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The beginning of our great future

November 28, 2005

Much was bloggable about this past weekend. Having your sister-in-law, brother-in-law, their two children, their dog and your mother-in-law staying at your house for an extended period is full of “moments”. Did I mention they get up very early.

We made rounds to other realatives as well….

But to start this week, Saturday Two teams that have dwelled in the cellar of the SEC this year faced off in what is always a death match. To say that State and Ole Miss fans hate each other is putting it mildly. Oh we get along during the year, but at games it is known to get ugly. A friend visiting, told me Sunday, that she just couldn’t go, that she gets to angry and says things she regrets… I concoured, that it was not good for my heart. (Not the rise in blood pressure, but the thoughts and feelings that a rousing cheer of “Hotty Totty” brings out in me.)

I did want to share that we won! But more important is what I learned after the game.

MSU made a coaching change two years ago and hired Sylvester Croom. He is a man of principle, the son of a minister, a coach that has run off the most talented of his players because they didn’t like following rules.

Following is a few paragraphs from an article in our local paper today:

For Croom, it has always been about the effort and work ethic, something that his players, to a man, seem to now fully understand.

“Our players have worked hard and never quit,” said Croom. “But there comes a point where you want to see some kind of reward for all the hard work you do. They came out every Monday and practiced no matter how bad it was or how disappointing it was and it’s the character of our players and now I think it’s gotten to be the character of who we are as a football team.”

And therein lies what Croom is most proud after his first two years as the head coach at Mississippi State.

“That’s what I’ve wanted,” said Croom. “There’s certain things about certain football teams, that no matter what, year in, year out no matter who’s wearing the uniform, there are certain things about certain teams,a nd what I want our program to be about is when you see the Maroon and White, you know you’re in for a fight and it’s going bell to bell. That’s the way our players are now.”

The shift in the attitudes was possible in large part to a group of seniors who never gave up on Mississippi State.

“When you change coaches it’s difficult,” said Croom, who experienced similar situations as a player and assistant coach. “Not only did they stay, they didn’t quit. I told our seniors this was not the end of their career but this was the beginning of our championship run.”

Prior to Saturday’s win over Ole Miss, senior running back Jerious Norwood repeated those words during the team’s prayer.

“He told the players it was the beginning of our great future, “ recalled Croom. “Those seniors are a great part of it. This was not the end, this was the beginning.”

I can wish for the championship run, but I am encouraged to think about being a part of God’s people who share an attitude that year in and year out, when people see us, they know that good news is coming, that help is near, that love is pentiful, that all are accepted!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2005 12:31 pm

    Yep, he is one of Bear’s boys. I think that is the best thing about the “new” Alabama team too. They are “classy” to a man. Love us, or hate us, you must respect us.

    I was proud for your Bulldogs!

  2. November 28, 2005 4:02 pm

    Hi –

    Your’s is the first blog I’m visiting today – Congratulations! And it’s only 3:45 p.m., too.

    Such is life in Katrina Zone (plus I’ve felt really bad all day today for some reason). What can I say?

    Glad the “right” team came out the big winner in the Egg Bowl. We’ve long been MSU fans and have kept up with them every year and watched all their games we could on TV. We’ve even been to some games and Tom used to go on the bus with a big group of Ol Miss/MSU fans from Picayune up to Jackson to the Egg Bowl. That was always a rowdy bunch.

    I remember in particular watching and immensely enjoying their bowl game against Texas A&M (wasn’t it?) in the blinding blizzard that was just out of this world. What a game.

    I love your last paragraph. That’s exactly how I feel about it, too. I was ill yesterday, too, with some kind of stomach virus and didn’t get out and I really missed being with everyone at Tammany Oaks because they are the most wonderful fellowship.

    One question – how’s the moderating thing working for you? I considered it, but decided it was way too much trouble to mess with unless I started getting some really offensive comments all the time, which I haven’t. Besides, I can still trash the offensive ones and have on occasion.

    Plus I thought it might make some commenters feel inhibited and restricted in what they “should” or “shouldn’t” say in commenting.

    So let us know how it works for you.

  3. November 28, 2005 4:19 pm

    What? You didn’t like my comment?

  4. November 28, 2005 8:56 pm

    Great post, Tommy. The focus must be on the kind of people we are, rather than the kinds of things we do.

  5. November 29, 2005 11:54 am

    I can’t believe no one commented on that Hotty Toddy link.

  6. November 29, 2005 12:36 pm

    Well, I would have commented had I checked it….but now that I visited it I would just like to say that I wouldn’t mind visiting the Manning tent.

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