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1954-2020 A TRIBUTE , PAG E 5 8

T H E

FOOTBALL I S S U E

OLE MISS THROUGH THE DECADES THE EGG BOWL & OTHER SEC TRADITIONS TAILG ATE AT HOME

ALL ABOARD

THE LANE TRAIN! A N INTE RV IE W WITH COACH L A NE KIFFIN , PAG E 26



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DEPA RTMENT S

EVENTS

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Letter From the Publisher

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Clay Classic

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Digital Details

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Corinth Farmers Market

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Calendar

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Saltillo Storm Fundraiser

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Shoutouts

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Youth Car Wash

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Recipes: Pimiento Cheese

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Community Yoga

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Out & About

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Ole Miss Bid Day

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Good Neighbor: Parks Frazier

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OHS Tennis Tournament

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ON THE COVER

Legendary Ole Miss football player Ben Williams died this year at age 65. Read more about “Gentle Ben” on page 58. P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y S T E V E G AT E S C O U R T E S Y O F O L E M I S S AT H L E T I C S


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F E AT U R E S

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FE ATURES 26 All Aboard!

As Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin takes the reigns in a football season already defined by uncertainty, he is impressed with the leadership and unity demonstrated by his team and his new staff.

36 Time-Honored Traditions SEC football scores big with its rich, beloved and longstanding game rituals.

45 Through the Decades

Reflect on unforgettable Ole Miss football moments with special memorabilia and images that go back more than 100 years.

58 Gentle Ben

Ole Miss star built bridges as one of the university’s first African American players.

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62 Meet Bully

There’s something intriguing — and pretty cute — about a live mascot on the sidelines.

66 The Egg Bowl:

A Mississippi Football Classic

The annual meeting of rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State has played out on the gridiron for more than a century.

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70 Tailgate at Home

Turn your home into a party place with festive decorations and recipes like these go-to football Saturday snacks.

84 Entertaining with

the Abrahams

An Oxford home is a great gathering space for family and friends.

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L E T T E R from the P U B L I S H E R

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rowing up, I loved attending a college football game. My grandparents and I often went to a game or two each year, and I remember vividly the excitement in the air. I came to recognize, through football, the different traditions that existed at colleges and universities around the South and beyond. My memories are many, but one, in particular, stands out. In fact, it’s partially responsible for my love of Ole Miss and my choosing to live my life in Mississippi today. Every year when Ole Miss played the University of Arkansas at Memorial Stadium in Jackson, my grandparents made the drive from south Arkansas. While in Jackson they were invited to be the guests of my grandmother’s distant cousin Bobbie who, along with her husband, was a proprietor of the Fairview Inn near the stadium. As a child, I was not allowed to accompany my grandparents on this annual trip. It was a weekend for adults only, I was told. I would listen with envy to the stories they brought home about the food, the game and so much more. And I continued to wish for the day they’d let me go along. The Ole Miss vs. Arkansas game in Jackson became the only game I really wanted to attend. When I turned 14 on July 31, 1991, my grandparents and I sat down with a calendar as we did every year on my birthday and chose the football game we’d attend that year. This year, there was a special surprise.

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“Rachel, we’ve gotten permission from Bobbie and Bill for you to attend the Ole Miss/Arkansas game this year,” my grandmother said. “Would you like to go?” I was so happy I cried. As our Invitation staff put together this unique football issue in these unusual times, many memories surfaced of college football, including that game I attended in 1991. Reflecting on how much has changed over the years, we took great care with this issue. Unforgettable hero “Gentle Ben” Williams, who died in May, is pictured on the cover. Williams was more than a football legend. He also burst through race barriers. Read the story on page 58. We are also celebrating the history of Ole Miss football with a comprehensive timeline that details so many highlights of

Fairview Inn’s

RACHEL M. WEST, PUBLISHER

GINGER BOURBON SLUSH — BOBBIE SIMMONS

9 cups water 2 cups granulated sugar 12-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate Zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 orange Cinnamon sticks 2 cups bourbon Ginger ale, ginger beer or Sprite Mint In a large pot, bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

to combine. Add the bourbon, and again stir to combine. Remove cinnamon stick. Transfer the mixture to a large freezer-proof container, and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Once simple syrup is cool, add the orange juice and lemonade concentrates. Then add the lemon and orange zest and one cinnamon stick. Stir

When ready to serve, fill glass ¾ of the way with the slush, then top with carbonated beverage of your choice. Garnish with mint and a cinnamon stick.

