The story behind the landshark

Dear Editor,

Thanks for the article on “the Ole Black Bear” getting no respect. He was never actually accepted at Ole Miss. None of my Ole Miss friends thought “the bear” was appropriate on where he came from.

Anyhow, the “landshark” idea was so original, so much more exciting and caught on nationwide – from small athletes to even the pros – but college players love it, and it spread to fans in the stands – just a fun thing – clean, not gross – unique.

So where did the idea come from? It came from an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan (the tour) before coming to Ole Miss. He was a military tough linebacker – the type that would greet enemy running backs with a “slobber-knocker” hit – then give the “land shark” sign – his name “Fien”. Tony Fien originated the “landshark” move. It was fantastic and would electrify the Ole Miss faithful.

Fien passed away in October 2009. He was awarded the Pat Tillman Award by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful to honor Tony Fien with the mascot “Land Shark” and let the black bear hibernate forever.

Van A. Luca Sr.

Ole Miss Rebel

Class of 1965