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ALL CAPS PREVIEW-MISSISSIPPI STATE

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WOKE UP IN A BAD MOOD

Tom Pennington

Indulge me for a second before I get going too far.

I woke up this morning and saw this tweet from noted sports authority Danny Kanell

That put me in a foul mood and further reinforced a lot of what we've been talking about through these previews. Kanell and his merry band of miscreants at ESPN feed the rankings monster. In fact Kanell picked SC to beat us. But then when something happens (us beating SC) that doesnt fit into their quaint narrative that they themselves created, we (meaning the team that dared to defy their rankings) are the problem.

So this is why I take issue with the notion of us embracing our underdog status. Embracing our underdog status means that we listen to the doubters and let them fuel our anger. WE LET THEM FUEL OUR HATE.

Which in some sense means that we're giving up a bit of our own agency. A bit of control. That we are doing it to prove others wrong, and not prove ourselves right.

But those folks, those HATERZZZZ won't be proven wrong. No matter what happens, they'll spin the narrative until they are proven right.

Which is why I no longer embrace the underdog mentality. Bold Statement coming: We are not underdogs. WE ARE ALPHA DOGS.

ALPHAS DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINION. ALPHAS DONT CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK OR HOW YOU WORK. ALPHAS REALIZE THAT EVERYTHING IS IN THEIR CONTROL AND EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE GAME IS ABOUT THEM. ALPHAS REALIZE THAT OUR EFFORT, OUR INTENSITY, OUR ABILITY DRIVES THE RESULTS THAT WE WANT. ALPHA DOG MENTALITY IS NOT ABOUT PROVING THEM WRONG. IT'S ABOUT PROVING US RIGHT. ITS. ABOUT. US.

I've probably used this song before, but I dont care. It's in my head. Patiently Waiting by 50 and Em. The first lines:

I've been patiently waiting for a track to explode on

You can stunt if you want and your ass'll get rolled on

It feels like my flow's bene hot for so long

If you thinking Imma f**kin fall off, you're so wrong

This is our track to explode on. Opportunity #6 comes in the form of a very good Bulldog team. I want to make a joke about how we've proven all season long about how we dont lose to food and we will continue that lolol, but that's offensive to dog owners. Either way, Mississippi State is good. And I'm sure they've got a solid plan in place.

Doesnt matter though. You know what they say. Everyone's got a plan....until they get hit in the mouth.

The notion of "making a statement" no longer matters. Who are we making a statement to? WE DONT NEED STATEMENT GAMES. EVERY PLAY. EVERY TIME WE HIT. EVERY TIME WE EXECUTE. EVERY TIME WE DO WHAT WE ARE TRAINED TO DO WE MAKE A DAMN STATEMENT.

What we need is cold, ruthless, emotionless execution. I'm reminded of this tweet after the SC game:

That's what we need. Violence. Malice. Ruthless, savage, execution. That's the statement I want.

NUMBERS

84--DAMMIT I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN IN THE LOCKER ROOM FOR MALCOME'S SPEECH.

70/78/56/79/74--It all starts up front. BE COLD BLOODED. IT'S A DAMN BUSINESS TRIP AND OUR BUSINESS WHEN IT COMES TO THE OL IS MAYHEM

29/31-DBS WILL BE USED IN RUN SUPPORT. HOWARD, THIS IS YOUR GAME. SQUARE UP THE BALL CARRIER AND KNOCK HIM ON HIS ASS. THIS IS WHAT I WANT.

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15--DO WHAT YOU DO MYLES. TEE THE HELL OFF.

7--IF OUR OFFENSE IS A SERIAL KILLER, THEN KENNY IS THE KNIFE. LET YOUR AIM BE TRUE. COLD. RUTHLESS

3/21/1-THREE HEADED MONSTER. LOOK FOR CONTACT. INFLICT PAIN.

THIS IS OUR TIME. THIS IS OUR GAME. PUT YOUR HEADPHONES ON AND FOCUS ON NOTHING ELSE BUT THE TASK AT HAND. DO YOUR JOB. PLAY YOUR GAME AND AIM TO BE 1-0 AT THE END OF THE WEEKEND. THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS

#POFG

BTHOclanga