In 2003, Colonel Reb, the official on-field mascot for the University of Mississippi was officially retired in Oxford, Miss., due to the controversial nature of his Confederate South ties. Since then, while Ole Miss has remained the Rebels, the university hasnâ€™t seen a friendly mascot on the sidelines of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium or C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum.
That will soon change.
On Feb. 23, the Ole Miss students voted in favor of a student-led search for an official replacement of Colonel Reb.
The current favorite amongst those attending school in Oxford? None other than Admiral Ackbar. Yes, that Admiral Ackbar â€“â€“ the character from â€œStar Wars.â€
While chances are Ole Miss administration would never accept a Mon Calamari to represent their institution â€“â€“ along with the fact there would be more pending law suits with Lucas Films than teeth in a Sarlacc pit â€“â€“ itâ€™s still a fun idea.
So today, in my final column until we return from spring break, Iâ€™ve decided to create a list of five alternate mascot ideas for the Ole Miss Rebels. No particular order, just pick your poison.
Now this could be a temporary mascot until Houston Nutt is no longer coaching in Oxford, but as all Arkansas fans know, HDN â€œloves the helmet.â€
Personally, Iâ€™m a fan of Nutt. Iâ€™ve sat in his office in Fayetteville, Ark and interviewed him, experiencing first hand how passionate he is for coaching. Nutt told me then, just like heâ€™s told reporters 100 times over, â€œI love the helmet.â€
Keeping with the sci-fi nature of Admiral Ackbar, letâ€™s switch it over to the fanboyâ€™s rival franchise, â€œStar Trek.â€
As any Trekkie could tell you, Dr. Leonard McCoy (AKA â€œBonesâ€) is a graduate of the University of Mississippi. If a Mon Calamari could dress up in crimson and blue to represent the Rebels, I think a cocky doctor in a Star Fleet uniform could do just as well. Give Bones a southern-style cowboy hat and a white mustache, and weâ€™re ready to go.
Cooper is the Manning brother you might not know about. Many who watched him in high school said he could have been a better athlete than Peyton and Eli, but due to spinal stenosis, he never had a chance to shine.
Cooper, an all-state wide receiver, was set on playing for Ole Miss until he diagnosed.
While heâ€™s doing well for himself working as an energy investor in New Orleans, why not give him a chance to represent the Rebels?
â€œThe Blind Side: Evolution of a Gameâ€ was a book written by Michael Lewis in 2006 looking at two things. One, how Lawrence Taylorâ€™s hit on Joe Theismann placed more importance on the left tackle and two, Michael Oher, a kid from the Memphis projects who became a football star at Ole Miss.
While there was the obvious look at Leigh Anne Tuohyâ€™s part in Oherâ€™s life, she was not the focus on the book. The 2009 film â€œThe Blind Side,â€ however, did make Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock the focal part of the story, not Oher.
As much as I enjoyed the film, why not dilute the book even more?
Even before â€œThe Blind Side,â€ Bullock was a law student from Ole Miss in the 1996 film â€œA Time to Kill.â€
Put her on the sidelines.
An alcohol container
Ole Miss is always near the top of the list amongst the best party schools in the country and whether the publication is Playboy or the USA Today, they all say the folks in Oxford know how to party. And what makes a college party great? Well in my experience, it sure isnâ€™t good conversation with strangers â€“â€“ not unless alcohol is involved.
Think about it, it could change forms from a flask to a beer bottle, depending on the occasion, and there could even be fun halftime events playing giant beer pong.
That sounds like something skip the halftime bathroom rush to watch.
Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: A spelling error has been corrected.