The enduring power of college football comes with the beautiful collision of the unpredictable, unscripted and unhinged.
A 12-car pile-up of the bizarre and unimaginable emerged in Starkville, Mississippi, late Thursday night. A rivalry game known as the Egg Bowl between bitter foils Ole Miss and Mississippi State was decided because a player celebrated the potential game-tying touchdown with a mimic of a dog lifting his leg and pretending to pee. It was the second time in three seasons an Ole Miss player was penalized for such an act in this game. But this time, the stakes were higher.
Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore’s celebration penalty will be remembered for generations as one of the dumbest plays in the history of the sports. It was a combination of selfishness, fatality and viral mockery that’s unprecedented in modern college football.
Moore, the team’s best receiver, channeled his inner Odell Beckham Jr. after scoring a touchdown with four seconds left that should have tied the game. Moore clearly isn’t majoring in self-awareness at Ole Miss, as he left the field after the penalty and began sauntering around the sideline with a WWE-style wrestling belt over his shoulder. As he was being mocked viciously online, he was parading around as a hero in his own mind.
Moore’s exercise in self-absorption ended up costing Ole Miss the game, as it fell 21-20 when kicker Luke Logan missed a 35-yard extra-point attempt that was 15 yards longer because of the penalty. When he missed, the stadium exploded in a din of celebratory cowbells.
So many varying versions of urine-themed puns emerged online that this moment looms as a collegiate legacy that Moore is unlikely to outrace.