For the last two years, Hattiesburg High School has won the Little Brown Jug against rival Laurel Tornadoes.
The game has been around since 1922 and is the longest standing continuous rivalry game in the state of Mississippi.
With that, the Mayors of each city decide to get in on the fun, always with a little trash talk.
“First of all, I would like to apologize to Mayor Barker that his first year with the little brown jug game will be a loss,” said Laurel Mayor, Johnny Magee. “I know he would rather it be a win, but it’s just not going to happen between the bricks.”
Newly elected Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said he’s not worried.
“I understand that Mayor Magee has been talking a little smack about the game, and typically I’m not one to talk back to my elders," Barker said. "However, I do predict that yet once again Hattiesburg will come in with a very resounding victory."
“We got a new scoreboard at Laurel, it’s going to be a great scoreboard," Magee said. "We going to run the score up."
“I know they got a new score board up there… I hear they just got electricity too, so that’s good for them,” Barker said. “When you think of Hattiesburg you think of just excellence…healthcare, education, universities, military… and football."
“I know they’ve got a dandy dozen, I believe, on the tigers this year, but that won’t matter when the game starts between the bricks,” said Magee.
Barker said Laurel doesn’t have a chance.
“In terms of the game on Saturday…I predict high scoring affair at least on Hattiesburg’s side," Barker said. "I think laurel will try to make a little noise early, but in the end as they always do, Hattiesburg will pull through and I expect maybe a 45-20 victory…Hattiesburg over Laurel."
“It’s not gone be a big game as far as the score, I’m predicting 17-14 laurel, and I’ll do whatever the mayor wants to apologize after the game, you know we can go out to eat or something….it’s just unfortunate that his first year in office the jug will leave Hattiesburg and come back to its rightful place in the city of Laurel,” said Magee.
The idea of one owing the other dinner has even been kicked around, depending on what happens on the gridiron Saturday night.
“I’m not sure they have any restaurants open after dark in Laurel, but however if he would like to come to Hattiesburg ill treat him to wherever he wants to go...in a real dining city,” said Barker.
But at the end of the day, it’s all in good fun.
“I think one thing it builds is community identity, and everyone is a loyal to their town, everyone knows the storied history behind this thing, and both teams that line up are living into an amazing legacy for them to be able to carry that on for their families, for their communities, is very special whether you live in Hattiesburg or Laurel,” said Barker.
“It’s just great for the city, you know, the same time when it happens in Hattiesburg we travel there in droves, and we know that Hattiesburg is gone turn out well, and it’s just a great comradery between the city’s, it’s on the football field, it’s about trying to win, but it’s also that we are sister cities and that we share whatever we can do for each other we do that, but Saturday night…it’s all about us beating the tigers,” said Magee.
The game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. in Laurel on Saturday night.