Thu Dec 03 04:32pm EST
Mississippi State's infamous cowbells are feared around the SEC, mostly for their unparalleled capacity for annoyance: A trip to Starkville guarantees you're in for three hours of uninterrupted rattling and clanging that should make anyone who's ever waved their keys to make noise want to wet their pants. Traditionally, the cowbell assault is limited strictly to visitors' ears, which can be brutal enough; after Saturday's Egg Bowl upset over hated Ole Miss, though, at least one MSU student took the home-field advantage just a little too far by going for the face:
MSU Police Department Sgt. Brad Massey said the male victim, 21, whose name is not being released amid concerns for his continued safety, suffered a severe head wound after the suspect struck him in the head with a cowbell.
The victim had some friends from Ole Miss with him in the stands, and, after MSU won the football game, some verbal sparring occurred with the suspect that turned violent, culminating in the victim being struck with the cowbell, Massey said.
"It split his head open pretty badly," said Massey, who would not comment on whether alcohol may have played a role in the incident.
The victim was treated and released from a local hospital after a few hours. Felony aggravated assault carries a prison term of 1 to 20 years in Mississippi, which, coincidentally, is 1 to 20 times the number of milliseconds the alleged assailant thought about the consequences of cracking someone in the head with a hunk of metal before going through with it.
Between the array of dangerous live animals, celebratory firearms and rivalry trophies including two axes, a skillet, a tomahawk, a bronzed rack of ribs and a keg of nails, I frankly would not have guessed that the cowbell would emerge as 2009's most injurious tradition. The Bulldogs always get you when you least expect it.
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Hat tip: Friends of the Program.