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MSU A.D. Wants Fans To Behave With Their Cowbells (Especially With LSU Coming To Town)

The Great Cowbell Compromise of 2010 was extended for one more year after Mississippi State fans began to ring responsibly during the final weeks of last season.  After receiving a “you’re down to your last strike” warning from SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Bulldog fans began to back off — as instructed — from ringing their bells during game action.

Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin is hoping State fans pick up right where they left off last season:

“We need to do a great job every game this year and build off that.  We have a pretty high-profile game starting at home, so we need to be in midseason form as a fanbase, as a university.”

Stricklin also knows that LSU is one of the schools in the league that’s not too fond of the Bulldogs’ cowbells.  LSU chancellor Michael Martin made his feelings clear at this year’s SEC Meetings back in June:

“When does a tradition become an annoyance?  From what we’ve been told, they had some problems with the new rule in the games last season.  It’s an artificial noisemaker, and people were ringing them during play, which is against the rules…

It may be time for State to adjust.  I think it’s similar to a lot of schools who have had to change their nicknames for various reasons.  Sometimes you have to move on.”

While some MSU fans will likely take an “Oh, yeah?” type of attitude toward LSU’s distaste for cowbells, Stricklin clearly understands that that would be the worst thing to do.  Better to put the bells away during play and then ring the heck out of ‘em during stoppages.  That way, MSU fans can make their feelings known and the Tigers won’t have anything to complain about when this topic comes up again next spring.



I believe if you were at a game last year in Starkville, you would have been very impressed with the control that 99% of MSU fans had on when to ring the cowbell and when to yell. It was the most outstanding when we played Arkansas. No Arkansas player would complain that the cowbells impacted them when their offense was on the field. Also, it has taken a little while to make the switch to ringing responsibly. Before anyone gets bent out of shape about this, please come to a game and allow yourself to evaluate the situation. I don't think you will have a problem. We also welcome you to a great SEC atmosphere, MSU style!


Personally I don't have a problem with the cowbells. They are a unique feature in college football and so I have no problem with State fans ringing them in their own stadium whenever they want. With that said, you can't have the best of both worlds. If you are going to outlaw noisemakers during play then you certainly can't allow them into the stadium at all and try to put unenforceable restrictions on when you can use them.

If the SEC was going to punish the team for using the cowbells during game time then they should have done it after the first offense or at least after one warning. Warning after warning won't accomplish anything. You either have to allow them or take them away.


I know at some SEC stadiums they have been employing metal detectors to keep these out of away stadiums. I know at least one school two years ago they had massive garbage cans set up and were throwing away any cowbell they found. They did this inside the gates so the fan was faced with one of two options: throw away your bell or be forced to leave and keep your bell without refund. Pretty great system really.

I could care less about noise of them (assuming they are only employed during stoppage of play and at home, neither of which actually holds true) and understand the tradition behind them, but I personally worry more about the potential for fights and injuries with them. They are decent size and made of metal / steel with plenty of potential for harm if one were to be struck by it -- intentionally or not.

If state used some other noise making device (kazoos, plastic clickers, etc.) I would have no objection.


LSU is one to complain. Their obnoxious fans (the worst not only in the SEC mind you, but ranked second only to West Virginia in terms of crudeness and rudeness), are a complete embarrassment. Gotta agree with Oregon on this one..I was there and witnessed it.


Banning the cowbell would probably keep me out of jail. If I had LSU fans poking me in the chest, throwing stuff in my face, cursing me and my small children, etc., etc. I could see a point where I might get provoked enough and "defend" myself.


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