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Superstitions: A Look Into the Rebel Nation's Mind

Ross Bjork asked the Rebel Nation to show up early and cheer as loudly as they can. The fans will try to help our Rebels win a game with all their noisy might but there is a section of fans who will respect superstitions to ensure a possible victory.
Since I was old enough to remember to yell Hotty Toddy and boo Bama, LSU and State my father taught me about a powerful, terrifying, all-seeing force: the jinx. The Jinx is quiet yet devastating even from a split-second misstep from our superstitions.
My hallowed superstition is to never utter what I think the final score of the game will be. I avoid even agreeing with others’ guessing at the final score, sports personalities included. I asked my family, friends and colleagues – all Ole Miss fans – what their superstitions were.
I began with my father, Quentin Daniels, a Delta State graduate who has always loved Ole Miss as far as he could remember. His father, David Daniels, who was the reverend at First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson (better known as the church with the pointing finger atop its steeple), was a fan of Archie Manning so my father liked him too. His older brother Alan Daniels went to University of Mississippi too. My father’s two best friends, William Gage and Robert Greenlee, were dedicated Ole Miss fans too. My father said, “To me, Mississippi State was as foreign as Yale.”
His list of superstitions is long and still rolling but he does have an unbreakable jinx. He said, “Top of the list of my jinxes is refraining from making the same comments that were made by the broadcasters during the game Saturday night-in example, every time the Rebs start doing something positive, commenting about it in a way that jinxes the very next play. It was like going up to a pitcher with a no-hitter going into the 8th and saying, ‘Man you’re doing great! Keep it up and you’ll have a no-hitter!’ Just appalling on a cosmic level.”
My mother, Monica Daniels, director of annual giving at Millsaps College, has a longtime Rebel fan as far as she could remember since her uncle Wallace Hamilton was one of the editors at the Daily Mississippian back in the mid-60s, three years after James Meredith’s integration. Hamilton was the first in her Delta farming family to finish college with both undergraduate and graduate degrees at University of Mississippi so the Rebel love passed down to her from his accomplishments. Her uncle’s name still lives on through his scholarship- The Wallace Hamilton Scholarship – for theatre majors. She also attended some psychology classes while living in Oxford for a year in between Delta State and Southern University. She too has a superstition: “I’m always afraid for us to win big because that may mean that we are ‘using up’ future points that will be needed in another game.”
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I then turned to my friends and loved ones.

Rick Hynum, Oxonian and the editor-in-chief at the PMQ Pizza Magazine in Oxford has two unbreakable superstitions.
Rick Hynum, Oxonian and the editor-in-chief at the PMQ Pizza Magazine in Oxford has two unbreakable superstitions.

My father’s longtime best friend, Rick Hynum, an Oxonian writer working at the PMQ Pizza Magazine, believes in the severity of the jinx. He said, “This is a pretty lame one, I’ll admit, but it’s pretty much a compulsion on my part If an announcer makes any kind of positive observation about team stats – for example, if he notes that Bo Wallace hasn’t thrown an interception in four straight games – I’ve gotta knock on wood and knock on it fast. No matter where I am. I will get up and FIND some wood to knock on if I have to – I’ll run outside and knock on a freakin’ tree. And I will never, ever predict the score of a game or even that we’ll definitely win a game. I refuse to make any kind of predictions about Ole Miss football, period. I don’t care if we’re playing the Presbyterian Blue Hose and their entire defense comes down with the mumps and the offense has the measles. You won’t hear ME predicting an Ole Miss victory. I’m no fool.” He said in addition, “I won’t watch ‘The Season’ videos either. No way, no how.”
Audrey Seal is an University of Mississippi alum and a math teacher at Della Davidson Elementary School.
Audrey Seal is an University of Mississippi alum and a math teacher at Della Davidson Elementary School.

I also heard from my fellow Northminister Baptist youth group friend Audrey Seal, who said of her superstition: “It changes every year – all based on the precedent set by the first game. I’ve already analyzed all the things I did differently this past game.”
Hunter Treutel, an University of Mississippi alum and a staff engineer at Weatherford in Louisiana, with Peyton Reves, senior chemistry major at University of Mississippi.
Hunter Treutel, an University of Mississippi alum and a staff engineer at Weatherford in Louisiana, with Peyton Reves, senior chemistry major at University of Mississippi.

One of my Phi Mu sisters, Peyton Reves, whose parents own a second home in Oxford for game day weekends, mentioned her boyfriend, Hunter Treutel, has a superstition. She said, “Hunter refuses to watch the weekly game recaps on ‘The Season.'”
Lydia Siniard uses this symbol during her morning game day mediating.
Lydia Siniard uses this symbol during her morning game day mediating.

Lydia Siniard, a fellow Phi Mu sister and University of Mississippi alum as well as a dance teacher at two schools and a yoga instructor at Southern Star in Oxford, said she teaches a yoga class every Saturday morning at Southern star using a certain symbol in all of those game day Saturday classes.
Holly Perkins is the program coordinator of extended day program at New Summit School in Jackson.
Holly Perkins is the program coordinator of extended day program at New Summit School in Jackson.

Holly Perkins, a longtime friend since childhood, said, “When we lose I blame it on not having on some Ole Miss article of clothing – team shirt, red dress, blue dress, etc. It’s a coincidence I’m sure but I still do it.”
Taylor Kamnetz with Josh Tolley is the site director of YMCA of Memphis and Mid-South area
Taylor Kamnetz with Josh Tolley is the site director of YMCA of Memphis and Mid-South area

My classmate and fellow alum from Meek School of Journalism and New Media, Taylor Kamnetz, said, “(I) never leave the game early or stop watching early whether we’re ahead or behind. Did it once, and we ended up losing. Haven’t left a game early or stopped watching early no matter how far ahead we’re winning. It’s always anybody’s game.”
Lila Agner with her mother on the right is a mechanical engineering major at University of Mississippi
Lila Agner with her mother on the right is a mechanical engineering major at University of Mississippi

Lila Agner, a longtime friend said, “My friend, who wants to remain unnamed, told me her corgi is happy on game day Ole Miss wins and when he is unhappy they lose.”
Bruce Beal from Ridgeland was the best substitute teacher I ever had.
Bruce Beal from Ridgeland was the best substitute teacher I ever had.

Bruce Beal, my awesome substitute teacher in Ridgeland whose two daughters graduated from University of Mississippi, pitched in: “We have Grove beverages and snacks ready for the televised games!”
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Then I turned to my fiance, Andrew Bryant, a psychology major at University of Mississippi. He said that he and his friend, Josh Sanders, a business management major at University of Mississippi may be good luck for the football team. “We agreed that every home game we went to together Ole Miss won. The best examples are the Egg Bowl in 2011 and the Bama game this year.”
And of course we at HottyToddy.com have our superstitions. Tad Wilkes, our editor of Experience Oxford, said he wears his grey Ole Miss shirt, sometimes matched with a red or blue shirt but always the grey shirt. Adam Brown, our sports writer, said he wears the same sports clothes and socks he was wearing since the first Ole Miss win; however after the loss to LSU he will be wearing different clothes.
Hopefully we haven’t incurred the wrath of the deadly jinx for tomorrow night’s game by then… Hotty Toddy! Go Rebels!
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Callie Daniels is the staff reporter for Hotty Toddy.com. Email her about your superstitions at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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