Happy birthday Bobby Crespino, and thanks

Funny the way your mind works. Fifty-two years ago this month I saw the first football play that registers in my mind. I was eight years old at the time, and had seen plenty of football, but this is the first play I vividly remember. Maybe it was because it was seen from the sidelines at Ladd Memorial Stadium in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. And, maybe, it was because it was just so magnificent. My dad had arranged for my brother and me to be managers for the North...

Seahawks' QB Wilson has Mississippi roots

OK, so you saw Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson lead his team to a 24-14 road victory over Washington and Robert Griffin III and into the second round of the NFL playoffs. Right? You saw Wilson pass for 187 yards and run for 84 more without a turnover. Right? But did you see Wilson blow past Marshawn Lynch to throw a downfield block on Lynch's 27-yard touchdown run? Wilson made the other players, including Lynch, look like they were standing still. Wilson's magnificent performance might get lost in all...

Happy Birthday, Jack!

(Writer's note: Jack Cristil celebrates his 87th birthday today.  I wrote this column the day Jack Cristil announced his retirement in February of 2011.) Doesn't matter which university you pulled for, you listened to Cristil. You listened because he put you there, in the stadium. We knew Jack Cristil couldn't go on forever. Here lately, he has sounded tired, worn out - certainly not himself. So maybe Wednesday's news that Cristil is stepping down after 58 years as the voice of Mississippi State University's football team and 54 years calling...

A visit to Ol' Diz

BOND — The cemetery is modest, perhaps the size of a football field, surrounded by a chain link fence. It's out from Bond, which is out from Wiggins, about 28 miles south of Hattiesburg. Here, Jay Hannah “Dizzy” Dean rests side by side with his wife, Pat, in the morning shade of a cypress tree. You turn off Highway 49 onto a country road, and turn off that country road onto a bumpier country road. You drive through a blue-collar area where the folks don't appear to have much. Knowing...

Boo sees dream come true

Today is Boo Ferriss's 91st birthday. Our gift: A remembrance of one of the greatest days in a great life. May 3, 2004.   It is now official: Delta St. baseball best in the country MONTGOMERY - Forty years ago, 42-year-old Boo Ferriss carved a baseball diamond out of a Delta beanfield. He had a vision: Delta State would have a baseball program, second to none. Here Saturday night, Ferriss watched through tears as his dream was realized. "I don't cry much," Ferriss said. "I couldn't help myself tonight." He...

D.D. Lewis: 'What's the fuss?'

D.D. Lewis, one of the greatest players in Misissippi State football history, laughs when asked his favorite Egg Bowl memory. Says D.D., "I don't really have one." "We played 'em three times, lost to 'em three times," D.D. says. "You want to know what I remember about Ole Miss. Here's what I remember: They all had big ol' legs, big ol' shoulders and small waists. They were fast and they were good. They reminded me of LSU. They were really, really good." So was D.D. Lewis. Lewis, you should know,...

Archie Manning had to choose two favorite Egg Bowls

When it comes to picking his most memorable Egg Bowl, Archie Manning can't choose just one. No, he has to pick one as a player and another as a father. Interestingly, both were played in Starkville. And both games were played in rain. “In 1969, my junior year, we had to beat Mississippi State to go to the Sugar Bowl,” Archie says. “I remember we played on Thanksgiving Day and I remember that it rained pretty steadily all game long. If you look, I think you'll see we were tied...

Glen Collins and 'that quarterback'

 This is the second of a series of Egg Bowl memories of Ole Miss and State greats from yesteryear. Jackson's own Glen Collins, one of Mississippi State's all-time great defensive linemen, played in four Egg Bowls, all in Jackson. “Seems like we always played them on a dreary or rainy day,” Collins says. “It was always gray.” And the games, says Collins, always were competitive. His favorite? “That's a tough one, but it's got to be my junior year (1980),” Collins says. “That was the year we beat Alabama and...

Egg Bowl memories: Deuce leads off

Today we'll begin a week-long Egg Bowl series, involving former players on both sides of the rivalry, and their favorite memories from Egg Bowls past.  We begin with Deuce McAllister, who almost became a Mississippi State Bulldog before he went to Ole Miss.  "My cousin, Michael Davis, was a great player at Mississippi State, and I had a good relationship with Coach Sherrill," McAllister said Sunday. "I probably visited Mississippi State and spent more time of their campus than I did Ole Miss."  But McAllister chose Ole Miss and became...

Deuce talks about Saints, Ivory

So, I was talking to Deuce McAllister this morning and the conversation turned immediately to the Saints' 31-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. I told Deuce I hadn't seen anybody in a Saints uniform run like Chris Ivory did Sunday since Deuce himself. “You are not the first to mention that,” Deuce said. “I take that as a compliment. Ivory is running angrily and violently. That one run was special. He showed speed, agility and power. You can tell he was running with a chip on his shoulder.” Deuce was...