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the last 127 years. Find it on page 45. Thanks to COVID-19, on site, faceto-face tailgating won’t be happening this season, but you can’t have football without food. Check out our staff’s recipes for their go-to tailgate favorites on page 70. As I was preparing to write this letter, I looked in my grandmother’s recipe box for anything she might have recorded from her visits with her cousin at the Fairview Inn. I was excited to find a recipe for “Fairview Bourbon Slush.” We hope you enjoy this issue and the upcoming football season.

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PUBLISHERS Phil and Rachel West

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Emily Welly EXECUTIVE EDITOR Leslie Criss OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Mary Moreton CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Davis Gene Phelps Michaela Gibson Morris COPY EDITOR Ashley Arthur EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Abbey Edmonson

OFFICE

BUSINESS MANAGER Hollie Hilliard DISTRIBUTION Brian Hilliard MAIN OFFICE 662-234-4008

ART

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Holly Vollor STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Worthem CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ole Miss Athletics Matt Bowen Jessica Richardson Lisa Roberts CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS Frank Estrada Esther Sitver

ADVERTISING

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Alise M. Emerson Leigh Lowery Lynn McElreath Moni Simpson Whitney Worsham Anna Zemek ADVERTISING DESIGNER Becca Pepper ADVERTISING INFORMATION ads@invitationoxford.com

To subscribe to one year (10 issues) of Invitation Oxford or to buy an announcement, visit invitationoxford.com. To subscribe to one year (10 issues) of Invitation or to buy an announcement, visit invitationmag.com. To request a photographer at your event, email Mary at mary.invitation@gmail.com. Invitation Magazines respects the many diverse individuals and organizations that make up north Mississippi and strives to be inclusive and representative of all members of our community.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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DIGITAL DETAIL S

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D I G I T A L details E XC LU S I V E LY O N L I N E AT I N V I TAT I O N OX F O R D.C O M A N D I N V I TAT I O N M AG .C O M

social S N A P S

C a m pu s S c ave n ge r Hu nt

We love being tagged in your photos!

Looking for a fun, family-friendly way to spend a fall day? Check out the SKIN sponsored scavenger hunt inside this magazine that features special places and interesting details from the University of Mississippi campus. Do you recognize the images? Complete the card and direct message us with a photo of it via Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win a $200 gift card to SKIN!

Me a n i n g f u l Me mo ra b i l i a

Let us help you create the perfect picture backdrop! L O C A T I O N : Oxford U S E R N A M E : @alphalitmemphisoxford

Fo ot b a l l Fo o d

Your loss can also be your gain… L O C A T I O N : Oxford U S E R N A M E : @valsimages

There’s no way around it: Year in and year out, fall means football in the South. Pages 45 to 55 showcase some fantastic vintage football treasures from the past 100plus years. We know many of our readers have plenty of special football memorabilia, too. Share a pic of your most beloved football treasure on social media and be sure to tag #invitationoxford and #invitationmag!

Football watch parties will be bigger than ever this year. Flip to page 22 for a unique pimiento cheese recipe, and starting on page 70, find more recipes that will make it easy for you to create a spread to please your whole family while you cheer on your favorite teams. For more of our go-to tailgate recipes, visit invitationoxford.com/ digital-details or invitationmag.com/digital-details. Time with those you love is important so stop by Bremma’s Bakery & share a slice of our scratchmade cheesecake. L O C A T I O N : Oxford U S E R N A M E : @bremmasbakery

CALENDAR AND EVENTS

Have an exciting event coming up? Visit our website and share the details on our online community calendar. There’s a chance photos from your event will be featured in an upcoming magazine! FOLLOW US

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C O M M U N I T Y OC TOBER 2020

Fall Southern Foodways Symposium: Future of the South O C T O B E R 3 , 1 0 , 17 & 24

Farmers Markets ONGOING

Many local farmers markets will finish up their seasons this month. Shop the markets to find vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, honey, flowers and more. In Oxford, check out Oxford Community Market on Tuesdays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at the Old Armory Pavilion, and the MidTown Farmers’ Market in the Midtown Shopping Center on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7-11 a.m. In Tupelo, the Tupelo Farmers’ Depot takes place every Saturday morning from 6 a.m. to noon (until Oct. 24) at 415 South Spring Street.

