Chris Vernon is a simple man with a guitar.
Ed Orgeron is a simple man with a football team.
Thanks to the latter, the former is wallowing in Lonelygirl15- and Caitlin Upton-like YouTube fame.
In case you?ve been living in a cave - or Mississippi - for the last year, let the alligatorSports Brand Picks Column fill you in.
Last fall, Vernon thought up some lyrics, picked up his guitar and strummed the tune now known to many as either the BCoach O songC or BColonel Reb Is Crying.C
The song pays homage to the unmistakable and uninterpretable southern twang Orgeron possesses.
Vernon said the hit has received about 750,000 views in the last year.
BEverybody had been goofing on his voice,C Vernon said. BThe way he talked, it was so gruff.C
Vernon hosts an afternoon sports talk radio show in Memphis, Tenn. - the closest location of intelligent life from Mississippi?s campus in Oxford, about 90 minutes away.
The hiring of Orgeron to succeed David Cutcliffe for the 2005 season drew a rousing BHuh?C from the Magnolia State.
BI thought he was thrown into the fire, put into a bad spot from the jump, much like (former Gators coach Ron) Zook was at Florida,C Vernon said. BThe guy was a recruiter and a defensive line coach, but you?re going to make him in charge of an entire program?C
The basis of the song is Mississippi?s southern gentleman mascot, Colonel Reb, asking Coach Orgeron to save the Rebels from the team?s culture of losing.
The chorus has Coach O ripping his shirt off and yelling, BYaw yaw yaw yaw yaaw yaaw yaaw yaaw … FOOT-baw!C
The inspiration comes from a passed-around story of Orgeron challenging anybody on his sorry team to a fight.
BThat?s not urban legend by the way, because I know guys that were on the coaching staff,C Vernon said. BIn the locker room, he made everybody take their shirts off and they were screaming. He said if anybody wanted to take him on, they could take him on.C
Nobody wanted to challenge mighty Orgeron, but the legend didn?t die.
The song is now everywhere.
ESPN.com?s Pat Forde, alligatorSports? new favorite national writer, gave Vernon a BDashieC award for song of the year.
ESPN?s Rece Davis, an Alabama alum, mentions the song on air whenever he?s forced to play Rebels highlights, which, needless to say, isn?t very often.
When calling Ole Miss-LSU highlights last year, Davis managed to get nearly the entire chorus of the song into a 50-second clip.
Bruce Feldman mentioned it in his new book, BMeat Market,C and now, Vernon has hit the big time and joins such greats as Christian Drejer, Vernon Maxwell and Willie Williams in the alligatorSports Hall of Fame.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Orgeron first learned of the song from his sons.
BThey were upstairs hooting and hollering,C Orgeron told the paper. BSo I asked them, 'What are y?all doing? I gotta hear this.? I thought it was kind of funny. I?ve got no problem with that kind of stuff. It?s all part of football.C
Orgeron has not appeared on Vernon?s radio show, despite an interview request this summer, leading him to believe his life might be in danger.
BI am still worried about getting killed,C Vernon said. BHe might just rip off my head.C
With that note, onto the picks!
At 21-9 and in first place is Bryan BI?m working on growing out my porno moustacheC Jones, whose goal is to be the laziest sports writer on the planet yet consume more athletic-association-sponsored food than the rest of alligatorSports combined.
Tied for first 21-9, but batting second due to a significant height disadvantage is Brian BWhen I get mad, I drop 'f-ing bombs'C Steele, who launched the Facebook group, BAbstinence (and Andrew Meyer) Rocks My SocksC in tribute to his fallen friend.
Coming up third with a record of 19-11 is Mike BMikeC McCall, who is busy poking away GatorCountry and GatorBait subscribers and one-toothed Tennessee females with pointy sticks after his recent appearance on BESPN First Take.C And in case you didn?t know, Tennessee Daily Beacon writer Hunter Pavlik is Mike?s bitch.
In fourth at 18-12 is resident bitch artist Nick BI?m being overworked, which is significantly cutting down on my fantasy college hockey timeC Zaccardi, who is about to be caught up in a Danny Almonte-like scandal, as his boyish looks have earned him a starring role on BAre You Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?C
In dead-ass last place with a piss-poor record of 17-13 is Jenna BI want to have Joakim Noah?s babiesC Marina, who started booking British Airways plane tickets when told she would be traveling to Oxford this week.
UF-Miss BJ: UF 49-17; JM: UF 45-7; MM: UF 38-14; BS: UF 38-17; NZ: UF 49-6; CV: UF 96-0