Videos by OutKick
It’s been a very long time since a college game day weekend was as electric as this past weekend in Oxford, Mississippi. In my opinion, Oxford is the best college town in the SEC. Yes, I said it. You can’t beat the square, the restaurants, the bars, the shopping, the friendly waves to fans of the opposing team, the large trees lining the sidewalks, and the quaintness. If you’ve never been to The Grove, go. It’s a bucket list thing.
As soon as people knew why I was in town, I was treated like one of their own. (The “fire Clay Travis” count is up to 6. Unfortunately I can’t handle that for you. I suggest an email to Fox News.) So many people offered to do SO many things to make my trip to Oxford incredible and I can’t begin to thank them all enough! While Ole Miss pulled out the win to beat my alma mater, I’m okay with it, really I am. Here are all the things the Rebels brought to the table this past weekend.
The Square: When I arrived in town around 4pm after the LONG drive from Dallas I headed to Pink & Proper to pick out my game day dress. I was greeted by some of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. They let me try on basically the entire store until I found one that I loved. This expert shopper has now found a go-to spot in Oxford, and you should all stop in and say hey to Tori!
There were people EVERYWHERE on the square. The second story bar porches were at capacity, the restaurants were full, the sidewalks were overflowing into the streets, and it was incredible. The excitement from Ole Miss fans that they might pull out one of the biggest wins in school history was in the air, but they remained polite about the subject. Because southern hospitality, y’all.
The Sigma Nu House: As we told you all last week, Sigma Nu was my host for the weekend. This is the same Sigma Nu from the Drone Party video Clay posted this summer. From the two story wrap-around porch lining the courtyard, to the SWIMMING POOL right off of it, this is the ultimate fraternity house set up. These boys could not have been sweeter, so much so my best friend and I received yes ma’ams multiple times. I’m 25, not quite a ma’am yet. After spending some time at their band party, we made our way to the square and to the chaos that was The Library. We saw all kinds of familiar faces, and it was a Friday night for the books.
There’s not enough you can say about The Grove. It is truly a special place, and there is nowhere else like it in the country. Everyone was dressed to the nines. The sweet Hays family and their friends were my Grove hosts for the weekend, and they pulled out all of the stops. Last year they were featured in Southern Living, no big deal. Their tent was set up lining the College Game Day stage, so we got to drink our mimosas and have a front row seat to Katy Perry and company. The most important part of this was getting to see Wright Thompson’s story about his late father’s tickets. It gave me goose bumps, and you could’ve heard a pin drop in our tent.
At this tent they do a brunch spread, then they move tables to pull out the lunch spread, and shortly before we made our way to the Tuohy’s tent, out came the dessert spread. Yes, there were THREE courses complete with different linen tablecloths in the span of three hours. Nobody goes hungry here on game day, which is probably smart considering the amount of whisky that was flowing. Thank you Hays family!
The Stories: My favorite story I heard in The Grove was from a group of guys, in their late 20’s, who had been at a rehearsal dinner the night before in Indiana. They flew back Saturday morning for the game. Yes, you read that correctly, they left their buddy’s rehearsal dinner, booked a private plane, flew into Oxford for a game they had to leave at halftime to get back to be groomsmen in the wedding. The one stipulation? The bride told them they couldn’t be drunk when they came back. As someone who was in FOUR weddings this September, I have so much respect for this move. Only in the SEC.
The Game Day signs: My favorites this weekend? The abundance of signs hating on Katherine Webb. Props to you, Ole Miss Fans. Well done.
The Traditions: The Walk of Champions is so neat and personal for fans. The players walk through the fans in The Grove and it is the only time of day drinking and conversations pause. I’m not sure there is another school that lets their fans, all with drinks in hand, get so close to their players.
Another thing that was in abundance? Powder blue. In fact, anyone know how I can get one of the powder blue Ole Miss hats? Yes, I’m serious. Don’t even start 85%. The Chucky Mullins buttons were everywhere, and it’s amazing to see a school still rallying around one of its beloved sons.
The Band-Wagoners: I ran into at least three groups of people from the north, mainly Big Ten schools, who pick an SEC game to come to every year. I think that’s awesome. Keep it up.
The Game: Oh my poor heart. I told Wright Thompson, one of my favorite writers of all time, about a month ago that I was mentally preparing myself for Alabama to lose. I haven’t felt good about our team all year. Bo Wallace and company came to play, and it was one Alabama mistake after another. Remember the days when Alabama had a secondary? By now we all know how the game ended. My one stipulation for accepting this win is that now Ole Miss needs to finish it out. With the way the SEC is beating each other up, this is going to be a VERY difficult task.
Celebrity sightings: Katy Perry, Wright Thompson (of course), Liam Hemsworth, and Woody Harrelson. Texas may have McConaughey, but the SEC’s got Marty.
Post-Game: This loss hurts, badly, but I can’t get mad at Ole Miss. It was truly special to see fans who have endured so many losses over the years win big. The scene in The Grove and on the square after the game was incredible. Goal posts were carried around the town, Flim-Flam was cheered all night, and the Rebels were gracious winners. As one Alabama alum said about the loss, we don’t know what this feeling is or how to act.
It’s fair to say that both fan bases were struggling come Sunday. Whether your team won or you woke up to the realization that you sent mean post-game emails to all your Ole Miss co-workers, one thing’s for sure, nobody will be forgetting this weekend. There is nothing better than getting to be a part of these magical storybook wins. Part of me hates that this was my first stop on Outkick’s tailgating tour, because I don’t know how it’s going to be topped. The drive to Oxford took eight hours. The ride home? Twelve.
It was all worth it. To everyone at Ole Miss, thank you.
Pictures will be up on Instagram @MattieLouOKTC since I now have cell phone service. On that note, we can put a man on the moon but can’t master reliable cell service on game day. If you have any pictures you think should be shared, tweet them @MattieLouOKTC or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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