Friday, March 31, 2023

Mitchell: My First Grove Experience

Jack Jernigan, Staton Adams and Abott Adams hang out with the Hotty Toddy car in the Grove. / All photos by Sam MItchell
Jack Jernigan, Staton Adams and Abott Adams hang out with the Hotty Toddy car in the Grove. / All photos by Sam MItchell

Blue and red pom-poms. Flashy outfits. Crowds of fans, complete with Ole Miss letters. Tailgating equipment. The Grove. Alive.
This was my first time. My first experience at the Grove for a home football game. The video demonstrates some of my first views that I witnessed — crowds of people walking around the streets of the Grove, Ole Miss fans huddled around the Grove in tents.
Even with all the loud noise and chatter, the occasional “Are you Ready?” chants, and scattered children playing football in the fields surrounding the circle, the Grove seems to have its own serenity and vibrant curiosity. Coming from a background in the ACC and an undergraduate career at Florida State University, the Grove was a new and exciting experience all of its own.
One of my first perceptions is of the distinguishing red and blue, and how one color reigns supreme over the other, depending on the game. This was very bizarre and distinguished for me, namely because we did not differentiate our colors based on the games.
The closeness of the fans also demonstrated more of an intimacy and personality of Ole Miss all on its own. It was as if the crowds of fans were demonstrating Ole Miss as a large and extended family. I found familiarity in the southern wear of cowboy boots and dresses.
The distinguishing factor that I was not so keen on were the overly omnipresent heels and stilettos that seemed to inhabit many of the ladies. I felt as though the look kind of seemed out of place for a sporting event and threw me for a bit. Everyone looked very well dressed, I just have more of a comfortable and sporty view of dressing for sporting events and football games.
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Laurie Beth Ellis, Robbin Cox, Amy Stanfill and Shelby Sams pose in front of their tent before the Louisiana-Lafayette game Saturday.

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Anna Hall and Karter Meeks pose with the Hotty Toddy car.

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Bobby Ingram poses with the Hotty Toddy car on Grove Loop Saturday.

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Grace Nelson and her parents, Rob and Allison, experienced their first Grove day and home game as a freshman at Ole Miss.

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The Meek School of Journalism and New Media sets up a tent every week in front of Farley Hall.

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Dan Thomas and Landon Foster pose in front of the Ole Miss Law School tent in the Grove.

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The Ole Miss Alumni Association tent always draws a large crowd of students and alums.

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Christina Adams, Landry Adams and Risa White pose in their Ole Miss colors in the Grove Saturday.

Samantha Mitchell is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at smitche3@go.olemiss.edu.