CARRIERE, MS. (WJTV) – Like many families in Mississippi during Egg Bowl week, the Burge family live in a house divided.
“We support each other’s teams until the Egg Bowl, and then it’s just like, sorry, you stay on your side and we’ll stay over here,” explained Aleea Burge.
The Burge family consists of Richard Burge, the Mississippi State fan of the family, while his wife, Christian Burge, daughters Shawna and Aleea and son Trey are all Ole Miss fans.
Christian went to Pearl River Community College but don’t let that fool you…she is as big of an Ole Miss fan as anyone.
“I just love [Oxford],” said Christian. “And then when you go there, and you see the Grove and the way that they do their tailgating…it’s not tailgating it’s fine dining at it’s best out in the Grove. And I’ve just become an Ole Miss fan so I don’t have a dog in the fight, I wear maroon lipstick for [Richard], red and blue for my kids, but Hotty Toddy all the way.”
Richard Burge is a Mississippi State grad and was even the captain of the drum line when he was in the MSU Marching Band.
Having to accept that his children wouldn’t be Bulldogs…that was rough.
“It was difficult,” recalled Richard. “We raised our kids in Starkville going up to the games and…to write the first check to Ole Miss hurt. It really did.”
After Aleea picked Ole Miss in 2014, Shawna and Trey weren’t too far behind.
Because of that, the rivalry has taken on new meaning for Richard
“I had accepted [Aleea] is going to school up [at Ole Miss], no big deal,” said Richard. “And then they walk us in and the trophy for the Egg Bowl is sitting on OIe Miss’ campus and…that didn’t sit well with me. I was like ‘no this doesn’t feel good.’ And that’s really kind of the first time I ever felt the rivalry.”
Shawna, the youngest of the Burge children, is a freshman at Ole Miss. After going to last year’s Egg Bowl, picking which school she wanted to attend was easy.
“The Egg Bowl last year at State decided if I went to Mississippi State or Ole Miss because I was a senior in high school and I was like ‘I don’t know which one I’m going to go to’,” explained Shawna. “And then I got to Starkville and I was like…absolutely not. [I] went into the stadium, looked around…absolutely not. The cowbells are annoying, fins up, absolutely not.”
As for their plans for this year’s Egg Bowl, the Burges will all be watching together, and trying not to tear each other apart.
“We’re going to cook a huge feast, we’re going to turn on the TV, we’re going to get dressed up in our colors and we’re going to watch it play out,” said Christian. “And I’m pretty sure Ole Miss is going to win. Hotty Toddy.”
“Not this year,” murmured Richard. “Not this year.”