Aug 19, 2009

Most Memorable Sports Moment #2

Mississippi State Upsets #1 Alabama

As most of you know, I am an avid fan of all things Mississippi State. As you also know, MSU hasn't had a lot of historic moments in football. Until Jackie Sherrill came to MSU, there had been few winning seasons and great moments since the days of Allyn McKeen and Darryl Royal. One of those historic seasons though was 1980. That year, Mississippi State combined the power "wishbone" offense with the "Bulldog Blitz" and had a season to remember. The highlight of the season was the game against #1 Alabama and legendary coach Bear Bryant on November 1, 1980 in Jackson, MS.

Before the 1980 game, MSU had not beaten Alabama in 36 years. 36! True Bulldog fans know that we consider Alabama as big or bigger a rival that Ole Miss. At the time, I was 12 years old and had just begun to understand the game of football. In addition, most games were not broadcast on TV because we only had about 13 channels at the time. All MSU games were on the radio and not much fun for a 12-year old. On this day, my dad was listening to the game on the radio that Saturday and working around the house. I was outside in the yard and not paying much attention. However, at the end of the game, my dad came running out the house whoopin' and hollerin' (those are Mississippi terms for excitement) like fat man at a buffet. We had a guy living with us at the time who drove a big van whose horn played "Dixie" and my dad commenced to driving down the road playing the horn and ringing his cowbell. It was the biggest upset in MSU football history and is still so to this day.

MSU was led offensively by John Bond, still one of the most beloved quarterbacks. It had a stout defense that inspired a local song called the "Bulldog Blitz". The game was extremely memorable because Alabama had a chance to score late in the game when MSU forced a fumble. Bama was ranked #1 at the time and was the defending national champs. MSU had spent years mired in mediocrity. This helped propel MSU to a 9-3 record and a game in the Sun Bowl. MSU played better, but still not great for the next few years until Jackie Sherrill came and restored a winning attitude.

I have posted a clip I found on youtube of the last few minutes of the game for you to enjoy. Excuse me while a grab my cowbell.