Column: I Will Take a Dozen
Twelve Days Until the Ole Miss Season Begins in Atlanta
OXFORD, Miss. — Today is August 25, but the number of the day is 12.
It is historically a quite important number.
There are 12 months in a year. There were 12 disciples in the Bible. There were 12 Greek gods residing on Mount Olympus. There were 12 knights sitting at King Arthur’s round table. There are 12 members of a jury. There are 12 stations of the moon. In song, there are 12 days of Christmas.
Kinkead Dent and Jakivuan Brown currently wear the number 12 for Ole Miss. Legendary Rebel Jake Gibbs wore it in a bygone era.
And now, there are 12 days until the Rebels take the field for the 2021 football season!
Since the Outback Bowl win over Indiana in January, Ole Miss fans have been waiting with bated breath to see what the second season of the Lane Kiffin era will bring.
Will it bring even more offense after the players had an actual offseason program, spring practice and summer workouts? Will the defense take a step forward and silence the critics? Will this be the year Ole Miss fans have been waiting for?
Rebel fans are waiting for the season, regardless. After the curve ball from Mother Nature with a deadly pandemic a year ago, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be open to full capacity and The Grove will be overflowing.
Even if those were not the cases, the Rebel faithful are certainly already prepared. All the preseason magazines have been read, the YouTube videos have been seen, and players’ bios have been memorized. Ole Miss fans cannot help but to do those things. It is written in the Rebel Nation’s DNA.
On a date night, when one spouse is standing at the door saying, “are you ready?” the receiving end of that inquiry automatically answers, “hell yeah, damn right!”
A look at the football schedule determines if an Ole Miss fan will attend a wedding in the fall.
A trip into the backyard to allow the family dog to do his or her business is a chance to let one’s thoughts race to another time in the not-too-distant future when one will be in another group of trees on the beloved Ole Miss campus. But instead of holding a leash with a yorkie at the end, the owner will have a red solo cup in hand.
This is the time of year when a reference to “Archie,” doesn’t mean a comic book, but the red-headed kid from Drew, Miss.
It is when the word “square” is not a geometric shape, but a must-visit spot in Oxford. And it is when the bow ties and pearls make their first appearances of the fall.
For a sportswriter, it is a scant 12 days until we can write about a football game instead of thinking of column ideas that include learning that 12 men have walked on the moon.
In 12 days, there will be musings of coaches’ decisions, observations of a stadium’s atmosphere and descriptions of the exploits of 18-to-22-year-old young men that will dictate the next week’s mood for a rabid fan base.
Of course, that stadium will be in Atlanta and not Oxford in 12 days. The Rebels’ first appearance at home is in 17 days, so I will have to study the histories of Demon Clowney and Jadon Jackson who wear that number for Ole Miss.
Until then, I think I will just dine on a dozen oysters, re-read Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and dust off my DVD of the Dirty Dozen.
By the way, there are 12 face cards in a deck. It is still a long way to kickoff.
(Feature image of Jake Gibbs courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)