So here's my mention of queso in this one: I went to Ole Miss. I am not a big Mississippi State fan. They are rivals supposedly. Although I cannot remember a year they have been in the same caliber. I guess that's what we get for declaring each other enemies: someone always is blowing the other one out of the water. (Go ahead and insert your Ole Miss football/Bear joke or snide comment about how bad we were this past year here). Football is the place where you get to kid and not take things so personally. Or maybe not.
But this year, Ole Miss fans turned that statement true. We came to the games to offer our cheery support, but mostly, to see old friends and family. That is how we make football so fun. We were pretty aware that in most cases we were going to lose. It's not an awesome thing when we are bad, but I don't think Rebels are bad sports about it. We keep going, filling up the Grove, and it becomes about something more than football. When we get a big win, it's more emotion and exhilaration than any one of us can handle. We're certainly not jaded. We're all in it together, and in it we will be crowded, beautifully overdressed and spiritedly festive. It's all about people.
Anyway, I can remember when I was at the Grove at a really young age, I was handed a sticker that said "Hate State." And so the hatred is instilled. They get you early. And I'm sure State fans infuse the same malice into the hearts of their younglings too. You know what? I bet this whole thing started in the admissions offices of the respective universities and not on the football fields. I can just see two old men in suits screaming at each other: "And what's with your stupid cowbells anyway? What do cows have to do with anything?"
Now I know. The cows have everything to do with it. The cheese. State Cheese.
WT's sprayer plane pilot (sorry that doesn't seem like the right word, but that's what I'm coming up with right now) knocked on our door one day--I've got plenty of stories about the sprayer planes around here, but that's not what this is about. He had a gift. The richest, creamiest, strongest, orange cheddar cheese you've ever tasted. That stuff is really good. I can put it on anything. I can even put it on cantaloupe, and I hate cantaloupe.
I am here to say that there is a way to make peace. Cheese.
Sure, I was trained to hate Mississippi State, but guess what? I don't anymore. Because they make the best cheese around. I can taste the wonderful freshness of that cheese. That cheese is remarkable. If you don't have any, it is time. Go get yourself some.
Above: Extremely posed picture of the cheese. Yes, we are eating it tonight while watching the Music City Bowl, but we unanimously decided not to show the real mess we made out of it. But you can see it's almost down to the nub-stage of the cheese--the end of that red wax-covered block of pure goodness.
As I am typing this out, I am watching Mississippi State play in the Music City Bowl in my beloved city of Nashville, I can hear those cowbells that used to really really bug the heck out of me. And although, at first sound, it still makes me want to sew my ears together, I am noticeably more tolerant. Because I understand that those bells symbolize this almighty cheese. So now I have a delicious association with the cowbells, and voila! I have reconditioned myself.
My point is there should be no enemies. State and Ole Miss, come together. Can't we all just get along? Find a quality about someone or something you know to be your "enemy" that you really like or possibly love. And eat it up.
I am 50% rooting for State too. Halfway there. Actually, I think I'm one of those people who is always rooting for the team that's losing, if one of my teams isn't playing.
Everybody pull it together and realize that we are one. One big state. One big cheese. One big State Cheese.
Sleep in heavenly peace!
PS: Disclaimer: I am told by WT it's called Hoop Cheese? (Not as clever in my opinion)..Hope I have not offended any State fans with wrong terms or insults about the cowbells. If they lose tonight, I am even sorrier. I feel for you. I know how it feels (Ole Miss bad joke inserted).