[I had the honor of speaking with one of MSU's most beloved former players, quarterback Sleepy Robinson, about his Egg Bowl memories. The interview began mostly about the 1991 Egg Bowl, but as Sleepy began to speak the conversation turned to other topics relating to MSU.-Steve]
Sleepy tell me about the 1991 Egg Bowl.
"I tell you the first time I ever started was against those guys in Jackson as a redshirt freshman. I had four carries for negative four yards. I told myself if I ever got the chance to play against those guys again I would have the best game of my life. My best friend Phillip Kent played defensive end for Ole Miss and I told him next time you better watch out. When 1991 rolled around I couldn't wait to beat those guys. I was the SEC Player-of-the-Week that week."
What makes the rivalry so special?
"Well, you are playing against some of the same guys you played high school ball against and some of the guys you played with at the All-Star game. It's bragging rights for a whole year and I didn't want to hear 365 days of 'I told you so.' No, we had to beat them. You want to keep it family-oriented, but football is a contact sport. I had a lot of pride in MSU and I wanted to prove to everyone that I chose the right school."
Is there a play in the '91 Egg Bowl that stands out?
"You know I had a BBQ the other night and had my team over for an end-of-the-year deal and we watched my highlight video. There was a 3rd and 2 play where I hit the corner and they had this little DB, #10. I can't remember his name, but he was between me and the endzone and he wasn't going to stop me. I just lowered my head and ran over him. I hit him so hard my helmet came flying off. Nothing was going to stop me from getting in that endzone."
I had someone tell me a story about you recently in reference to the 1991 LSU game. I was told we closed practices and put in the wishbone just for that game.
"You were told correctly. That is absolutely true. That was the thing about (offensive coordinator) Watson Brown, he would tailor things for different teams and allow us some input on the offense. Like the Florida game, I said coach I want to do this and that and he put it in. When Watson was at Vandy he always had good schemes, but let's be honest they didn't have the athletes because of GPA requirements and things like that. Watson knew how to run the offense and at MSU he had some talent."
I know you still follow the program very closely. Do you think we are heading in the right direction?
"Steve, I hope so. I pray we are. I understand we had to get rid of a few bad seeds. You expect that. The thing people need to remember is that things are never going to always be smooth when you are dealing with kids 17 to 21. Some of these kids have trouble adjusting. Some of them make it and some don't. The number one thing you have to have are players. Players win games. A lot of these kids coming out of high school don't know how to play football. They are great athletes, but they have to be taught to play football. When Coach Sherrill got there we weren't great, but he had a plan and he gave us the direction we needed to get going. I really believe if I had not gotten hurt my senior season we would have won the SEC Championship."
What are you doing now?
"I am the head football coach at East Oktibbeha High School. We're having some pains, but we're getting better. They've had some rough seasons before. They went 1-10 last year and we went 5-5 this year. We're heading in the right direction. I am really enjoying it. It's my first time running things my own way. You'll hear about us in about two years. We're about to put in our offseason program next week."
Sleepy Robinson was one of the most exciting players to every wear the Maroon and White. One of the most efficient passers in school history, he is credited by many as the catalyst that helped coach Jackie Sherrill begin an era of winning rarely seen in the history of Mississippi State football.
Check back tomorrow as we speak with two of Mississippi State's most beloved and legendary players about their memories of the battle for the Golden Egg as we count down the days to the 2005 Egg Bowl in this exclusive Dawgs' Bite/Gene's Page series....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.