Monday, December 12, 2011

Freeze Warning

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"     --Paul's letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 1

The Colonel, as his family well knows, and the thousands of you who regularly imbibe in the barely literate literary libations ladled out in posts hereon have surely surmised, enjoys an albeit diminishing reputation for unerring accuracy in his prognostications.  There was a time when, before the ravages of age and mental gymnastics endured attempting to make sense of Ron Paul's appeal to more than three dozen survivalists hiding out in a remote canyon in New Mexico reduced the Colonel's mental faculties and powers of observation to the few remaining synaptic connections still firing across the ever-widening gaps between the atrophying cells lying fallow in the grey goo lodged in forgotten recesses of his bony brain-housing group, if the Colonel told someone a chicken could plow they hooked up a rooster.

That was then, this is now:

The Colonel finds himself, more often than not of late, retracting, retracing, regretting, and otherwise admitting his error on previous predictions and proclamations.  For example, the Colonel was way wrong when at the beginning of the season he predicted that the Ole Miss Rebel football team would stink up the kudzu-clad hills here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere and win only four or five ballgames.

The Rebels went two and ten.  Epic frontal lobe fail on the Colonel's part.    

Predictive failure is happening with such increasing frequency lately that the Colonel is starting to succumb to self-doubt and beginning to make apologies for prognostications and proclamations not yet proven false.  

So it is with the University of Mississippi's hire of Hugh Freeze to remedy the failure of Huston Nutt (and the failure of Ed Orgeron, David Cutcliffe, the despicable Tommy Tuberville, Billy Brewer, Steve Sloan, Ken Cooper, and Billy Kinard before him) to reincarnate the great Coach Johnny Vaught.  A fortnight ago, the Colonel posted the following prediction regarding Archie Manning's mission to find the next Johnny Vaught :

"...So, sometime here in the next couple of weeks, a new head football coach will be announced here in Oxford. He'll be a good guy and all. Young, energetic, positive.

And totally not up to the task of competing in the Southeastern Conference.

Ole Miss football will flounder on, sub-par, for the foreseeable future. That young, energetic, positive coach will last three or four seasons, at most, before giving way to the next young, energetic, positive, and totally not up to the job of competing in the SEC, head coach..."

Three days later Archie Manning sent the Colonel a personal message announcing the results of his committee's exhaustive head coach search. 

Okay, it wasn't exactly intended as a personal message for the Colonel -- there were a few tens of thousands others who got the same message.  The Colonel took it personal, though. 

Archie told me, us, that a young, energetic, positive man by the name of Hugh Freeze would be the next Head Football Coach at Ole Miss.

A short time later, the Colonel watched as Coach Freeze made his first speech to Rebel Nation.  The man's faith and fervor was impressive.  The Colonel couldn't help but feel a surge of hope stirring deep within the shriveled cinder that passes for his heart.  The first play from scrimmage was yet unseen, but the Colonel felt a rekindling of the fires of faith.   

Self-doubt crept from hiding deep in the Colonel's soul and whispered compellingly into his tinnitus-tortured ear, "You could be wrong.  Freeze could be Vaught reincarnate.  He's so positive; so likable; so convincingly earnest.  He's been a winner everywhere he's been in charge." 

Oh, how the Colonel wants to be persuaded! 

The Colonel may indeed be proven wrong once again, but in the meantime he'll cling bitterly to his guns and maintain his football faith rooted firmly in what he has seen.   And, he'll offer Freeze the following warning:

You have embarked on the single most challenging endeavor of your young career.  Your on-field foes at LSU, Bama, and the School Beneath Us pale in comparison to the off-field foes arrayed against your success and dreams of retirement here in Oxford.   You'll be tempted to take sides for or against the tradition-trashing insanity that dwells in the hallowed halls of the Lyceum. 

Don't.  (The Colonel will keep up that fight for you.)

Find and bring us players who share your integrity and want to fight for Ole Miss.  No matter the outside pressure, stay focused on your team.  Love 'em and lead 'em.  Like you said in your introduction, it's really all about family.

Oh, and one more thing...

Beat State!
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