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The Southern Foodways Alliance introduces its first virtual symposium. Broadcasted presentations and menus are presented over four Saturdays in October with additional question-and-answer sessions. See website for registration and schedule details. southernfoodways.org

Thacker Mountain Radio SATURDAYS

Staying home? Tune into Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, featuring author readings, musical guests and the Yalobushwackers house band. The show airs at 7 p.m. Saturdays on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. You can listen on the radio or online at mpbonline.org. See the Thacker Mountain website for a schedule of upcoming show dates and guests. thackermountain.com


World Mental Health Day OC TOBER 10

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Spend time today educating yourself on mental health issues and prevailing perceptions of mental illness.

Yoknapatawpha Arts Council hosts this tour of Oxford’s art spaces via doubledecker bus. Hop on at the University Museum, the Square, the University of Mississippi campus or the Powerhouse, and enjoy the art on display. Free. 6-8 p.m.

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Kids of all ages are invited to the Tupelo BankPlus Sportsplex at Ballard Park soccer complex for candy booths and an egg hunt with toys and candy. Admission is one bag of candy per family of four. Free. 6 p.m.

MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART

Art Crawl

oxfordarts.com

facebook.com/TupeloParkRec

City in the Grass ONGOING

Dancing With the King

Head to Jackson to see the Mississippi Museum of Art’s newest installation, an interactive outdoor public art sculpture by New York artist Leonardo Drew. The artwork will be on display in the museum’s art garden until Feb. 21, 2021.

O C T O B E R 3 0 -3 1

msmuseumart.org

Tempranillo and Tapas

Make a Difference Day

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The Sipp on South Lamar offers a tasting of a selection of Spanish Tempranillo wines with tapas. Tickets $25. 5:30 p.m., The Sipp on South Lamar, Oxford.

Do a good deed — volunteer, make a donation to a charitable organization, pay it forward, check in on a neighbor, participate in a community event — and make a difference today!

thesippms.com

The Tupelo Elvis Fan Club is taking Dancing With the King virtual! As always, the event will celebrate the king of rock ’n’ roll by raising money for dance and vocal education scholarships. See website for more information and a schedule. dancingwiththeking.com

Halloween OC TOBER 31

Put on your silliest or spookiest costume and share pics with us on social media using the hashtag #invitationhalloween!

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S H O U T O U T S O le M i s s At h le t e s S uc c e e d i n Ac a d e m ic s Athletes at Ole Miss are celebrated for their contributions to their individual sports, and many have also carried that success over into the classroom. Five teams have been honored with the National Collegiate Athletic Association Public Recognition Award. The athletic teams recognized are men’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf and women’s tennis. Based on their most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rate, these teams have been honored for posting scores in the top 10% of their sport. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams nationally. Ole Miss athletics broke the department

record for highest APR score yet again with a multiyear average of 991. Ole Miss recorded a single-year APR score of 986 in this latest report from the 2018-19 school year, and its new multiyear score of 991 sits eight points above the national average of 983. “Ole Miss is a special place for studentathletes, and these APR scores again reflect that,” said Bob Baker, who serves as senior associate athletics director for studentathlete development. “I am super thankful for our staff, administration, faculty and coaches who consistently push our student-athletes to achieve their academic goals, including degree completion, and for supporting them as they compete at the highest level in the best athletic conference in the nation.”

M a i n S t re e t A s s o c i at io n s Re c o g n i z e d fo r C o m mu n it y E f fo r t s Several northeast Mississippi towns have been lauded for the work of their downtown associations. The Mississippi Main Street Association celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities with a special virtual annual awards presentation this year. MMSA staff presented the 2020 awards from the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson via Facebook Live. The annual awards honor Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognize the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi. “Mississippi Main Street is excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities,” said Steven Dick, MMSA Board President. “Our local leaders have worked tirelessly to provide economic opportunities, increase quality of life and preserve what makes our downtowns special.”

