Watching Charlie Hull’s boy with Orley, Senator Stennis

This was September, 1979. Mississippi State's football team was playing Maryland at College Park, Md. The late, great Orley Hood and I covered the game for the Jackson newspapers. We spent all day Friday and Saturday morning touring our nation's capital. Orley was -- and I am -- a history buff. We probably set a record for time spent by sports writers touring the Lincoln Memorial. Saturday afternoon, we made our way over to Byrd Stadium at College Park and another history lesson we hadn't really expected. In the press...

Fallen Oak: Wind wasn’t a factor but talent surely was

BILOXI — I was cruising along through seven holes in the Mississippi Gulf Resorts Classic Wednesday Pro-Am at drop-dead gorgeous Fallen Oak. I made two birdies, one for a net eagle, and an up-and-down par out of a deep bunker. More importantly, I hadn't lost a single ball. That's how I usually measure my golf game. That way, I don't have to count nearly as high. And then my group, including pro Tim Thelan, came to our eighth hole, the treacherous, par-3 17th. I took out my 3-hybrid for the...

Proctor’s legacy: MHSAA expansion and opportunity

Ennis Proctor this July will become only the eighth Mississippian inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. Trust me: No administrator, here or anywhere, could be more deserving. The 2016 High School Hall of Fame induction class will include such sports luminaries as Steve Spurrier and Marlin Briscoe.Proctor couldn't throw like Spurrier or run like Briscoe, but he did more for Mississippi high school athletes than anyone — ever. As executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA), Proctor brought the Magnolia State's high school...

Hey Mel Kiper: LaQuon Treadwell is plenty fast

So, I read where draft nerd Mel Kiper has questions about Laquon Treadwell's speed. Says he needs to run a fast 40-yard dash at the NFL combine to solidify his position as the top wide receiver in the draft. Here's my beef with that: That's placing far too much emphasis on how fast a football player can run 40 yards without his uniform on and nobody hitting him. There's a huge difference between football speed and track speed. Treadwell is plenty fast and putting on football gear and getting bumped...

A Job Well Done!

A Job Well Done By Bill Blackwell I am sure that many USM fans are worried about their football program after the announcement over this past weekend that Head Coach Todd Monken had taken an NFL position as the Offensive Coordinator for Tampa Bay. While the timing could hardly be worse with National Signing Day just around the corner, Golden Eagle fans should take heart from the strong foundation that Monken built in just three years on the job. Inheriting a team that had been winless and working tirelessly to...

If we win, the MSHOF is at the head of beneficiaries list…

Last night, on a lark, wife Liz and I drove over across the river to seek our fortune. Yes, we went to buy Powerball tickets. We headed I-20 West, Liz driving, me shotgun. "Sure is a lot of traffic," Liz said. "Everybody's headed to get rich," said I. We laughed. But the traffic got worse as we neared Vicksburg and crossed Ol' Man River. And then, as we approached Mound, we saw something remarkable. It was as if we were coming up on Field of Dreams. Cars were lined in...

All hail the SEC West, unless you have to play them…

Most telling moment of the college bowls season? It came in Alabama's 38-0 dismantling of Big Ten champion Michigan State. Spartans' quarterback Connor Cook, who somehow survived the Cotton Bowl carnage, was shown on the sidelines talking about Alabama and telling anyone who would listen and millions of lip-reading TV viewers: “They're (insert profane adjective here) everywhere.” He was talking about Crimson defenders and he was correct. Bama's speed, strength, quickness and size combination overwhelmed Michigan State. It was as if we were watching men vs. boys. And it was...

Record-setting Mullens nominated for 2015 C Spire Conerly

Record-setting junior quarterback Nick Mullens, from Hoover, Ala., is the Southern Miss nominee for the 2015 C Spire Conerly Trophy, the school announced today. Mullens makes the high-powered USM offense go, ranking nationally in passing touchdowns (6th with 30), in passing yards (9th with 3,276), in passing yards per game (10th at 327.6), in total offense (14th with 3,223) and in passing efficiency (15th at 159.9). For his 386-yard, five touchdown performance against Rice last week, Mullens was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week and the Manning Award...

Wallace ‘Gator’ McMillan: A Hall of Fame guy and teammate

This writer, along with several hundred more, Monday attended the funeral of Wallace “Gator” McMillan at Northminster Baptist Church in northeast Jackson. It was, as funerals should be, a celebration of Wallace's life. When Judge Rhesa Barksdale delivered the eulogy, smiles out-numbered tears and there was plenty laughter, as well, which is just as Wallace would have wanted. Of Wallace's many qualities, this first one comes to mind: Without fail, he made me laugh. The huge crowd? As Wallace's, older brother Howard “Scooter” McMillan, put it: “Everybody felt like they...

Babe will have his day, and a marker, in Baldwyn Thursday

A few years ago, I found myself in northeast Mississippi, in Hill Country, where tiny towns and communities share rich basketball histories. I had some time to kill and saw a sign pointing in the direction of Baldwyn, home of the late, great Babe McCarthy. I took the turn and 10 minutes later was there. At two of three stops I asked the same question: Can you tell me where Babe McCarthy, the great basketball coach, is buried? Each time, I got a blank stare. To make a long story...