Mississippi State Opponents Must Face a Big "Bully"

Bulldogs began to roam State’s sidelines as early as 1935 when coach Major
Ralph Sasse went to Memphis to select a bulldog.  The coach returned with
Ptolemy, a gift of the Edgar Webster family.  With a watchdog on the
sidelines State promptly defeated Alabama 20-7.

Later that year a litter-mate of Ptolemy became the first mascot called
“Bully.”  While the dog started the joyful “Bully” tradition, his life ended in
tragedy when a campus bus hit him in 1939.  The outpouring of affection for
the dead mascot was overwhelming.  Days of campus mourning followed, as
Bully lay in state in a glass coffin.  The Bulldog was finally laid to rest under
the bench at the 50 yard line of Scott Field.  The funeral was covered by Life
Magazine, and followed a half-mile funeral procession that was
accompanied by the Maroon Band and three ROTC battalions.  Other Bullys
have been buried near campus dorms, at fraternity houses and sat the
football stadium.

Foul play in the form of dognapping has also affected the line of “Bullys.”  The
most recent time was before the 1974 State-Ole Miss game.  Despite the
absence of the mascot that afternoon, State bullied the Rebels 31-13.  

Early Bullys led a more carefree lifestyle that included roaming the campus
freely or living in frat houses. However, today Bully has settled down and is
now housed at the School of Veterinary Medicine when he’s not panting on
the sidelines.

A bulldog costumed student, who is part of the MSU cheerleading team,
shares the “Bully” name.  This Bully assists in getting State fans fired up and
has been known to stir the emotions of opposing mascots as well.

State’s nickname officially got its bite when Bulldogs became the nickname in 1961, not long after the school was
granted university status.  The Bulldog nickname had been barked by State supporters since the early 1900s, but
it took six decades before the dog had its day.
The victory celebration over arch-rival Ole Miss in a 1905 game played in Jackson, Miss. was a catalyst for State’s
adopting the bulldog as a school symbol.  The campus paper, “The Reflector” reported that its cadets held a
military funeral parade down Capitol street to symbolize Ole Miss’ dead athletic spirit.  On top of the coffin that was
carried by the 12 cadets was a bulldog puppy that was treated to a brass band playing a very pathetic funeral
march.  Other newspapers continued to wag the Bulldog tail as their reports of the victory included comments on
the “Bulldog” style of play by the A&M eleven.
Wisconsin Game Day Traditions, the 5th QuarterMississippi State Nickname, Mascot
and Bulldogs Traditions
Bulldog fans enjoy a double-dose of Bully on football
Saturdays when a costumed Bully joins the MSU
cheeer squad to cheer MSU to another victory.
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