The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    If anything like last ‘white-out,’ Gator game a must see

    For tomorrow night’s game against the No. 1-ranked Florida Gators, both the athletic department and student officials are calling for fans to wear white to the game and “white-out” the Humphrey Coliseum.For those who’ve never experienced a “white-out,” get ready. The intensity level is, well, white-hot.
    The last time officials called for a “white-out,” was in January 2004, when the Bulldogs hosted the Kentucky Wildcats, with both teams ranked in the top 10.
    The game and the campus atmosphere that accompanied it will always be one of my fondest college memories.
    The game was on a Monday, which meant that not only did students have to plan to attend the game that night, they had to brave the damp, 18-degree weather and cutting wind gusts early that morning outside the Bryan Athletic Building in order to secure tickets to the event.
    I arrived with a couple of friends from high school at around 5:30 a.m. The first 30 minutes weren’t bad, but once my thermos of hot coffee ran out, the wait drudged on for what felt like hours.
    We passed the time talking up the game and how we thought State would fare. At around 6:30, I looked behind me and could no longer see the end of the line.
    I later confirmed that before tickets went on sale, the line had stretched all the way to the Sanderson Center.
    We all secured our general admission tickets and felt (sarcastically) sorry for those suckers at the end of the line who stood no chance of getting one.
    One of my friends felt so sorry for said suckers, he offered to sell one of them his girlfriend’s ticket for a small $50 surcharge.
    Sold!
    That friend is married now but to a different girl, and I suspect this incident might have played a role.
    After lunch, my friend Joel and I went to the bookstore and attended a book signing by the most recognizable face in all of college basketball, Dick Vitale. (You know it, Baby!)
    He posed for pictures and made a short speech about how much he was looking forward to the game.
    It was like campus had subsided into some sort of basketball fantasy camp.
    Then came the game.
    Everyone was clad in white and ready to go outside the stadium by 4 p.m. The student gate didn’t open until 5:30, but what else was more important than the game?
    After making a mad dash for seats when the arena opened, we all cheered and rattled the rafters waiting for tip-off.
    The game was a true classic, with Kentucky dominating but never destroying the Bulldogs. State kept the game close but never led until the final two minutes of play.
    With less than five seconds left in the game, Kentucky was down one with the ball.
    The atmosphere at that moment, the moment of the in-bound pass, was more electric than any atmosphere I’d encountered before or since.
    My chest was reverberating with the sounds of elation until the ball was passed in.
    Roberts tipped it, and I leapt.
    By the time I returned to the ground, Wildcat Erik Daniels had grabbed the tip and put it in just before the final buzzer, tagging the Bulldogs with the 67-66 loss.
    Moments after the loudest crowd noise I’d ever heard, there was silence.
    Win or lose tomorrow, this game will be an experience to remember, and hopefully one that will match that Monday night three years ago.

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    If anything like last ‘white-out,’ Gator game a must see