Sideline View by Dale McKee

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 11:25 AM CST
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Tom Brady is undeniably the G.O.A.T. after Sunday’s Super Bowl. Brady led the Tampa Bay Bucs to a lopsided win over the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. Brady threw three touchdown passes and the Tampa Bay defense swarmed the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. Brady has now won seven Super Bowls, more than both the Pittsburgh Steelers’ and the New England Patriots’ six titles.

Mississippi was well represented in the 2021 Super Bowl. Seven former Mississippi high school players were on the Chiefs’ roster. Mississippi trailed only Florida (14), Pennsylvania (9), California (8) and Texas (8) in former Friday Night Stars. Chris Jones of Houston, “BoPete” Keyes of Laurel, Martinas Rankins of Mendenhall, Damien Wilson of Amite County, Charvarius Ward of McComb and Darius Gray of Horn Lake. Starkville High’s Willie Gay Jr. did not play because of an injury in practice. Former Golden Eagle Rakeem Nunez-Roches plays for Tampa Bay. Also, Pascagoula native Sara Thomas became the first female to officiate a Super Bowl game.

Jim Weatherly

This week I was saddened to learn of former Ole Miss quarterback Jim Weatherly’s sudden death. He was a great football player of exemplary character. Weatherly would enjoy an even more successful career as a songwriter after his All-American playing days (1962-64) in Oxford. His talent landed him in the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. He wrote 13 songs for Gladys Knight with No. 1 hits “Midnight Train to Georgia”, “Neither One of Us (wants to be the first to say goodbye)” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.” Ray Price recorded 38 of Weatherly’s songs.  Weatherly’s songwriting skills crossed music genres with the likes of Glenn Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, B.J. Thomas, Vince Gill, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys and The Spinners recording his songs. His autobiography “Midnight Train to Georgia,” published in 2018, is a great read for football and music fans alike.

Archie’s Boy Leads Pro Football Hall of Fame

Peyton Manning has chosen his father Archie to introduce him at the 2021Pro-Hall of Fame Football Induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on August 8. Peyton won five MVP awards, played in four Super Bowls and won two Super Bowl rings in his 18-year career.

College Basketball

Ole Miss (10-8, 5-6) upset No. 11 Tennessee and then stormed back to down Auburn in overtime last week. Mississippi State (11-9, 5-6) lost to Arkansas but rebounded to smack South Carolina, splitting road contests. Rice extended USM’s losing streak to six games with a sweep in Houston. This week, State hosts LSU and Vanderbilt while Ole Miss hosts No. 18 Missouri and then travels to South Carolina. USM (7-12, 3-9) hosts North Texas.

Basketball coach Wayne Brent recorded his 100thcareer win at Jackson State last week as JSU downed Arkansas Pine Bluff, 63-55.

Spring Football

Millsaps fell to Hendrix College, 37-27, in their home football season opener last Saturday. This week the Majors will host Trinity University at Harper Davis Field in Jackson. Mary Hardin skunked Belhaven, 41-0, and the Blazers must now travel to East Texas Baptist.

Soccer Champs

The Mississippi High School Activities Association crowned eight soccer state champs this past weekend: Boys - Madison Central (6A), Long Beach (5A), St. Stanislaus (4A) and St. Andrews (Class I); Girls - Gulfport (6A), Lafayette (5A), Florence (4A) and St. Andrews (Class I).

JUCO Baseball

The Mississippi JUCO baseball teams hit the diamond last week. Northwest was the highest ranked diamond team in the preseason NJCAA baseball poll with a No. 4 ranking, followed by No. 7 Pearl River, No. 9 Hinds, No. 11 Northeast and No. 12 Jones.

Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has written sports in Mississippi since 1973.

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