The SEC has probably had a lot of things in mind when it decided to allow cowbells into Mississippi State' s Davis-Wade Stadium (and, before this season, to mostly look the other way when it came to cowbell enforcement): allowing the Bulldogs to hold on to a long-held tradition that is specifically theirs; creating a unique atmosphere both for the fans in attendance and TV microphones; throwing a member school a bone in the interest of keeping all their proverbial ducks in a row.
Not on the list: getting your commissioner sued when a State fan uses a cowbell to knock another fan unconscious. But hey, turns out that's where we are :
The suit, filed late last month in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, seeks unspecified damages from the SEC and commissioner Mike Slive because it says the league had a “knowing refusal” to enforce its own rule on artificial noisemakers that dated to 1974.Maybe. But this is an SEC stadium the day of a heated in-state rivalry game. If it hadn't been a cowbell, it would have been a flask or a stadium seat or, if you're in a luxury suite, a nice chair or even a buffet table.
In the suit, William Matthew Brasher alleges that Brent Vowell knocked him unconscious with the bell [at the annual Ole Miss- Miss. St. Egg Bowl ], causing a four-inch laceration that required staples and resulted in “a concussion, memory loss, mental and emotional distress and anguish, depression, paranoia, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life and inability to pursue prior educational and professional goals,” according to the complaint ...
“If the SEC had taken the steps necessary to enforce its rule prohibiting artificial noisemakers, including cowbells, Mr. Brasher would not have been attacked with a cowbell," the complaint reads.
Which is why until the SEC successfully bans "rage" from their stadiums, the lawsuit's not going to have much impact in the future of the State cowbells. But we still wouldn't expect to see Slive ringing one himself anytime soon.
HT: The Wiz .