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T H I S Y EAR’S AWARD RECI PI EN TS I N CLU DE S E VERAL FRO M N O RTH EAST MI SSI SSI PPI

Main Street Columbus Main Street Corinth Holly Springs Main Street Chamber New Albany Main Street Ripley Main Street Starkville Main Street Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association West Point Main Street

In 2019, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 185 net new businesses, 62 business expansions to existing businesses, 633 net new jobs, 101 building rehabilitations and 331 downtown residential units. In addition, 178 public improvement projects were completed as well as 36 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than

$148 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2019, and more than 43,211 volunteer hours were recorded. Notably, in addition to the statewide accolades, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association was recognized for being a national semifinalist for the Great American Main Street Award by the National Main Street Center.


SHOUTOUTS

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C o m mu n it y C ol le ge Fo ot ba l l G e t s L at e S t a r t

Loyal north Mississippi community college football fans waited and watched hopefully much of the summer for a final decision regarding when — and if — players would take to the field in the 2020 season. Thanks to COVID-19, the fate of university and community college athletics has been questionable. The National Junior College Athletic Association initially suspended fall football, planning instead to introduce a spring season. But the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges, which includes the presidents of the state’s 15 community colleges, opted for a six-game regular season to be played this fall. The MACC agreed initially to push the start of football season from August to September, but later set Oct. 1 as the date for the first game. Nearby Oct. 1 matchups include the following: The Itawamba Community College Indians play Coahoma Community College at 6:30 p.m.; the Northeast Mississippi Community College Tigers play Holmes Community College at 6:30 p.m., and the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers take on Mississippi Delta Community College at 7 p.m. East Mississippi Community College has withdrawn from league play for the fall 2020 season due to concerns about the ongoing pandemic. OC TOBER 2020 | INVITATION

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White Cheddar P I M I E N T O

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M I X U P T H I S TA S T Y D I P TO I M P R E S S FA M I LY A N D F R I E N D S D U R I N G F O OT B A L L S E A S O N O R A N Y T I M E O F Y E A R. RECIPE CONTRIBUTED BY WHITNEY WORSHAM

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he 2020 football season calls for new traditions, including hosting watch parties at home with family. Luckily, many tailgate staples will taste as great in your family room as they do in the Grove. This simple pimiento cheese, which uses white cheddar rather than orange, is also a welcome twist on the traditional.

white cheddar

PIMIENTO CHEESE 2 (8-ounce) blocks of white cheddar cheese 1 cup mayonnaise 1 clove garlic, minced 2 (4-ounce) jars pimientos, chopped 4-5 green onions, chopped 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion Black pepper, to taste

Grate cheese, and place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve as a dip with crackers or as a spread on toasted bread. For many more tailgate-style recipes and tips on hosting football watch parties at home, turn to page 70. Cups and napkins provided by Olive Juice Gifts.

What are your go-to tailgating recipes? Share a picture of your favorite on social media, and be sure to tag #invitationoxford and #invitationmag!

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM


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AS OLE MISS HEAD COACH L ANE KIFFIN TAKES THE REIGNS IN A FOOTBALL SEASON ALREADY DEFINED BY UNCERTAINT Y, HE IS IMPRESSED WITH THE LEADERSHIP AND UNIT Y DEMONSTRATED BY HIS TEAM. WRIT TEN BY JOHN DAVIS

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here are 24 head college football coaches entering their first seasons at new schools, and Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin is one of them. When he was hired by the Rebels at the end of 2019, he could not have anticipated what 2020 had in store. Kiffin’s first spring practice with the team was scheduled for March 17, just four days after the national emergency proclamation from the White House was issued, and the United States, like many other parts of the world, shut down. There were no more games to be played, and for sports that weren’t currently in season, practices were eliminated. Spring football practice is an important time for both coaches and players. For Kiffin and his staff, the spring practice sessions were going to be even more impactful because they were heading into their first season together at Ole Miss. Spring practice also gives fans a

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ILLUSTRATED BY FR ANK ESTR ADA


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peek at what’s in store and can jumpstart recruiting efforts for the future. Kiffin hasn’t sidestepped the fact that the inability to have spring practices puts the Rebels at a disadvantage when it comes to starting the 2020 season, but he doesn’t want to use that as an excuse. “We are still looking to measure ourselves from a success standpoint instead of just getting the chance to play, a chance to get on the field again,” Kiffin said. “We don’t just want to look at this as being a success. We want to get better and better, we want to be competitive, and we want to win the games we play.”

