It was the perfect night – at least for football. No need for sunscreen or fans – the fall temps in the late evening game time called for sweaters and light jackets. Othel and I filed in with the steady stream of Rebels and Tigers and exited onto the playing field. As I positioned my camera on my monopod I scanned my panoramic view. It WAS a sellout, and the electricity from both teams was being translated into yells and cheers from every ticket holder.
It just “might” be an upset. No. 1 teams topple every week, and Ole Miss could be the team to pull the upset. I could believe! Dignitaries and former football greats mingled with pregame visitors along the sidelines. I spotted Michael Orr signing autographs. The announcement of his presence pushed the excitement level a notch higher.
Suddenly there was a tremendous roar from the Rebel fans. The team captains entered the field – not in their warm-up red uniforms but in new gray uniforms. Had that ever happened before? It was new to me and new to the fans according to their response.
A choir of gifted music majors sang the National Anthem under the fading light of the setting sun. Somewhere near “the land of the free” the jumbo screen pictured three planes headed toward the stadium. The crowd drowned out the last words of the anthem as the planes flew over all the up-turned heads. A trail of smoke followed one of the planes. Only a “Go Rebs” written in the sky would have caused more excitement.
An ESPN personality led the Hotty Toddy cheer, and if the excitement hadn’t already reached a pinnacle, a new cheer was introduced on the jumbo screen. It was the “O” shout. In unison the Ole Miss fans sent an O roar out the stadium and toward the city limits.
What a night! And the game hadn’t even begun! When it did, the score was 7 to 7 within the first few minutes of the first quarter. But then came the second, and third, and fourth. The electricity shorted out as the Rebs fell further behind. The end had no resemblance to the grand beginning.
As we walked out of the stadium down the path of defeat, I thought of the real victory day for believers in Christ. We’ll don glorified bodies, spotless and eternal. The choirs will be praises coming from the heavenly hosts lifting the name of the greatest Victor. There’ll be no more fly-overs but a coming down of the Lord through the clouds.
It’ll be a grand reunion – not with dignitaries and celebrities but with loved ones who’ve gone before us. Then it’ll be through the pearly gates into heaven! It won’t be and “O” shout but an “O MY!”
Now leave off the profanity and answer THE most important question: Are you ready?