Football Formal a chance for players to “be normal”


Perhaps you’ve seen the video above circulated on the worldwide web the last few days.

It first popped up on Twitter when Mississippi State football put it out over the weekend after hosting a formal Friday evening.

I didn’t know much about it, nor did it seem many people on the internet did, so I asked about it. Seemed like the natural thing to do.

The response, though slightly unexpected, made sense.

Sure, it was a night for the MSU football players, coaches and their respective dates to have fun. But the idea was about more than having a real good time.

“It’s a chance for them to be normal college kids,” Dan Mullen said.

His Bulldogs, like other athletes on campus, invest so much of their time into their sport.

Watching film, lifting weights, studying the playbook and regular practices keep guys a little busy.

And, oh yeah, the whole school thing. Watching Power Points, studying school books and regular classes keeps them busy, too.

“There aren’t many opportunities for these guys to have the same social experiences other students do,” Mullen said. “Most of their weekends are spent either on games in the SEC or practicing or working out.”

This Football Formal, Mullen said, affords them such an opportunity.

In fact, it turns out the players actually had etiquette training some months back – learning which forks to use when and other such nuances of fancy situations – and were then given a situation at this event to use those lessons.

Even in “normal” situations, these athletes are still practicing and then displaying their skills.

While many of their fellow students get to do it regularly, this was a chance for Mullen’s student-athletes to dress fancy, eat nice and have a fun night with their friends and dates.

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