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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meet Grover

I just caught wind that down at Ole Miss, they are seeking a new mascot. Colonel Reb, the archetypal southern gentleman and probable plantation owner and slavemaster (ironically patterned after a black man), was retired (or at least tucked out of sight) back in 2003 as the University of Mississippi continued to strive to distance themselves from their antebellum path. Now, after a seven year void, the University seeks to put a mascot back on the field. While I haven't seen any official suggestions as to what the choices that will be offered to students will be, I've seen a few internet suggestions, from the folks over at Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion and an internet sensation suggestion the adoption of a different type of Rebel.

I'll be completely up front when I say that I know very little about Ole Miss or even the state of Mississippi, except that as a native damnyankee and a black man, I have little desire to head that way. Still, if there's one thing I do know, it's that one of the things the Rebel faithful pride themselves on is the tailgating scene on The Grove. Grove denizens will tell you it's the best scene on the planet; critics will tell you there's no way a scene that high-falutin' is real tailgating. Outsiders range anywhere between the two. But there's no arguing: Ole Miss is The Grove and The Grove is Ole Miss.

Some have tongue-in-cheek suggested that one of the "frat boy" denizens of The Grove should be the new mascot. I'll take it a step further. Enter Grover, an aptly named nouveau southern gentleman, a humanoid mascot clad in a stark white Oxford shirt (pun totally intended), a red and blue striped tie, blazer, and khakis. He could very well embody the spirit of Ole Miss and still embrace the culture that many may feel is left behind with Colonel Reb. Grover, in fact, could be an only name, a first name (for some reason I was thinking Grover Beauregard, a name that seems fitting for an area not far off the Mississippi Delta. Incidentally, this would make his name a combination of two muppets) or a last name (Perhaps Todd Grover, where Todd is short for Hotty-Toddy-Gosh-Almighty).  For all we know, Grover could be Colonel Reb's great-great-great-great (check my math on that one) grandson. Grover: New Look. Distinctly Southern.
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