This weekend each year is always interesting, with all the rivalry games(mostly in state) from coast to coast. The history behind most of these rivalries is often quite fascinating, which generally focuses the point of pride on a trophy of some kind.
For our purposes here, I will address the “Battle For The Golden Egg,” a.k.a. the Egg Bowl and “Bedlam.”
The Egg Bowl, where Ole Miss and Mississippi State compete, has only been called that since Thanksgiving Day 1927. The reason it is called “the Egg” is because of the shape of the football. The overall record of football games played between the two schools is 60-42-6, with Ole Miss(a.k.a. TSUN) holding the edge. Because of an incident in 1926, where the Ole Miss fans tried to take down the goal posts at the Miss. St. stadium(not cool) after winning for the first time in 14 games, the “Golden Egg” became what the two schools would fight for.
Well wishers rushed “like madmen onto the field,” Webb Burke said in his 1957 interview. Some fans made a dash for the goal posts. Irate Aggie supporters took after the ambitious Ole Miss group with cane bottom chairs, and fights broke out. The mayhem continued until most of the chairs were splintered.
As explained by the Reveille, A&M yearbook, “A few chairs had to be sacrificed over the heads of these to persuade them that was entirely the wrong attitude.”
As described in a story for the Commercial Appeal by Ben Hilbun, who one day would become president of the Starkville school, “The phantom of victory, that for thirteen years eluded Ole Miss, returned to the bearded Berserkers … and they won over A&M, their traditional rivals, 7 to 6.” Ole Miss students fought for the goal posts, he continued, “but were restrained.”
Injuries to players were expected. But not to spectators. Ole Miss and A&M students, shocked by the battle that erupted after the game, vowed that it must not happen again.
The result was the Golden Egg, a trophy to cool the heat of battle, instituted the following season by joint agreement of the two student bodies.
I will leave it to Nuke to expand on this rivalry, as to if it is the biggest rivalry that State has. Bragging rights are important when pride is at stake and with State winning the past three in a row and a chance to extend that winning streak, while eliminating Ole Miss’ from being bowl eligible, I would think this game tonight will be quite heated, especially when Bulldog fans can’t ring their cowbells.
Now for “Bedlam,” what any sporting event between OU and OSU is called, as at the end of the school year they total up who won the most, with football being considered the most important.
To be clear, this is an in-state rivalry for OU, not their biggest rivalry; that is reserved for the very special hate held for the Texas wHorns. OU leads the series with OSU 82-17-7(81%), which makes this series with “little brother” too one sided to call it a rivalry, though it is certainly a rivalry to OSU. While OSU has certainly improved in recent years and were quite pleased with themselves in their win last year, the longest winning streak OSU has ever had in this series is two.
As for the history and how it came to be called “bedlam” is quite humorous and interesting, as it began the very first time the two played in 1904, three years before Oklahoma became a state.
Even before Oklahoma officially became a state on Nov. 16, 1907, teams from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University were battling it out for gridiron supremacy. In fact, the first-ever meeting between the then-fledgling rivals occurred on the banks of Cottonwood Creek, near the state’s original capital city of Guthrie, on November 5, 1904.
It was a cold and blustery day, and heavy rains had left the nearby creek swollen and the playing field in less-than-desirable condition. A kick from the Aggies sailed straight up into the stiff winds that caught the ball and actually blew it back over their heads and toward the creek. A mad scramble ensued, as the rules of that period allowed for the ball to remain live until touched by a member of either team, despite the fact it had exited the field of play.
But the ball bounced into the icy waters. A number of players followed into the creek, including OU’s Ed Cook, who was the first to reach the ball and managed to swim back to shore for the first score of the series. That bravery helped spark OU to a 75-0 victory. While the series did not pick up its “bedlam” tag until years later, that memorable contest in 1904 certainly fit the description: “a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion.” “Jay C. Upchurch
It should be noted that the just mentioned description of “bedlam” is from a link to an OSU oriented web page, it just isn’t as important to Sooner fans.
In any event, here we are again on another rivalry Saturday. We all have our favorites and want our teams to win, if for no other reason to deprive our opponents of bragging rights and securing them for ourselves. Of course, recruiting is important in this equation. Sometimes young recruits can be swayed from a previous commitment to another school. I know the Sooners are having a large group of high school recruits attending today’s Bedlam game. Since it is their last home game and Senior day, along with being a cool clear Fall day in Norman, the Sooner staff, players and fans can and will create a great environment that can help inspire these young men to sign with OU in February. A walk through campus corner and Heisman park wouldn’t hurt either.