This could have been the year for Ole Miss baseball. The team roared out to a 16-1 start and found themselves ranked No. 5 in the nation. Then, the season came to a sudden and unceremonious close as the NCAA shut down all spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time since 1947 there won't be an NCAA National Champion. Just don't tell that to Ole Miss super fan Brandon Gibens.
Where most people saw a tragedy when the season was cut short, Gibens saw an opportunity. If he were to proclaim his beloved Ole Miss team as the NCAA champs in a bold and decisive way, maybe, just maybe, the world would choose to recognize them as such. That's just what Gibens did—he got a 2020 NCAA Champs tattoo.
Gibens is a graduate of Ole Miss who currently works as an accountant. In an interview with Ole Miss Spirit, Gibens shared that he spends as much time as possible sitting in the right field bleachers, watching his beloved Rebels.
"I thought the team was really special this year," Gibens told Ole Miss Spirit. "They're not going to get the opportunity to go further. I just felt like they needed to be remembered, and this is the way for me to remember them forever. I'm a tattoo guy. It was something that I thought was cool, so I went ahead and did it."
He has a really great point there. Ten years down the road, nobody is going to remember who won the 2020 NCAA baseball title. I'm a diehard baseball fan—I've watched every World Series that has happened during my time on this planet—and if you ask me to name the champion from any given year I usually won't remember. Thus, when people look at Gibens's tattoo in a couple of years they'll likely just say, "Cool. Ole Miss won it all in 2020."
Local tattooer Doug Hollis was responsible for putting the tattoo on Gibens's calf, where it will live for the rest of his days. Ole Miss fans can take some solace in the lost season knowing that somewhere, even if it is just on this man's calf, their team felt the glory of becoming national champions.