Class of 2014: Steve McNair, his Airness

  This is the fourth of a series on the MSHOF's Class of 2014... ••• The first time I saw Steve McNair play football he was a 16-year-old junior at Mount Olive High making the State 1A Championship Game his personal playground. He kicked off through the end zone to start the game. He never came out, playing quarterback on offense, safety on defense, punting and returning kicks. He threw, he ran, he tackled, he made interceptions. Basically, he did whatever he pleased and led Mount Olive to victory over...

Guy is in, but we've got more work to do

JACKSON — Football justice was served Super Bowl weekend when Ray Guy, the greatest punter in history and one of the most versatile athletes Mississippi has seen, was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Finally. Now, we've got other Magnolia State fish to fry where the Pro Football Hall of Fame is concerned. To wit: Charlie Conerly, Kent Hull, Jimmie Giles and L.C. Greenwood. All four are deserving because all four were among the elite at their positions when they played in the NFL. Conerly was the toast...

The Saints' Ring of Honor and Archie . . .

The New Orleans Saints will induct former three players into their first official Ring of Honor tonight at halftime of the Cowboys-Saints game at the Superdome. They got it right: Archie Manning, Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf. I've watched the Saints from the beginning. Those should be the first three. Such stalwarts as Deuce McAllister, Jim Finks and Drew Brees (no time soon, we hope) should follow. Of course, Manning's No. 8 was already up on the wall of the Superdome. So he is being honored in this manner for...

You couldn't make these Braves up….

So, let’s see, Atlanta Braves second baseman (Dan Uggla), can’t hit and the Braves hope it’s because he can’t see. He’s on the DL for eye surgery. Tyler Pastornicky, who was brought up to replace him, tore an ACL and is out for the season. Tim Hudson, the best and most experienced pitcher, is out for the season with a fractured right ankle. The Braves started the season without their catcher Brian McCann, who was coming off shoulder surgery. They immediately lost their best set-up man Jonny Venters to elbow...

We celebrate new Famers, mourn those lost

We will have a crowd of more than 550 at the Jackson Hilton tonight for the BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. Two folks who would have been with us will not be. Hall of Famers Bobby Crespino and George “Boomer” Scott — two men with Greenville backgrounds — died earlier this week. They will be sorely missed: Bobby’s always kind, gentlemanly manner and George’s booming laugh. In fact, we have lost six Hall of Famers — add Doug Kenna, Marion Henley, P.W. Underwood, Dorothy Vest — since...

Crespino donated brain, spine to science

I am no doctor. I certainly have no substantiated statistical data on the long-time effects of football on a human being’s health. I do know that virtually every man I know, who played football into their 30s, suffers high moderate to mostly severe health problems of some sort. And I know a lot of them. The game takes a toll. Billy Watkins and I did a series of stories about that subject in 2008. This is the piece I did on my good friend, Bobby Crespino. Bobby, who died Monday...

Big night Saturday night at your MSHoF

Your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum’s most fun event of the calendar year is set for Saturday night at the museum: The Drawdown of Champions (and silent auction) culminates the BancorpSouth Induction Banquet Weekend. The drawdown and auction event is scheduled (6:30-9:30 p.m.) and is sponsored by Puckett Machinery and Young Wells Williams & Simmons. The drawdown is for $5,000. The cost of admission (and entry into the drawdown) is $50 per person, which includes food from over 20 Jackson restaurants and an open bar. (Beat that for...

The eclectic Rube: He left us a double legacy

This the last of a series on your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum's Class of 2013. John Michael Rubenstein, raised in Booneville, was a Vanderbilt University honors graduate and a man of many talents. The college major of this future Hall of Fame TV sports anchor and sports museum director? Why Asian studies, of course. He loved music, particularly jazz, and sports. He traveled the world but chose to stay in Mississippi. Eclectic, you say? And then some. Rube was the son of a Jewish store owner and...