JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -For many families around Mississippi, all is fair in love and football. And that often means a house divided .The Egg Bowl winner takes the trophy and of course the bragging rights. But in the Smith household they also take the decorating rights.
“One year I decided to get a little two to three foot tree and decorate it all State.," explained Melanie Smith. "Well, he came home and he was like well that’s not fair...I want an Ole Miss tree. And I was like..no we can’t have that many trees in our house. We’re just having one. So, that’s kind of what started our tradition of a rivalry tree.”
As is the case in most divided households, they take their jabs.
“It’s a little smack talk leading up to the game but it’ll be a lot....game day," added Melanie Smith. "Game day. And then, all month long you have the bragging rights, you’ve got the tree and it’s just on. "
“Because it’s up till the first of the year,” noted Wade Smith. "So we get to admire it...or hate it.”
Melanie learned patience about putting up the tree the hard way.
“One year...State was kicking their tail and about the fourth quarter, I started getting out the State ornaments and decorating and walking around the house all sassy," she remembered. "And about that time Ole Miss came back and I started taking my ornaments off. So, I don’t do that anymore.”
They’ve upped the size of the tree but the bet remains the same. The Dawgs and Rebs have temporary spots on the tree until that final buzzer. The winning team’s box of ornaments go up directly after the game. Without the W, one of the boxes of ornaments goes back in the attic.