Before transferring to Ole Miss this semester, I was not yet a Rebels fan. I am originally from Louisiana, and my family collectively roots for one team, and one team only. That should explain why I was not a Hotty Toddy-chanting fan. But attending my first Ole Miss football game quickly changed my mind.
The game was the highly anticipated game against Alabama. The Rebels were going up against the #2 team, and it was the first time Head Coach Lane Kiffin was playing the team he had previously coached.
I had been excited about the game for weeks because there is no team I despise more than Alabama. I remember being in one of my Zoom classes when tickets went on sale. We had a little break during class, and I immediately logged into my student account to purchase a ticket.
While I was securing the ticket, the site asked if I wanted to purchase insurance for the ticket. In my mind, I thought, “There is nothing that would stop me from going to this game,” so I opted out of insurance purchase.
To my surprise, there was a tropical storm threatening the Gulf Coast later that evening. The storm developed into a hurricane overnight. Since the storm was in its early stages, I had little worry about the storm affecting the game.
Throughout the week, Hurricane Delta strengthened and was projected to make landfall on the Mississippi and Louisiana coast nearing the weekend. I still did not think the storm was going to affect any elements of the game. I didn’t even think Oxford would see any rain leading up to the game weekend.
I was wrong. The hurricane moved quickly throughout the Gulf Coast, causing the kickoff time to be moved to 6:30 p.m. instead of the original time of 5 p.m. Hurricane Delta made landfall Oct. 9, just one day before the game.
Because of all the rain Oxford was receiving, I was now afraid the game would get cancelled. For 24 hours, I felt angry with myself for not purchasing insurance for the ticket. With three hours left before kickoff, I still wondered if the game would be cancelled due to the storm.
It made me very anxious, but I was already anxious for many reasons. I was going to the football game alone, and it would be the first time I was going to a highly populated event during the pandemic.
Like I was doing all week, I was keeping an eye out for the storm. An hour before the game, the rain lightened up, and the winds died down. Fortunately, the game did not get canceled. The rain stopped 10 minutes after kickoff.
Walking into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium eased my anxiety. Seeing most people wearing a mask or face covering also calmed me a little. The feeling of being at a football game had my adrenaline pumping.
My excitement for the game tried to mask the fear of contracting the virus during the game, but it was always in the back of my mind. I kept my mask on the entire game and often sanitized my hands.
The first time the student section did the Hotty Toddy chant felt so natural to me. I had never done it before, but I surprised myself when I knew all the words. I finally felt like I belonged at Ole Miss.
It was so surreal to be at the game during these times. The game itself was one of the best games I have ever seen. The Ole Miss Rebels kept up with the Crimson Tide throughout the first half of the game, even scoring the first touchdown of the night.
At halftime, the score was tied at 21. Each team’s offense demonstrated explosive plays. The entire game was a shootout game. The game was even tied at 42 in the last quarter.
The Rebels fell short to the Crimson Tide with the final score of 48-63. Although the Rebels lost the game, there were plenty of records set.
The combined 111 points is the highest scoring game in SEC history. The Ole Miss football team had a total of 647 yards, marking the most yards the Alabama defense has ever given up.
There were many emotions felt during the game. My emotions ranged from anxious to excited to defeat and eventually to happy. I was so happy to have witness such a great game in a safe manner, and I had a lot a fun. Even though I went to the game by myself, I never felt alone.
This game made me feel like I am finally part of the Ole Miss family. I believe Ole Miss now has me as a fan for life. Hotty Toddy!
Lindsey Trinh is a junior journalism major with specializations in sports promotions and a minor in digital media studies. She is originally from Houma, Louisiana.
Trinh is the oldest of three and the only girl. Her interests are sports and music. She enjoys listening to hip hop and electronic music. One of her favorite things to do is to go to music festivals or shows with friends.
For the past two years, she has been a part of Winter Circle Productions and BUKU Music + Arts Project’s promotion team. Her favorite NFL team is the New Orleans Saints, and her favorite NBA player is Kevin Durant.
During her breaks from school, she enjoys traveling to big cities such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Houston. She also loves spending days inside with her cat, Chai. She says her style is inspired by streetwear.
Trinh is a part of the creative team for Square Magazine, the student-run magazine at the University of Mississippi, and a reporter for Oxford Stories. When she graduates, she would like to work with a sports or music organization in either marketing or journalism.Tags: Hotty Toddy, Ole Miss Rebels, sports, University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media