Wayne, when I mention the words Egg Bowl what comes to mind?
"First of all it is a very intense rivalry. Growing up in Alabama all I really knew was Alabama/Auburn. The Egg Bowl rivalry is just as intense or maybe even more intense than that rivalry. I remember when they had the brawl before a game when I was younger and I was like, 'Man, this is serious!' "
Let's talk a bit about your first Egg Bowl game in 1998. We clinched the West that evening. Did clinching the SEC Western Division championship on their home field make it more special?
"Well it's Ole Miss. You always want to beat them. I guess you could say it was more special, but we would have wanted to beat them no matter what. It was kind of like killing two birds with one stone. You win the West and win the Egg Bowl. It was very satisfying."
The 1999 Egg Bowl was one that a lot of people still talk about. How do you remember it?
"That game kind of summarized the whole year. I had some problems earlier in the year, so to be the guy out there making the plays against your in-state rival was great. I know it meant a lot to the fans."
Let's talk about the 4th quarter comeback a bit. Take us through the game-tying drive and the touchdown play to C.J. Sirmones.
"On that drive they were playing a lot of zone, so all eyes were on me. I was able to find Kelvin Love on some slants and they didn't adjust to it. We were able to drive it down the field for the score. On the touchdown pass, that play wasn't designed for C.J. The pass was supposed to go to the left of the field, but it wasn't there. I started rolling left and the zone rolled with me. I went through my progressions and looked underneath for the hook route for Huntington, but it was covered up. I looked up and C.J. was just sitting out there in the zone wide open."
What was going through your mind as you saw C.J.?
"(Laughs) I tell you I just wanted to throw a catchable ball. He was so wide open I just wanted to make sure I got it there."
Of course C.J. did the rest. I think he's still running somewhere.
"(Laughs) Yeah, he probably is. The thing about that is I still don't know how he made it into the endzone. The safety, I think it was Syniker Taylor, had the angle on him and I thought he was going to make the tackle. I just couldn't believe he made it in. It was really strange."
What's something about that game that fans don't know that they would want to know?
"Man, I'll tell you. There was a lot of respect on the field that night. We respected them and they respected us. There were a few times I got run out of bounds on their sidelines and the first person to come up and pat me on the back or tell me 'Good run' was David Cutcliffe. That's something the fans don't see."
You started the 2000 Egg Bowl with the flu, right?
"Yeah, I didn't practice all week. The doctors worked on me all week and tried to get me well. I had a 103 fever that night. I was going to play no matter what. I wanted to be there for my team."
You got us a lead and had to come out and then Fant had the deflected pass picked off. Things went downhill from there.
"I did all I could do and just couldn't go anymore. It just didn't work out for us that time."
Of the Egg Bowls you played in which one was the most special?
"They are all special, but for different reasons. You take '98 and '99. In 1998, we won that game and went to the SEC Championship Game. In 1999, it was just a special win. You can't really compare the two wins. From a team standpoint, the 1998 one was the most special, but after all I went through the 1999 win was more special to me personally."
Do you still follow the program and what do you think about its direction?
"Oh, yeah I still follow them. As a former player I see a bunch of kids that never give up. They always continue to play. It doesn't matter if they are down 3 or 30. That's coaching. To me that shows signs that they believe in their coach and in the program. You don't see it on the scoreboard or in the wins and losses, but you will. We just need the right people. Coach Croom set a standard and we had to let some people go. He will get the players that he feels he needs at Mississippi State. With any team, you will have a certain growth rate. There will be some maturity and some growing pains, but we will get there."
Well Wayne, what are you up to these days?
"I just had my first born, a baby girl. I am finishing my masters in Business Administration and I work as a manager in the manufacturing industry."
Wayne thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. You certainly mean a lot to a lot of Bulldog fans.
"Man, I sure hope so. I gave it all I had."
Wayne I think you will see that time will be kind to you and people will fondly remember all the great plays and great wins you were a part of.
"Thanks that really means a lot."
Wayne Madkin passed for more yards, completed more passes and was second only to former Bulldog quarterback Derrick Taite in touchdown passes during his career at Mississippi State. He is among the top five quarterbacks in school history in every statistical passing category but one. As a true freshman, Wayne led Mississippi State to the SEC Championship Game. He later played in the Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, and the Independence Bowl and was named the MVP of the Peach Bowl and scored the game-winning touchdown in the Independence Bowl, a game now affectionately referred to by Bulldog fans as the Snow Bowl.
Check back tomorrow as we speak with another former MSU great about his memories of the battle for the Golden Egg as we count down the days to the 2005 Egg Bowl in this exclusive The Egg Bowl Remembered!
Steve Robertson writes The Robertson Report for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website. Steve's email address is email@example.com.