One of my readers posted this on one of my other posts and I thought that it was definitely worth reprinting.
Here is Romero Miller's appeal to Ole Miss fans to put more emphasis on the actual game instead of on their little parties in the Grove. I personally thought this was a great letter to the Rebel Nation. Nice job Romaro!
Carry the fight to the opponent and keep it there for 60 Minutes
Any time you jump out and do what I am about to do, you must weigh your pros and cons.
I have always been a big reader of The Spirit, but as an ex-player I kept my posting at bay. I have talked to countless ex-players and they all support what I am about to write. I feel that I should share some thoughts and concerns with my fellow Reb fans with whom I share my love for Ole Miss and the Ole Miss football team. All of us that have this same passion know that we all bleed red and blue.
As an ex-player there were certain things that got me focused and motivated me to play the game hard for those 60 minutes. David Cutcliffe was the coach at the time. The team would always start pregame chants and we would repeat them before every game as we came out of the tunnel down to the field. My favorite was Carry The Fight To The Opponent And Keep It There For 60 Minutes. Now whether we did that or not I guess is debatable in your eyes perhaps, but that was our goal.
This has been on my mind and in my heart all year. I am seeing something that is very hard for me to take sitting down as a former OM football player. I feel that it is time some things stop right here and some of our fans get called on the carpet.
Everyone loves being a winner. It is during the difficult times when we may not win that is my concern. First and foremost, the team is not my concern. We have some incredible talent and I know that our team will get there. I do have a real concern in our fans though. It seems when we win and we are ahead in a game our fans leave the game and go to the grove. When we are losing, our fans, instead of staying when our team needs us the most, leave out of frustration. At halftime, some of our fans and students leave and go to the grove to get something to eat and drink. This is a problem because when the game starts back they aren’t in their seats to kick the second half off.
I have pondered this over and over again. Is it cool as a fan to sit in the stands and watch my Rebels bleed, sweat, and work hard or is it cooler to be in the grove with food and drink in hand while not supporting my Rebels who are working hard on the field to win that game?
The first three home games were all prime examples. The first half of these games the atmosphere was great.
Listen, I have been in the pit many times at Ole Miss and all over the SEC. Trust me, when I say this, the TEAM FEEDS OFF YOU! We had a great first half crowd and then I begin to see fans not come back after halftime. For some reason we have made “The Grove” the pinnacle of a game weekend at Ole Miss. It’s a wonderful place, but the game has to be the main attraction.
I am asking every fan to understand that any football team feeds off of the energy of the fans inside the stadium. This is nothing new to any of you. You have seen momentum become a game changer with fans time and time again.
Saturday night in the first half against Fresno the stadium was loud and the players were jumping around getting what they call crunk.
In the third quarter the crowd left and the team’s energy went flat. The D gave up 10 in the first half and a lot more in the second just like the JSU game. Ask yourself, how was the atmosphere for Vandy? Ask yourself this question: If I was on the field playing in front of less than 40,000 fans when there were 55,000 in there the first half, could I get up to play? Most will lie and say as long you’re on the field that you could. I will say those guys are rare, off the top of my head Ray Lewis and he is a special player. Trust me when I say this but it is hard to motivate yourself to maximum output without maximum support.
11 o'clock kickoffs? Don't even get me started on that. Be honest with yourself and think about Arkansas , Auburn or even MSU fans on TV, it looks a lot different. We have the only fan base in the SEC that the team has to get the crowd up. We need to stop making excuses.
At other schools fans get the team up with their energy. We have true SEC crowds when we play an LSU or a Bama, but when we play JSU or Fresno State we may as well have a South Panola crowd in the second half.
Heck, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we closed the beloved Grove at halftime. I would bet my next month’s check that if we had Saturday night’s 1st half crowd for the whole game against Vandy and the JSU game WE WIN. If you don’t believe that ask any player or even ex-player.
This football team along with those before and after will bust their humps for Ole Miss in the months of January, February and March when not a soul is looking. Then for the fans to come to the games and not cheer, or to leave, is a bit disheartening. Really it is utterly ridiculous.
Kentrell Locket tore his ACL fighting for the fans, the love of the game and the WIN. In addition, about 100 more guys do this every Saturday for us, for the love of Ole Miss and ultimately for the WIN and so we can go to work on Monday to brag.
I know that I am more than likely to get roasted for telling the truth but that is the chance I am willing to take for the love of my team and my university. It is worth the sacrifice if that is what it takes.
Fans, we need you all of the time, not just half of the time.
Our coaches work hard to get prospects to campus. If we bring them to a game and they see the second-half crowd with most of them gone, my feeling is they will want no part of Oxford, particularly if they go to the State game against Alcorn State where there are 55,000 fans ringing the hell out of those damn bells.
I just hope like hell our recruits were not there to see MSU tear down their goal posts after they beat Georgia—something our fans made fun of them for.
Let’s say AK has a great basketball recruit in town and he goes to the football games and sees the crowd leaving, how do you all think that this helps Ole Miss? With us fans, me included, these are the issues our coaches have to overcome.
Students, I left after the game Saturday and went to the square. I felt the same way you did in less time with my Vodka and Cranberry. I missed nothing.
If Coach Nutt asks everyone to wear blue, then Cobra, don’t let high-powered school officials on the field in RED.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt I love our military, but somehow we have got to make sure that when the center is about to snap for the extra point, we don’t shoot the cannon!
Whoever is in charge of the game-day experiences at Ole Miss, we need a lot more. Give fans more reason to stay by making the atmosphere more exciting.
I drive around all day in my job and I can’t wait to see the first OM billboard. Lord knows I’m tired of the Leghumper billboards everywhere.
Coach Nutt, AK, From Dixie With Love, or Colonel Reb may not be here forever but the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) which we love will be.
This whole thing is about teamwork and the fans’ job in this puzzle is to cheer. I am doing this because I feel we are in this together. I hope that each of you will take this to heart. It’s time we demand the best from ourselves and everyone connected to our University.
I learned a long time ago to control what you can control and we can control our HOME field. I will be at the next game early in RED and loud, and I will stay until the end, but the question is will my 60,000 plus friends and fellow fans do the same? My greatest hope is that you say YES, that you will. I hope that you will stay the whole game. I hope that you will be in your seats after halftime. I hope that you will cheer loudly. I hope that you will send cheers of encouragement even on the most screwed up plays.
Obviously, I am not really preaching to many Spirit subscribers on this issue. We are the diehards, but we can do our part in this too. Every one of us needs to spread this message to other Rebel fans. It’s time we, as fans, accept this responsibility and ask others to do the same.
Hotty Freakin’ Toddy!!!!!
Nice job Romaro! I'm impressed with your insight and courage in addressing this issue.
Bohdi Sanders ~ www.TheWisdomWarrior.com