of lost-in-time America carved across the tropical paradise that is the isthmus of Panama. The Colonel won't debate the issue of American territorial occupation v. Panamanian territorial sovereignty here--except to say, in his not-so-humble opinion, that when we got around to giving territory on the isthmus back to "the rightful owners" maybe the re-United States should have given the territory of Panama back to Columbia, from whom we helped Panamanian rebels secede in the early Twentieth Century. At any rate, America operated a canal through the isthmus, governed a zone through which that canal ran, and administered the finest schools on the planet for the children of those who ran and defended that canal and that zone.
The Colonel went to, and graduated from, the Canal Zone's Balboa High School. The last class to graduate from Balboa High School did so in 1999, the year at the end of which Canal Zone territory, and the canal, reverted back to Panamanian ownership. The Colonel would stack the accomplishments of the alumni of Balboa High against those of any other alumni of any other high school IN THE WORLD, and feels quite confident that he could easily demonstrate that the world class faculty there produced (if not the finest football teams) the finest legion of learned the world has ever seen.
But, alas, BHS is no more, save in the fond memories of those of us fortunate enough to have matriculated there.
So, the Colonel and his lady, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda (with whom the Colonel graduated from Balboa High), have adopted another high school; one at which the youth in our church attend and at which our grandsons, the Hope of 21st Century Civilization, Dashes 1 and 2 (H21CC-1 & -2) will someday matriculate and perhaps participate in a little gridiron glory. There are two high schools here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere--Oxford High, to which the city's students go, and Lafayette High, which the county's students attend. The Colonel and his lady live in the county. Those unfortunate to be considered the Colonel's friends likewise live outside of the city limits and are, by and large, alumni of Lafayette High.
So, while he waits for the unlikely reoccurrence of the Ole Miss Rebel gridiron glory which last resulted in conference and national championships fifty years ago, the Colonel cheers for the LHS Commodores.
The Commodores are a FORCE in Mississippi 4A football. They played in the 4A state championship last year. Tomorrow they are gonna win it.