Sideline View by Dale McKee

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WAYNESBORO, Miss. Eli Manning’s retirement from professional football was the big headline this week in Mississippi sports. Manning played 16 seasons for the New York Giants and led the G-Men to two Super Bowl titles. Manning will still be connected to the Giants in some capacity going forward. He retires as the highest paid professional football player in NFL history with $252.3 million while his brother Peyton is second on the list with $248.7 million.

Too Close to Call

Super Bowl LIV will be played Sunday in Miami. This could be an all-time classic as even the Las Vegas odd makers are having a hard time sorting out who will emerge with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Kansas City Chiefs are a one-point favorite as of now over the San Francisco 49ers.

Perfect Storm Brewing for Mississippi Lottery

Many of you Dallas Cowboy fans may remember the name Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson. Henderson was a linebacker for the Cowboys during their glory days of 1975-82. Henderson was hooked on drugs and after his playing days went to prison for 28 months. In 2000 Henderson won $28 million playing the Texas Lotto. Ten years later, he won another $50,000 in the Lotto. Well, now our state will enter the dream world of lotteries as Thursday local merchants will start selling the Powerball and Mega Million tickets. If you have not noticed, as of Sunday of this week the Powerball was closing in on a jackpot of close to $400 million. If no one wins Wednesday night of this week when Thursday rolls around and the pot is up to around $450 million for Saturday's drawing, there may be a lot of long lines at the local stores this weekend.

NBA Legend

The loss of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter this past Sunday is tragic. Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the LA Lakers. Having come into the league as an 18-year-old out of high school, he went on to claim five championships and was an 18-time All-Star. He retired as the league’s third all-time leading scorer. When he retired, Bryant said he wanted to be remembered as an overachiever as someone who had talent but worked like he had none.

Lady Bulldogs rolling

Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs whipped Ole Miss and Vandy this week though they did suffer a two-point road loss to No. 1 South Carolina earlier in the week. The Lady Bulldogs are 18-3 overall and 6-1 in SEC play while Ole Miss is winless in SEC play. The Southern Miss Lady Eagles (11-7, 3-4) lost two conference games this week and now must hit the road for games at Old Dominion and Charlotte.

Rebels earn first SEC win

The road weary Ole Miss Rebels (10-9, 1-5) won their first conference game by 10 points at Georgia. The Rebels hit over half of their shots from the floor. The Mississippi State Bulldogs fell this weekend in Norman to Oklahoma in the Big 12 vs. SEC challenge. MSU (12-7, 3-3) plays at Florida and hosts Tennessee this week. USM (6-15, 2-6) in C-USA play will host Old Dominion on Thursday this week as they try to get back on track after suffering a two-point last second loss to Middle Tennessee.

Odds & Ends

The NJCAA preseason baseball poll shows a lot about our junior college baseball programs. Pearl River is ranked fifth, Jones sixth, Itawamba seventh, Northwest 15th, Hinds 17thand Meridian 20th.

Former USM football coach Larry Fedora will join former Delta State defensive coordinator Dave Aranda Baylor’s staff as offensive coordinator. Aranda was the DC at LSU this season. Former DSU head coach Ron Roberts will be the DC at Baylor.

LSU football and the Tigers basketball team have not lost an SEC contest this school year.

Dale is a native of Waynesboro and has been writing sports since 1973.