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“Unexpected” is a word that barely describes how coaches who lead teams viewed the nation’s quarantine. For Kiffin, a veteran coach who was born and raised on football, the shutdown was a situation he had never experienced. Even his father, who started his coaching career in 1966, was unable to offer advice. “The closest thing would be like a strike in the NFL,” Kiffin said. “But it’s not even like that because even those teams, those players, were used to each other and had been together before the strike.” Zoom meetings with players replaced the 15 spring practices and one-on-one talks

with players once the shutdown began. The NCAA allowed coaches much more leeway in regards to virtual meeting time than usual, and the eight hours allowed per week during May and June enabled Kiffin to really start to get to know his team. “I saw tremendous leadership and maturity from our guys during their time away from us on campus,” Kiffin said. “With what has gone on in our country, our team has been unified ... I’ve been proud of how they have handled everything. It hasn’t been easy.” In the midst of the pandemic, studentathletes voiced their concerns about social issues and the hope for change. Ole Miss Athletics held a Unity Walk on campus in June, which was led by defensive end Ryder Anderson. Kiffin was fully supportive, saying the march was “a step in the right direction” and a chance to “promote change and to help end injustice that is occurring throughout our nation everywhere.” “This is a serious issue that we’re dealing with as a country,” Kiffin said. “The Unity Walk came up from a lot of different people, but partly from listening to the players and their concerns. This is about taking action.” Though new to Ole Miss, Kiffin is far from a rookie as a head coach. He had a plan for how his operation would work before the spring. Once the virus made its impact, Kiffin adapted and modified that plan. It remains to be seen how the 2020


season will play out, but Kiffin said the plan on how the offense and defense operates can be installed, and then built on gradually. “Our staff has done a great job of getting a plan together and being prepared for our season,” Kiffin said. “There are things in place that will allow us to add as we go. There are things we can do that will allow us to put the players in a situation to have success.” A day-to-day approach has been the best approach for Kiffin and other coaches as questions about the 2020 season arise. “There is only so much you can do until you find out more about what the season will look like for us,” Kiffin said. “Everyone here at Ole Miss has been very supportive, very nice. Our transition has been made easier because of all the great people here in town and on campus.” Continued on page 30

COACH KIFFIN Lane Kiffin was named the head coach of Ole Miss football in December, not long after he led Florida Atlantic University to winning the Conference USA championship. In addition to three years at FAU, Kiffin was head coach at the University of Tennessee; the University of Southern California (where he also spent several years as an assistant coach); and the Oakland Raiders. Immediately before his time at FAU, he spent three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Alabama. Kiffin is originally from Minnesota. He graduated from Fresno State University, where he played quarterback and started his coaching career. He has two daughters, Landry and Presley, and one son, Knox.

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Continued from page 29

MEET THE STAFF O L E M I S S I S I N G O O D S TA N D I N G W I T H I T S F O OT B A L L C OAC H I N G S TA F F. WRITTEN BY GENE PHELPS

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le Miss first-year head coach Lane Kiffin was determined to find the best assistant coaches available for the 2020 season. The assistants are the workers. They put in countless hours game-planning, recruiting, developing players’ skills, building pride, preaching hard work and developing discipline and winning attitudes. This year, their job will be more difficult than usual thanks to a global pandemic that led to less time for coaches to work with players before the season began, and has required coaches to focus on enforcing restrictions and testing to ensure the safety of players and staff. Still, Kiffin believes he has assembled the right stuff when it comes to this coaching staff.

Terrell Buckley, a Mississippi Gulf Coast native and Florida State graduate, joins the Rebels after coaching the past four seasons for Mississippi State. He was an All-American defensive back for the Seminoles and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. Prior to MSU, he coached at Louisville, Akron and Florida State. He played 14 seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl (2001) with the New England Patriots. His MSU secondaries in 2017 and 2018 ranked tops in the SEC and 7th nationally.

D.J. Durkin, who spent last season as a consultant for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, helped lead successful defensive units during his stops at Michigan and Florida. His first season as defensive coordinator at Florida, the Gators were the SEC’s best and nation’s No. 7-rated units. He’s also known as an accomplished recruiter and was named the nation’s best by Rivals in 2012. He was head coach for two seasons at Maryland (2016-17). His first Terps team started 4-0 and played in the Quick Lane Bowl, beating Rutgers. Prior to his stint with Florida, he coached defensive ends at Stanford.

