How Mississippi State can 'party like it's 1941' at the Orange Bowl
Upon earning their first Orange Bowl invite in 73 years, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen told the media his Bulldogs would “party like it’s 1941” when they arrive in Miami later this month.
What exactly does that mean? Here’s an idea of what a 1941-themed party might look like in the backdrop of modern day Miami.
Music: The Bulldogs would have to pack their dancing shoes for this trip, as all the lovely ladies in Miami would love a chance to hit the dance floor and bust a move to the big-band stylings of Glenn Miller or Jimmy Dorsey. Miller and Dorsey recorded two of the top four songs on the limited music charts of the early 1940s, and it’s safe to say Dorsey’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” would get as much play as Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” would today.
Dancing: Swing dancing was the fad of the time period, while dances like the jitterbug, the charleston and a number of other ballroom dance styles also held their place in 1940s culture. One thing’s for certain, you couldn’t perform a modern day dance to the music of Miller or Dorsey without looking both foolish and uncivilized.
Fashion: Mississippi State’s players and coaches would likely don a simple look, with much of the thread once dedicated to men’s clothing now being dedicated to military uniforms during World War II. Players would likely be in plain suits in black or navy blue, perhaps with a fedora to top off the outfit.
Icons: If the Bulldogs were lucky enough, they might have been graced by the presence of such beauties as Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner or Betty Grable. Rosemary LaPlanche was named Miss America that year, making her one of the most desirable women alive at the time.
Crowd: This party might not be as big a blowout as it would’ve been in 1946 following the conclusion of WWII. Many men were serving their country in either Europe or Japan in 1941, which certainly decreased the fanfare surrounding college football for a small handful of years.
Food: The popular chocolate candy M&M’s debuted in America in 1941, and although they weren’t as prominent then as they are now they still might have been a party favor at this Orange Bowl bash. (For what it’s worth, a cereal called “Cheerioats” now known as “Cheerios” also debuted in 1941, but it’s unlikely it would have been served in a party atmosphere.) Players might have also dined on finger sandwiches and other crackers or cookies, and they’d likely have drank some punch to wash it down (non-alcoholic, of course).
So there you have it: men in suits, women in dresses, kicking their feet to the music of Glenn Miller and his band while feasting on candy and tiny sandwiches.
Mullen’s excitement over his program returning to prominence for the first time in seven decades is justified, but his Bulldogs may want to remain in the 21st century when they arrive in the Sunshine State after Christmas.