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University of Mississippi athletics is looking for a new mascot. A local writer recommends William Faulkner.

… I first wrote that Faulkner should be Ole Miss’ mascot in November of 2006. …Faulkner went to Ole Miss as a student, the university owns his home, Rowan Oak, and his Nobel Prize for literature, Faulkner played quarterback in high school, and, most importantly, the alums I’ve heard from all love the idea. It’s impossible to do better than Faulkner.

… Faulkner was a literary rebel, a man who refused to follow contemporary ideas of what a story should look like, and, as a result, millions of people know the state of Mississippi through his words. Are you telling me that a Faulkner mascot, a student dressed up in a tweed jacket, with a pipe in the corner of his mouth, a mustache, and a cane,* wouldn’t immediately become the most iconic mascot in the South? Maybe the entire country?

What’s more, Faulkner actually encourages football fans to read — and if you read message boards, the e-mails I get, or even the comments after these articles, who could be against that?…


* And a drink.

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13 Responses to “Abs, Abs”

  1. Joe Fruscione Says:

    Wow….The Ole Miss Faulkners? Sounds great.

    I wonder if they can somehow work ‘Yoknapatawpha’ into their chants and/or advertising.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Joe: I’m figuring you and maybe two other people will get my way clever headline on this one.

  3. Bill Gleason Says:

    Absalom, Absalom!

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    You were one of the two other people, Bill.

  5. Kerry Says:

    Was I the third? Because I’ve been trying to come up with Faulknerian cheers.

    As YOU lay dying, rival team!
    Ole’ Miss: a lean, mean, barn burning machine!
    You’ll hear the sound and the fury of us kicking your ass!

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Kerry: LOL! Yes – you were the third!

  7. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Snopes! Snopes!
    We’ve got you in our scopes!



  8. Will Says:

    Add to the popcorn, hotdog, drink sellers, book sellers! During the second half the books need to be large-print editions

  9. Mr Punch Says:

    They’ll have to beef up the training table fare if the linemen are light in August.

  10. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ooh. Good one, Mr Punch.

  11. Margaret Soltan Says:

    ‘Course The Unvanquished is an obvious one.

  12. John Murray Says:

    Maybe the fight song could be “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” but either that would be way too indirect or would get us back to the problem that dumping the rebel was supposed to solve.

  13. Crimson05er Says:

    Will the entire student section link arms and sway, teary-eyed, as they sing “My Mother is a Fish”?

    Perhaps they could devise a complicated trick play based on stream-of-consciousness prose with lots of commas and diverging clauses?

    Half-time shows could be revelations of terrible family secrets stirringly performed to Stephen Foster songs, with flag-twirlers forming images of Corinthian columns from long-abandoned ancestral manses? Capped by a duel and a house-burning?

    Homecoming dance based on “As I Lay Dying”? Get your photo with your date on the wagon with Addie Bundren’s coffin to the strains of “Will the Circle be Unbroken”? All the ushers can be idiot man-children or sartorial ex-colonels.

    How about Faulkner’s Nobel Address as a half-time speech by the coach to inspire a team when they’re a touchdown behind?

    “I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”

    Now that’s some rousing pep-rally talk.

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