Mis­sis­sippi State has em­braced new sym­bol

Starkville Daily News - - SPORTS -

Mis­sis­sippi State has long been as­so­ci­ated with cow­bells.

No mat­ter the sport, Bull­dog fans ring their bells in sup­port. Yet as MSU gets ready to start play in the Col­lege World Se­ries Satur­day night, it's not the cow­bell that has be­come the ral­ly­ing sym­bol for th­ese Bull­dogs. In­stead, it's a piece of pro­duce.

Ush­ered in by third base­man Jor­dan West­burg's dugout an­tics dur­ing the Tal­la­has­see Re­gional, the rally ba­nana has be­come syn­ony­mous with this year's MSU post­sea­son run.

“I was pitch­ing when it started,” Mis­sis­sippi State's Cole Gor­don re­called. “Ap­par­ently Jor­dan was hun­gry, so he got a ba­nana, then he got another one and started play­ing with it and mess­ing around. He used it as a radar gun. He put sun­screen on it and bug spray at one point. I think last game, it was at the spa, so it had a towel and was able to re­lax the whole game. We've just kind of used it for a lot of things. kept it funny and kept it loose.”

Oth­ers have taken no­tice. West­burg's ba­nana shenani­gans have been cap­tured by tele­vi­sion broad­casts. The Mis­sis­sippi State mar­ket­ing depart­ment dis­trib­uted toy rally ba­nanas to fans dur­ing the su­per re­gional at Van­der­bilt.

Starkville re­tailer Ma­roon & Co. put rally ba­nana T-shirts up for sale on­line ear­lier this week. They quickly sold out be­fore be­com­ing avail­able yet again.

“The fans have re­ally taken it to a new level,” Gor­don said. “It's funny to watch. It's cool for Jor­dan. He started some­thing that you re­ally don't think is go­ing to be that big and it has taken off.”

Per­haps sur­pris­ingly, one of the rally ba­nana's big­gest fans is Mis­sis­sippi State in­terim head coach Gary Hen­der­son. One might could la­bel Hen­der­son as old school with his three decades of coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Yet even an older dog has learned to em­brace the power of MSU's new fa­vorite fruit.

“I'm glad that the kids are hav­ing a good

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