In his Nov. 29 press conference after his No. 4-ranked Bulldogs were beat by the No. 19 Ole Miss Rebels in the Egg Bowl, Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen said that he would not be able to “freaking sleep” for the next 365 days until the 2015 matchup with the Rebs in Starkville.
To keep track of Mullen’s declared insomnia, Shark Tank Party created IsDanMullenTiredYet.com with a clock ticking away the time until next year’s Egg Bowl.
HottyToddy.com has been unable to verify whether Mullen in fact has not slept since Saturday, but staff expert Dr. Moon Pie Curtis* had this to say: “While it would be very difficult for anyone not buoyed by serious narcotic stimulants to maintain sleeplessness—especially the far more serious Connecticut yankee strain of freaking sleeplessness—for more than two or three days, I would not be surprised if an exhausted Coach Mullen, in the beginning stages of dozing off, suddenly were grabbed from the clutches of sleep by visions such as Jordan Wilkins’ touchdown pass to Cody Core. It is possible this could, in fact, continue for a period of one year, given all the many traumatic memories burned into Mullen’s mental database. I will be interested to track this man’s case and see what, if any, effect his slumped posture has on his breathing and wakefulness.”
TCUA: The Coach Up Always
Whether Mullen will stay true to his word and stave off sleep for an entire year or whether the declaration will fizzle out—like when the coach proclaimed that State would never lose to Ole Miss again—remains to be seen. The only time he is known to have slept last was a nap during the third quarter of the Egg Bowl.
“You would think that since Mississippi State will play a bowl game and then 11 regular season games leading up next year’s encounter with Ole Miss, Mullen would have to fall asleep at some point,” Curtis said. “After all, with fans singing the boring lullaby ‘Maroon! White!’, who could resist nodding off? But I suppose the clanging of cowbells at home games could rouse him. They’ll have to, because as I understand it, UAB is shutting down its football team, so Mullen won’t have the scare of almost being beat by the Blazers to jolt him from sleep’s embrace.”
Bus Fuss and Turkey Talk
State fans have taken to message boards online to posit theories as to how the highly ranked Bulldogs managed to get dominated by the Rebels. Many theorize that Mullen’s bussing the players from Starkville to Oxford the day of the game made the athletes listless and sleepy. Other message board participants suggested that Mullen was misguided in allowing players to go home on Thanksgiving day, where they undoubtedly consumed turkey, which contains tryptophan, an amino acid long believed to induce grogginess.
“The tryptophan could still have been in the players’ systems on game day, I suppose,” said Curtis.
News outlets reported that as those same MSU busses left Oxford after the game, one bus rear-ended another.
“Is it possible that Mullen ordered one MSU bus driver to rear-end one of their other busses when leaving Oxford to make sure he didn’t fall prey to the slumber-inducing smooth ride his players experienced earlier in the day? I doubt it,” said Curtis. “I know only one thing for sure: Mullen maintaining his goal of not falling asleep for an entire year while living in Starkville is an uphill battle if I’ve ever seen one. I don’t even think Ed Orgeron, all hopped up on Red Bull, could stay awake for 365 days—in Oxford, crowd-surfing atop a sea of comely coeds to the blaring sounds of DJ Mario at The Library. But that’s what makes science so fun.”
The Science of Wakefulness
And it is science, said Curtis, that could assist the agitated coach in achieving his lofty goal.
“If Coach Mullen is willing, I’d love to use him as a test subject for my latest lab creation, which is like a CPAP machine but does the opposite,” Curtis said. “A CPAP machine uses an air mask to help the subject sleep better. Mine would instead pump into the subject’s mouth and nostrils the awful odor of those plastic Mississippi State stadium cups from a couple years ago—the ones their fans complained so much about—to make the subject stay awake by inducing all-night vomiting.”
— Tad Wilkes, email@example.com
*Dr. Moon Pie Curtis is not an actual doctor and not an actual expert.
Wilkes: Studying the Insomnia of Dan 'The Coach Up Always' Mullen
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