Blake Gideon coached special teams and nickel backs last season for Houston. His Cougars blocked five punts and six kicks to lead the NCAA. His punter, Dane Roy, led the AAC with a 46.9-yard average last season. Gideon has prior coaching stops at Georgia State, Western Carolina, Florida and Auburn. He was a four-year starter at safety and two-time team captain at Texas, where he played under Mack Brown and defensive coordinators Will Muschamp and Manny Diaz. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

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Terrell Buckley Cornerbacks

D.J. Durkin Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

Blake Gideon Special Teams Coordinator

Deke Adams Defensive Line

Deke Adams, a Meridian native and Southern Miss graduate, comes to Oxford after spending the 2019 season at rival Mississippi State. The 20-year coaching veteran has had stops at North Carolina, East Carolina, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Louisiana-Monroe, North Carolina A&T, Ouachita Baptist, Pearl River Community College (Mississippi) and Jacksonville State (Alabama). He coached All-American defensive tackle Sylvester Williams at North Carolina and AllAmerican defensive end and No. 1 NFL 2014 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina.

Randy Clements | Running Game Coordinator/Offensive Line

Randy Clements, a Stephen F. Austin University graduate and former player, comes to Ole Miss from Florida State. Prior to FSU, the 30-year coaching veteran had stops at Houston, Southeastern (Florida) University, Baylor, Houston and Stephenville (Texas) High School, where the team won four state championships. During his time in Houston, the Cougars’ offense was ranked No. 6 nationally. While at Baylor, his linemen earned 13 Big 12 Conference honors and six All-American honors. The Bears won back-to-back Big 12 championships with their record-setting offense.

Joe Jon Finley Passing Game Coordinator/Tight Ends

Jeff Lebby Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Joe Jon Finley, a nine-year coaching veteran and former NFL tight end, comes to Ole Miss from SEC Western Division rival Texas A&M. During his lone season coaching for the Aggies, tight end Jalen Wydermyer earned Freshman All-American honors. The Arlington, Texas, native has coaching stops at Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma and Los Fresnos (Texas) High School. A high school quarterback, he later was a four-year letterman for Oklahoma playing tight end and helped the Sooners win three Big 12 championships.

Jeff Lebby comes to Oxford from the University of Central Florida, where he held the same duties for two seasons. Under his direction last season, UCF ranked second nationally in total offense (540.5 yards per game) and fifth nationally in scoring (43.4 points per game). He has coached at Southeastern (Florida) University, Baylor, Oklahoma and Victoria Memorial (Texas) High School. He graduated from Oklahoma and served as a student assistant coach with the Sooners after his playing career ended with an injury.


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meet the staff continued CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30

Derrick Nix, a former Southern Miss standout running back, begins his 13th season on the Ole Miss staff. He coached running backs the 12 previous seasons. He’s built a reputation as a top recruiter and was ranked No. 21 nationally by 247 Sports in 2014. His running Rebels averaged 251.3 yards rushing per game last year, which ranked No. 2 in the SEC and No. 9 in the NCAA. He has prior coaching stops at Southern Miss, New Mexico, Arizona, Pitt and the Atlanta Falcons. Derrick Nix Wide Receivers

Chris Partridge Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties

Kevin Smith, a Miami native, was a standout running back — 17 school rushing records — for the University of Central Florida and was drafted in 2008 by the Detroit Lions. He served the past three seasons as running backs coach for Kiffin at Florida Atlantic University. His running backs there produced three straight 2,000yard seasons. FAU’s All-Conference-USA running back Devin Singletary scored 33 touchdowns in 2017 working under Smith.

Chris Partridge, a New Jersey native, comes to Ole Miss after serving five seasons on the Michigan staff, where he coached special teams, safeties, linebackers and was director of player personnel for one season. In 2018, Michigan’s defense was ranked second nationally in total defense and pass defense. In 2017, the Wolverines defense ranked in the top three in five NCAA categories. He has prior coaching stops at The Citadel, Lafayette (Pennsylvania) College, his alma mater, and Paramus (New Jersey) High School.

