Fall is for Football

Posted on November 14, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

With the onset of fall and cooler weather I put on my Wrangler Jeans and looked for a pickup game of touch football with Brett Favre, who also recently retired to Mississippi. It was probably just as well we didn’t connect, and I had to resort to being a spectator with my favorite sport in season. Weekend travel and preaching engagements have deprived me of catching games for years, but with retirement I was determined football would have its appropriate priority.

At Clinton High School Arrows game

Unfortunately, none of our local teams have done well. The Clinton High Arrows have been a perennial high school powerhouse, but are in a rebuilding year. After watching them getting stomped unmercifully early in the season, I decided there were better things to do on Friday night. Maybe next year.

At Mississippi College Choctaws game

The Mississippi College Choctaws, once Division II NCAA champions, have reduced their program to Division III and attract sparse crowds, but still put on an exciting afternoon of football. They began the season with an overtime victory in the “Backyard Brawl” against Millsaps, their arch-rival Methodists from Jackson. This picture was taken on the day they defeated Howard-Payne 39-27 at homecoming.

Though tickets were readily available to our top-level state schools, only the University of Southern Mississippi has a winning season and is ranked in the top 25 nationally. Mississippi State started strong but hit a losing streak. Their Thanksgiving match-up with intra-state rival Ole Miss will determine who is on the bottom of the Southeastern Conference.

At Ole Miss Rebels game

Ole Miss has lost an unprecedented 12 conference games which resulted in the coach and athletic director getting fired. But with encouragement from a friend who provided the tickets we decided to drive to Oxford last weekend and catch a game anyway. The ambiance of the crowds, tailgating, bands and watching field strategies unfold is fun regardless of the outcome, which was an embarrassing 27-7 loss to Louisiana Tech.

Along with others in Mississippi I have readily identified with the passionate fan base of the New Orleans Saints, who play just three hours down Interstate 55. It has been nice to get away from the Redskins fanatics in Richmond! Though the Saints aren’t having their best year, the Superdome is sold out for every home game. Sooner or later, however, I anticipate finding someone with unused tickets.

The football options are great, but when the weather is cold, the traffic is a hassle and the games a blow-out I realize a comfortable sofa, big-screen TV and snacks in my man cave is not such a bad alternative. I can keep the remote humming, track multiple games, and see the replays. What a life!

3 Comments on “Fall is for Football”

  1. Pat Jenkins

    You know VA Tech and the Steelers would be better choices for you! Ha!

  2. GT Idell

    I am happy you are enjoying the games.
    We are now in Chile with a son playing Div 2 football at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
    We were blessed to watch his last 2 games of the season as they were streamed
    via Internet.

  3. Shirley Willis

    Well, are you going to root for the Hogs Friday??? After all, we beat both MS teams. (Of course, so did LSU, but we’re not going to talk about that.)


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