Fitting that Los Angeles is no longer an American city; more fitting that Jefferson County -- home to Birmingham -- recently declared bankruptcy. America hasn't been the same since that very day in 1970.
Few eyes will be on the state of Mississippi’s marquee football game this weekend, save those alumni and students from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and Mississippi State.
If college football is truly allegorical, then here is the title of its harshest lesson: Ole Miss vs. Mis'ippi State. It is perhaps the saddest rivalry in all of Division I, a struggle for pride in a state where pride comes hard, then runs too deep and stays too long.
"Poor old whupped-down Mis'ippi" is what the writer Willie Morris calls his home state. "The last people you want to take a whuppin' from is somebody else from Mis'ippi," says comedian Jerry Clower, a former Mis'ippi State player.
Considering their state's paltry resources, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University—their formal names—probably shouldn't even be separate institutions, let alone schools that support separate football teams in the high-rent Southeastern Conference. "This state is just too little, in terms of people, and too poor to sustain a major football rivalry," says Morris, who wrote The Courting of Marcus Dupree, a 1983 portrait of the state's sociological relationships with football and black players.
And yet the demographics of Ole Miss and Mis'ippi State—homogenous as they might seem from the outside—are more socially opposite than those of Alabama and Auburn, Florida and Florida State, or Texas and Texas A&M. So Mis'ippi society can't live without what it can't afford.
Ole Miss is the last bastion of the traditions of the old Southern gentry. Its teams are nicknamed Rebels; its fans still wave Confederate flags despite official disavowal of the symbol by the university and its alumni association; its marching band still plays Dixie. The very term Ole Miss is not a contraction of "Old Mississippi," but an old slave term—a plantation owner's daughter was called "the young miss" and his wife "the old miss
Beginning with Kentucky in 1966, the SEC slowly began to admit black football players. In 1972, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss became the last of the league's teams to integrate. But even as Confederate flags were becoming more emblematic of virulent racism than of valor and mourning, the Rebel faithful continued to cling to their symbols. The school's history, to say nothing of the flags, left talented black football players (on which the other SEC members were loading up) less than eager to play at Ole Miss. The era of coach Johnny Vaught, who for more than two decades enjoyed a recruiting lock on segregated Mississippi—where it had been considered the duty of athletic white youths to play for the glory of the state's "way of life"—had finally ended.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports Radio, Nutt blamed Mississippi's checkered racial past from stopping him from recruiting more out-of-state athletes, saying that some recruits and their families had questions about racism before they even visited the school.
Fired from his job after back-to-back losing seasons, Nutt has three games left with the team.
"You recruit a young man from out of state and they come to Mississippi, the first thing that hits their mind is, you know, 'I've seen the show "Mississippi Burning."' Or, there are questions from their mom: 'Are there racial problems?' Once they get here, you put that to rest, but that's the perception," Nutt said. "Once recruits visit the campus firsthand, they see it's a safe place that doesn't have racial problems."
Despite the problems that Nutt faced, Ole Miss had no shortage of out-of-state talent because 65 percent of the 115 players on the roster are not from Mississippi.
Sports writer Neal McCready with www.rivals.com said he doesn't think Mississippi's history is a big factor in the Rebels' recruiting.
"I don't know that I've heard any empirical evidence either in the state of Mississippi that, at least not recently, leads me to believe that he lost out on an African-American recruit because of things that happened 50 years ago. I don't really believe that to be the case," McCready said.
Not only that, but Ole Miss is a majority Black football team (though the school is majority white), which completely contradicts Nutt’s idiotic claims. Then again, so is Mississippi State (famously under Jackie Sherrill, MSU success was predicated upon recruiting low- IQ, Black Junior College transfers), one of those programs like Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Oregon, and Virginia Tech that seems to only recruit Black players to play quarterback now.
James H. Meredith, a Negro, enrolled in the University of Mississippi today and began classes as Federal troops and federalized units of the Mississippi National Guard quelled a 15-hour riot.
A force of more than 3,000 soldiers and guardsmen and 400 deputy United States marshals fired rifles and hurled tear-gas grenades to stop the violent demonstrations.
Throughout the day more troops streamed into Oxford. Tonight a force approaching 5,000 soldiers and guardsmen, along with the Federal marshals, maintained an uneasy peace in this town of 6,500 in the northern Mississippi hills.
The integration of SEC football was more momentous for white southerners than for black, resulting in the loss of a bastion of white southern masculinity but bringing a compensating benefit in the national stature of conference teams through the prowess of black athletes.
Southerners put all this energy and collective passion into a school sport, while passively allowing the Hispanicization, Islamization, and de-Europeanization of their country. Either their football mania is a compensation for no longer being allowed to defend their culture, or it's a huge distraction from defending their culture. Either way it seems the height of decadence: all these white people madly cheering on their football teams (whether the players are white or black, it doesn't matter), all these whites being transported by the passions of "football patriotism," even as whites are being steadily degraded into a minority in their own country. These whites don't put one billionth of the energy into defending their threatened culture and civilization that they put into cheering their football teams. That these teams consist largely of black thugs only intensifies the tragedy.