The Square in Oxford, Mississippi, has seen a lot of things over the years, but this was a new one.
Looking down from the balcony at Rooster’s Blues House, a patron watched over a dozen young men parading a yellow piece of goal post around the square. Fellow patrons began to yell. Some of them knew the young men by name.
Ole Miss fans pride themselves on knowing how to party, and on a night like that night of Oct. 4, there was plenty to celebrate.
When Ole Miss defensive back Senquez Golson intercepted Alabama quarterback Blake Sims in the endzone last season, he shocked the world.The Rebels defeated the Crimson Tide 23-17, causing chaos in the SEC West.
“[In that moment] a tear rolled down my face. I couldn’t believe it,” said Sanford Moore, a recent Ole Miss alumnus. “We beat Bama, I just couldn’t help it.”
The crowd knew what to do. It was instinctive. This was the win Ole Miss had been waiting for, and the goal posts came down.
Another former student took advantage of the opportunity to be a part of history. Nolan Ryan watched as the goal post finally collapsed.
There was no loud snap or loud crash as the goal fell, but watching the scene brought it all home for Ryan. He didn’t have to pinch himself to know he wasn’t dreaming. Ole Miss had actually won the game.
Later in the evening, Ryan walked by the ESPN College GameDay stage in the Grove, only to see the goal post in pieces. Hours earlier, Katy Perry excited the crowd by ripping the Big Al head gear off of Lee Corso’s head, but now the stage served as an altar of sorts, with the yellow carcass of the goal post serving as an offering from the Ole Miss faithful.
A long piece, almost an entire half of the uprights, was hanging off the stage. Ryan knew he had to recruit volunteers to help him.
Around 15 guys were rounded up to carry the post, but they didn’t make it 50 yards before they ran into Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell and linebacker Denzel Dkemdiche. When the players saw the goal post they had to get a picture with it.
“They are like freaking out, like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so cool, this is so cool,” Moore said. “They reacted just like we would have reacted.”
The streets were crowded, even hours after the game ended, but the guys took their place in the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The journey looked like it was going to go south when the group reached the Chevron just before the intersection of University Avenue and South Lamar Boulevard. Cops were ahead directing traffic, and the guys got a nervous feeling in their guts.
“[Instead] the cop like gives us a motion to make a left turn as if we were like a Suburban,” Moore said. “We like made a big wide left turn because, like I said, it’s a long thing.”
The next day the goal post was cut up and divided among the guys involved at Buckner Corso’s house. Almost a year later the group finds itself in different zip codes, but memories of that night remain fresh. Corso currently lives in Texas, but he still finds himself sharing the story with friends.
“I actually just have it tucked away in a desk in my room [and] occasionally I’ll have friends ask about it,” Corso said. “I didn’t want to put it in a frame because I always knew people would want to hold it and see it.”
Moore prefers to leave his piece displayed on his desk at work in Jackson, Mississippi, but other members of the group have gone to more elaborate measures.
“I’ve got a foot and half piece in a shadow box with a picture of the field with everyone on it and my ticket,” Ryan said.
Hayden Worsham’s piece might not be as big as Ryan’s, but his setup is even more unique. It’s on a shelf attached to a piece of wood shaped like Mississippi, displayed in his home in Louisiana. His ticket is framed and displayed above his three inch piece of post.
“I had coach Hugh Freeze sign it. He was in Baton Rouge back in the spring and he put the score on there,” Worsham said.
His roommate, an LSU alumnus, may not like Ole Miss, but physical proof that Alabama can be beaten is appreciated in Tiger country.
“They laugh and joke how proud they are of us,” Worsham said. “LSU Tigers are always happy to see Alabama get beat.”
It’s safe to say the group is hopeful Ole Miss can do something it has done only once before and beat Alabama on the road on Saturday. Regardless of how this weekend plays out, the memories from a year ago–and the post–is something each plans to hold onto for a very long time.
“That’s hanging in my room so I’ll have that goal post forever,” Worsham said. “That’s something that’s priceless that I have.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports