It's hard to imagine any modern college football player identifying with New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio, but Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze centered a recent pre-game speech around DiMaggio, and the Rebels responded quite well.
"What he was known for mostly was his passion for playing," Freeze said in the speech. "And he was once asked why do you play so hard, Joe? Why do you play so hard, we're in front of 10,000 people, you're not 60,000 like at Yankee Stadium? And his comment was, 'It may be the only time someone sees Joe DiMaggio play.' Tonight may be the only night someone in those stands sees you play."
It was less about what Freeze said, and more about how he said it. Now, it's not as though the Rebels ran out and pulled a stunning upset. The speech was made prior to Ole Miss' perfunctory Homecoming win over a non-conference pushover in Idaho. Nevertheless, legendary sports figures of decades past, in one way or another, still have a way of resonating.