If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, the picture above is your sign that football season is slowly but steadily creeping closer, waiting for us on the other side of a hot Mississippi summer.
Spring practice, of course, wraps up this weekend with the Maroon-White Game in Davis Wade Stadium, our last chance to watch Dan Mullen’s football team until the calendar hits August.
However, it’s not Mullen you see on this year’s football schedule poster, but the players and leaders of the team. Senior quarterback Tyler Russell and his center Dillon Day, senior running back LaDarius Perkins and his offensive guard Gabe Jackson and a pair of defensive linemen in senior Denico Autry and junior Kaleb Eulls.
The understated but quite-important part of the poster is the short, declarative sentence in the bottom-left corner. “Fight for Mississippi State.”
You’ll recognize the words from the final line of the fight song. “Fight for Mississippi State” is the theme for the team in the 2013 season, as chosen by those in the new Seal Football Complex, and you’ll likely be seeing it elsewhere as the season nears and arrives.
The other theme is that of the style for the poster and accompanying pocket schedules. An MSU graduate and my former co-worker from our days at The Reflector, Blake McCollum has been the go-to photographer for these types of projects.
Over the last many months, marketing has strayed away from the typical action shots and cut-outs of players catching a ball or diving for a quarterback.
Instead, they have opted for the more serious and seemingly in-your-face style of players staring straight into the camera, fully aware the photo is being taken with, in my mind at least, a mixture of both embracing and defying the lens.
The idea is to be clean, simple and hopefully intimidating with players appearing larger than life.
In a new twist this year, MSU is sending out four different versions of the pocket/wallet schedule. Each one has a different player on it, all seniors, with Russell, Perkins, Jackson and Autry varieties.
Points for anyone who collects all four. Imaginary points, but points nonetheless.