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Orley Hood: at his best and his maddest


(Note from Rick Cleveland: We had nearly 400 folks here Wednesday afternoon for the Orley Hood Memorial. Not sure we could have shoe-horned anyone else in the Hall. I made sure Orley had his say-so, reading excerpts from several of his memorable columns. The one that follows, written on Sept. 18, 1982, more than 31 [...]

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Great piece by great writer about great man


(Note from Rick Cleveland: The late Orley Hood was a huge Bailey Howell fan. And, I know for a fact, Bailey Howell was a huge Orley Hood fan. The column that follows, written by Orley on the occasion of Bailey’s induction into the Naismith (international basketball) Hall of Fame is one of the best sports [...]

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Orley: on Bailey and the essence of heroes


(Note from Rick Cleveland: One of grandest compliments a columnist can receive is when a reader asks about a column written years and years ago. Recently, a reader of this website learned of Orley Hood’s ongoing battle with leukemia and asked me if there was any possible way to find a column Orley wrote  about [...]

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Orley: Remembering 1996 Final 4 and before


Just breezin’ on a cloudy Friday … It was another Friday, back in March of 1996. We’d been bused across the Hudson River from Manhattan to New Jersey, to the arena where the Nets played, for the show practice. Mississippi State, coached by Richard Williams, was to play in the Final Four against Kentucky, Syracuse [...]

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The picks: We’re both going with Bama


All righty then … On top of the heap (mighty small heap, as heaps go) by two games over Rickey C. as the season slides inexorably toward its denouement. We start with … Louisville at Rutgers: The Big East is complicated, mediocre and boring, and whoever is ranked highest in the final BCS ratings gets [...]

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Egg Bowl predictions and more


The two old-timers picked some pretty clean cotton this past week. Orley Hood was 13-2, including that Stanford over Oregon pick, while Rick Cleveland went 12-3, despite ignorantly picking USM over UTEP. Hood and Cleveland head down the stretch all tied with 94-37 records. Orley’s picks Mississippi State at Ole Miss: Rick called earlier, asked [...]

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Youth vs. experience, sort of


In Mississippi’s World Series of college football prognosticating, Rick Cleveland took a one-game lead over the older, more experienced Orley Hood this past week. Young Rick posted a 10-4 showing, compared to wily veteran Hood’s  9-5. That gives the much-wetter-behind-the-ears Cleveland an 82-34 season record, slightly better than the grizzled Hood’s 81-35. “Everything I know [...]

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Big Friday, huge Saturday


Big, big night for some big, big schools in the last games of the high school regular season. Think of it as moving day, like Saturday in major championship golf. A win tonight could mean two victories. A loss may equal two losses and a quick adios from the state tournament. Example: Brandon plays at [...]

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We’re headed into November, all tied


You’ve heard of a blind spot? If not, I’ll give you a sample. Orley Hood has a blind spot. They are called the New Orleans Saints. I can’t tell you the last time Orley forecast a Saints game correctly. His heart gets in the way of his head. That blind spot is all that keeps [...]

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Orley cain’t figure out his Saints


My pal Orley can’t seem to get his Saints right. He picks ‘em to win, they lose. He picks ‘em to lose, they win. Me? Man, I been watching those guys since I was 13. I got ‘em figured out. Yeah, right. . . . The Saints’ not-so-convincing win over Tampa Bay Sunday gave me [...]

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