Last August, I began to keep a journal about Mississippi State’s football team. At the time, I had no idea that we would have such a great season, so my motivation was simply to gather material for a book about my generation of State fans. I wanted to express the long period of frustration we suffered at the hands of Johnny Vaught and the Ole Miss Rebels. All of this was prompted by a growing sense of personal mortality, and the passing of an era. I figured that if I intended to tell the story, I’d best be getting about it.
I kept notes on all of my conversations with, what I refer to as “my network,” and made a summary of each of State’s games. Mississippi State kept winning, and I kept writing, admittedly in total amazement. As the season progressed and the Bullies rose higher and higher in the polls, I experienced a level of excitement that peaked in the Bulldogs five week run as the #1 team in all of College Football. For a time, we were the darlings of the media and could do no wrong.
We were the lead story on every football program, hosted College Game Day, and reaped national publicity on a level that was unprecedented. Nine games into the season, we were still unbeaten and ranked #1. My buddies and I were in strange and unfamiliar territory. We just didn’t know how to deal with all this winning, and we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Everything that goes up must come down, and State was no exception. A close loss to Alabama, and a thumping by the Rebels, returned the Bulldog nation to reality, and preceded a disappointing loss in the Orange Bowl. When the dust finally cleared, State finished the 2014 season 10 — 3, and ranked at #11. The name recognition and image building that went with our five week run as #1, resulted in a banner recruiting year, and hopes run high for next season.
The result of my efforts has been published as My Magic Year, by Front Porch Press, LLC. My Son Sam wrote a nice piece about the book on www.porchscene.com, and I hope you’ll click over and read it.
The book can be purchased by clicking on www.frontporchpressllc.com. There will be additional information posted here as things progress.
Categories: Tom's Books