Wet football? You ain't seen nothing…

The forecast for season openers at Oxford and Starkville calls for wind and a chance of thunderstorms. Dress appropriately. And remember, no matter, what Mother Nature does, it won't be the worst-ever playing conditions for a college football in Mississippi. That probably happened in 1907 when Ole Miss and State traveled to Jackson for their annual grudge match. Back then, they played at the State Fairgrounds. In 1907, they played after several days of hard rain. Much of the field was under water. Newspaper reports say that in some areas...

Here's how they'll finish….

These predictions come with with a caution: As hard as it is to believe, I have been wrong before. One year, long ago, I picked Mississippi State to win seven games. The Bulldogs won one and lost 10. As the season progressed and losses mounted, I received a phone call from the same Ole Miss fan every Sunday morning. "Well, the Bullies lost again and I just want to know," the wise guy would say, "was that one of the seven or one of the four."That said, most times I...

Circle these games, dates

Mississippi football fans, circle these games: Auburn at Mississippi State, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. It's one of the biggest early season games in recent memory in Mississippi college football. You look at this State schedule, and the Bulldogs, with a victory over Auburn, would have a chance to take a 7-0 record into an Oct. 27 game at Alabama. A chance, mind you: Troy, on the road, is not a gimmee. Neither is Kentucky on the road or Tennessee at home. But State has a chance to make a national...

A visit from Magic's Pat Williams

Pat Williams, executive vice-president of the Orlando Magic and once voted one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history, visited Jackson and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.He made our day at Hall of Fame. “You've got a wonderful place here, a great product,” Williams said after a 45-minute museum visit. “You have a great sports story to tell in Mississippi.” We certainly do, but Williams, who was in town to speak about leadership to C Spire Wireless associates, is quite a story himself. How many...

Happy first Friday night

There must be something really special about what goes in the water bottles Mississippi high schools use on Friday nights. Just has to be be. How else to explain it? Jerry Rice, pro football's all-time leading receiver and scorer, played his high school football a few miles outside out of Starkville. Brett Favre, pro football's all-time leading passer, played his prep ball in Kiln. Walter Payton, pro football's second all-time leading rusher, played his high school football in Columbia. Archie Manning, the patriarch of America's first family of football, first played...

All together now: 'One game at a time'

All right, football teams everywhere are in two-a-days. Whistles are blowing. Coaches' neck veins are bulging. Sweat is pouring. And players are asking themselves, “Why exactly am I doing this?” Fans, of course, can't wait. Everybody is undefeated. Tailgating is less than a month away. And even if you don't go to the games, you can turn on your TV at 11 in the morning and watch football non-stop till past midnight on any number of channels. It's not a season; it's a marathon. You, the fan, need to prepare...

We've Lost Three Great Ones

Tonight we celebrate Mississippi's rich sports history with the 50th annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, sponsored by BancorpSouth. We celebrate the present. We celebrate the past. Sadly, we will remember the three Hall of Famers we have lost in the past 12 months: Roland Dale, Kent Hull and Bucky McElroy. I am proud to have called all three friends. Roland Dale, a great player and top-notch assistant coach at Ole Miss, later became the athletic director at Southern Miss. He steered the Golden Eagles into the Metro Conference and...

Tom Patterson: He Named the Egg Bowl

Posted on Categories Rick's Writings, Sports1 Comment
This one is going to be a bit personal. Tom Patterson, who revolutionized sports journalism in Mississippi, died Wednesday night in Roseville, Calif., near Sacramento. He was 61. Tom hired me at The Clarion-Ledger in the summer of 1979. I am forever grateful. He brought me back home. By then, Patterson had built a sports staff as proficient as any in the country, and that's no exaggeration. Both the Clarion-Ledger and the Jackson Daily News sports sections, then the afternoon paper, won national awards with such regularity it was the...

Coming full circle: It all began over red beans and rice

Twenty years ago, a group of us got together over plates of red beans and rice at Hal and Mal's. We shared a dream: a museum to showcase what Mississippians do best. Two decades later this week, I have accepted the job of executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, succeeding my late and dear friend Michael Rubenstein, who ate the beans and rice that day, too. For the past four decades plus, I have covered Mississippi athletes and have become more and more passionate about...