Millsaps’ Sean Brewer follows father into MSHOF

(This is the first of a series of stories on the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016, which will be inducted in ceremonies Saturday night, July 30, at the Jackson Convention Complex. See below for ticket information.) The so-called football factories contributed by far the most to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015. No surprise there. You had superstars such as Ricky Williams of Texas, Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma, Trev Alberts of Nebraska and Wes Chandler of Florida… And right there, right in the middle...

Another star-studded class for MSHOF induction weekend

We will induct another remarkable class into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame on the night of July 30 at the Jackson Convention Complex. They are a diverse and accomplished group. I consider myself fortunate to have covered them all during my sports writing career. Only in Mississippi do you induct two men into your state's sports hall of fame after they have already been inducted into the national College Football Hall of Fame. That's the case with both Sean Brewer and Wesley Walls, who have gone into the national...

My, have things change; check out 1945 Egg Bowl program

I have on my desk a perfectly preserved game program from the Mississippi State-Ole Miss football game played Nov. 24, 1945. On page 1, it tells us about school colors: “For Ole Miss, Red and Blue; for Mississippi State, Maroon and White.” That hasn't changed. Most everything else has. We begin with the price of the program: 25 cents. Compare that to the $10 an Egg Bowl souvenir program will cost 71 years later. That's an increase of only 4,000 percent. Then, as now, you find the lineups in the...

As a golfer, Dr. Cary Middlecoff knew how to fill a cavity

They will play the United States Open Golf Championship for the 116th time later this week at storied Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. No native Mississippian has ever won the event, and that will remain the case this week. No Mississippian made the field. Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Johnny Pott, who grew up and learned to play golf on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, probably finished highest of all Mississippians by tying for ninth at Congressional in 1964. But did you know that a future Mississippi Sports Hall of...

Marchant Passes by Bill Blackwell

Up in Cleveland, MS this week they will bury Bill Marchant.  Bill of course is the former Head Baseball Coach of the Statesman and his story is legend in our state.   Bill Marchant was the son of a man in the oil business, he was born in California but raised mostly in Texas and Mississippi.  He loved baseball from an early age and despite not possessing imposing size, he was good enough to catch the eye of Boo Ferriss, the Hall of Fame Coach of the Delta State University...

Casems remember Muhammad Ali’s visits to Alcorn State

This was 1974. Betty Casem, wife of Hall of Fame football coach Marino Casem, was posing for a photo with Muhammad Ali in her living room at Alcorn State in Lorman. “We had a mirror over our fireplace,” Mrs. Casem says. “Muhammad saw his reflection in the mirror and leaned over for a better view. He said, 'Oh, I'm still pretty. Aren't I pretty, Betty? I'm still so pretty.'” Mrs. Casem, speaking by phone from her Baton Rouge home, laughs at the memory. “He was just so funny,” she says....

First guy to knock down Muhammad Ali was a Mississippian

The black and white video, from Madison Square Garden in 1962, is beyond grainy, but you can easily make out that the graceful man in white trunks is future heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. More accurately, the slender, svelte guy wearing white trunks is the man who would become Ali. On Feb. 10, 1962, the day he fought a man named Sonny Banks on national TV, Ali was still known as Cassius Clay. You can discern that the two men are about the same size and that they hit one another...

Memorial Day: A reminder of how young they were…

This is written on Memorial Day morning, the morning after it was announced that both Ole Miss and Mississippi State baseball teams will host NCAA Regionals at once for the first time ever. It is written on the day after Southern Miss's stirring 3-2 victory over tradition-rich Rice for the Conference USA Baseball Championship. Has a relay play from the outfield ever been executed more perfectly? I think not. This is written on a day when we Americans take a day off from work to remember those who sacrificed to...

Coach Wobble’s golf tournament is today; stories will be told

Today, I will play in the Ole Miss M Club's Wobble Davidson Scramble Golf Tournament at Lake Caroline. The tournament raises money for a scholarship in Coach Wobble's name. Davidson, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer was an original. What follows is the column I wrote after his death 18 years ago... Wobble Davidson, who died Memorial Day of 1998, was an original. He was a philosopher who just happened to coach football. He possessed the vocabulary of an English professor and the delivery of a marine drill sergeant. He...

Best Miss. baseball season gives us a most unlikely scenario

This college baseball season in Mississippi has given us so much to cheer: conference championships, nationally ranked teams, splendid players and so much more. But did you ever think you would see what we saw Saturday? Mississippi State fans openly cheered an Ole Miss victory. The SEC Network showed it perfectly on split screen TV: State fans, in Starkville watching their Bulldogs on the field and the Rebels on their cellphones and portable TVs. Of course, State fans were cheering for their Diamond Dogs. But when Ole Miss got the...