At Ole Miss, “Landshark” is a term adopted by the Rebel football team’s defensive unit. As part of that identity, defensive players will celebrate big plays by putting a hand to their fore- head in the shape of a shark fin. A battle cry of “fins up” also contributes to the players’ persona.
With the popularity of both the players and the “Landshark” celebration, Ole Miss student-athletes from other sports have performed the hand gesture as a tribute to their fellow Rebels on the football team. One example is men’s basketball player Marshall Henderson, who is friends with All-SEC linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and other players.
Roots of the “Landshark” at Ole Miss date back to 2008. After four straight losing seasons, the Rebel foot- ball team returned to national prominence with a 9-4 record and a victory over 7th-ranked Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. Leading the charge was a defensive squad that ranked fourth in the nation in rushing defense and included All-Americans Peria Jerry and Greg Hardy and eventual All-SEC standout Jerrell Powe.
The term “Landshark” originated that season from senior line- backer Tony Fein, an Army veteran who served a one-year tour in the Iraq War before arriving in Oxford. A two-year letterman after trans- ferring from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, Fein was the 2008 recipient of the Pat Tillman Award by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Fein passed away in October 2009, but his legacy at Ole Miss continues through the “Landshark.”
- Ole Miss Press Release.