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We announced earlier this week that we had set a school record for football season tickets when we surpassed the 38,440 season tickets we sold prior to the 2001 campaign.  For that, we thank you, the Bulldog fan and alumnus.  It is a credit to you, and we appreciate your support.

And we took a moment to pat our athletic ticket staff, Bulldog Club office, and marketing group on the back.  We enjoyed the accomplishment for about five minutes.  And then we were all reminded that we still had goals out there in front of us.  We want to sell every available season ticket we can.  And we're nearly there.

Two items will assist us in that endeavor.  First, we sold more season tickets last week alone than we had in the previous eight weeks - the most since two weeks after the priority seat re-order deadline.  We also announced this week that we had exhausted all of our single-game tickets for the Alabama game.  Now, the only way to see the Alabama game is through the purchase of a season ticket.

Through the close of business yesterday, we had sold 38,556 season tickets.  That number includes 10,000 student season tickets, a number the student body could easily eclipse when those tickets go on sale in August.  Our stated goal of 40,000-plus season tickets is certainly within reach.

Season tickets may be purchased through our athletic web site - www.mstateathletics.com/tickets - or by calling the ticket office (1-888-GO-DAWGS).  Tickets will go out in the mail beginning Monday, Aug. 10, and continue for the next week to 10 days. 

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There has been much written in emails and message boards questioning whether the Jackson State band will be visiting Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Rest easy, I have been assured by JSU athletic director Bob Braddy that the Sonic Boom of the South will be in attendance.  It should be quite a show.

Besides, it's stipulated in the game contract that both bands' attendance is required. 

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Occasionally, we receive an email asking why we opted to make the switch from white helmets to maroon.  Through the years, we have worn both, so it is not as though we are breaking new ground with either.  When we secured adidas as our new athletic apparel and footwear supplier, we knew that a newly designed uniform would be imminent.  It just seemed like the right time to go back to maroon.

We will always work to make sure our uniforms are a balance of some continuity and tradition and at the same time, a product that our student-athletes will appreciate and one that will attract potential recruits.

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Congrats go out to softball head coach Jay Miller, senior Chelsea Bramlett and former Bulldog Courtney Bures for winning the Japan Cup last weekend with the United States Women's National Softball Team.

Coach Miller and Chelsea have returned home after being on the road with USA Softball most of the summer. We are proud of both of them as they helped the Red, White and Blue also win the Canada Cup and the prestigious World Cup of Softball. The latter event was broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN2, and it was great to hear Mississippi State mentioned numerous times.

We'd also like to wish our new assistant coach, Karen Johns, good luck as she is currently in Venezuela coaching the U.S. Pan Am Qualifier team. The team has been very impressive so far, rolling to an 8-0 record. Coach Johns is a veteran coach who assisted the U.S. Olympic Team to a silver medal last summer, and we are excited to have her in the Bulldog family.

Finally, Chelsea added another accolade this week as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named her the Division I winner of the 2009 adidas Golden Shoe Award, an annual honor recognizing the nation's top base stealer.

The Cordova, Tenn., native, stole a school-record and SEC-best 54 bases in 60 attempts while leading State to an eighth NCAA Tournament appearance. Bramlett's NCAA Division I-best 0.96 steals per game helped earn her a second-straight All-SEC honor and third NFCA First Team All-America selection.

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We were notified this week that Tracy Lane has resigned as head women's tennis coach to take a faculty position at Western Kentucky University.  We appreciate all that Tracy has done for us during her 13 years as the head of our women's tennis program.  We wish her and her family success in their new career.

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Shortly after we acknowledged last week that we received an email complimentary of Bulldog Club staffer Bart Gregory in assisting with a ticket order came this:

"A fellow teammate, Richard Weaver, and I also had a slight problem with our season ticket orders.  We talked with and worked with a lady named Susan (didn't get her last name) in the ticket office.  She solved our problem very quickly and in a most professional manner which we greatly appreciated.  She is really a great asset to our university.

 Bob McCool"

We are sure that Susan Holder appreciates your kind words.

And then there was this one that was sent to me:

"I am sure you do not remember me but last year you helped me purchase season tickets through Christina Knox so my 83 year old Father in Law and I could attend the football games.  I want to let you know that Christina is a great asset to the University and has been instrumental in my annual donation to the Bulldog Club.  I have been receiving your emails and enjoy them very much.  I am trying to do my part in helping our Dawgs become more competitive on and off the field.

Bobby Windham


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It has come to our attention that former Diamond Dawg great Jeff Brantley is being considered for the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame.  There is a fan vote component in their selection process, and if you are so inclined, you can vote here

Now, we should tell you that it is not a simple process.  The Reds will ask you for some information before you actually get to the ballot.  But I'm sure that Jeff would appreciate your vote, though he might never ask for it.

Voting is open through Sept.2.  Each e-mail address can vote up to a maximum of 25 times. 

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Mark your calendars now.  There will be a Bulldog Club membership meeting, Saturday, Aug. 29.  Further details will come regarding that get-together.  Also that day, coach Dan Mullen will have his football team available to the fans for photographs and autographs.  Fan Day will begin at 12 noon in the Palmeiro Center.

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Everyone knows Phil, but what you might not know is that he has been an employee at MSU for 25 years.  He is a graduate of Nicholls State and he was employed at Southeastern Louisiana prior to coming to MSU.  Phil has been the Equipment Room Supervisor for 5 head football coaches, 3 men's basketball coaches, 4 women's basketball coaches, 3 baseball coaches and a host of other head coaches.  He has withstood the test of time and is definitely "A True Bulldog."  His desire to help our teams get the necessary equipment has been ever-present in the relationships that he has built over the years with the companies with which we work. 

For those of you who know Phil, you know that he is constantly talking.  His Louisiana accent, which for some reason hasn't become a southern drawl, is so distinct that you know he is coming even before you see him.  His personality is one of approachability; however, one understands that what he does is very important and that if you work for him, you take it very seriously.  Everyone around the athletic department has great respect for Phil and enjoys his company.  They know that he loves what he does and the institution he serves.

Phil has 3 sons, Gray, Terry, and Taylor.  He is from New Orleans, La.

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As we mentioned in this column last week, we want to show everyone in Mississippi and beyond its borders, the loyalty and pride we have in our university.  It has become an initiative for our staff to begin wearing maroon every Friday, 52 weeks a year.  What a dynamic way to display our colors to those constituents we want to impress - students in general, prospective student-athletes, and Mississippians looking for a university "home."

We have even begun to get some email feedback from fans and alumni around the state who have joined us in this project.  Wear the colors and tell others.

Are you in the maroon? 

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We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved. There are three things you can do to help Mississippi State reach its desired goals -

1.  Buy Season Tickets
2.  Financially Support the Bulldog Club
3.  Get Others To Do The Same

Thanks for taking the time to read this update.

Go Dawgs!

Greg Byrne