Wilson Love, a 2013 Alabama graduate who was a defensive end and three-time All-SEC Academic Team selection for the Crimson Tide, spent the past three seasons with Kiffin at FAU. Love was a graduate assistant coach — defensive line — at Alabama in 2014. He worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Crimson Tide in 2015 and 2016 when Kiffin served on the Alabama staff. Kevin Smith Running Backs

Wilson Love Strength and Conditioning Coach

we are 'stronger together'

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College and university athletics communities throughout Mississippi have joined forces to promote the Stronger Together initiative. The mission behind the initiative is to encourage togetherness, equality and diversity.

The campaign was created for the state’s colleges and universities to come together, listen, learn and support student-athletes through their challenges, stresses and pressures related to events around the country.

During the 2020-21 academic year, a special logo will be located on athletic uniforms and other gear to make people aware of the initiative. The logo will be easily identifiable: the words Stronger Together inside the outline of the state of Mississippi. It will be customized for each participating college with that school’s colors.

As part of the initiative, the schools will unite in efforts to promote social justice and racial equality through advocacy, awareness and education.

Participating in Stronger Together will be Alcorn State, Delta State, Jackson State, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi State, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State, Ole Miss, Rust College, Southern Miss and Tougaloo College.

“As we showed at the capital in June, the universities of our state, and particularly their athletics programs, are certainly stronger together, and this initiative is designed to continue our momentum as change makers in Mississippi,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss athletic director.

The initiative had its start in June when athletes and coaches converged on the state Capitol to encourage the changing of the Mississippi flag.


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Time-Honored

SEC Traditions SEC FOOTBALL SCORES BIG WITH ITS RICH, BELOVED AND LONGSTANDING GAME RITUALS. WRITTEN BY LESLIE CRISS

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ILLUSTRATED BY ESTHER SIT VER


Football in the South

has been compared, often in jest but sometimes in earnest, to religion. No matter one’s age, gender, profession or politics, true believers live and breathe the game. Even those who may be gridiron challenged can likely reel off with great ease a list of longstanding traditions associated with football, most especially the lively and loyalty-building traditions of the Southeastern Conference. Some of those timehonored SEC traditions include:

The Grove

OLE MISS On home-game Saturdays at the University of Mississippi, the Grove is the place to be, often for as many as 100,000 tailgaters. The Grove, for any unschooled, is the majestic, tree-filled 10-acre center of the Ole Miss campus where, since the 1950s, folks have gathered in a pregame tradition ranked by Sports Illustrated as the No. 1 tailgating spot in the country. Vehicles, from which fans tailgated in the early years, were prohibited in 1991. Since then, red, blue and white tents pack the Grove, some decorated to the hilt with chandeliers and candelabras and all things Ole Miss. Tailgating treats — both food and drink, so tasty that entire cookbooks have been dedicated to the fare — are served up generously. Fashion statements run the gamut. Two hours before kickoff, tailgaters cheer on their team and coaching staff as they traverse the Grove, making their way to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the Walk of Champions. Continued on page 38 OC TOBER 2020 | INVITATION

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Uga

GEORGIA In 2019, Sports Illustrated declared the adorable white English bulldog, ever named Uga, the greatest mascot in college football history. The first Uga, pronounced “UGG-uh,” was a wedding gift to University of Georgia law school student Sonny Seiler and his wife, Cecelia, in 1956. As Georgia lore has it, the Seilers showed up at the Sigma Chi fraternity house before the first home game, puppy in tow, wearing a child’s T-shirt on which Cecelia Seilers had sewed a felt “G.” The pup ended up at the football game and later was asked to be Georgia’s mascot. Until Georgia adopted the bulldog as a mascot name in the 1920s, there were other animals that served as mascots, including a goat on the sidelines during their first game in the late 1800s and a Boston terrier named Trilby in 1894. From 1944 to 1955, there were three bulldogs. The Seiler line of bulldogs, however, has provided all Ugas to the University of Georgia for nearly 70 years. Uga X has a permanent air-conditioned doghouse that sits in Sanford Stadium near the Bulldog cheerleaders.

“Woo Pig Sooie"ARKANSAS In 1909, the coach of the Arkansas Cardinals, proud of his team’s win over Louisiana State University, called his teammates “a wild band of Razorback hogs.” The name stuck, and a year later the student body of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville voted on the Razorbacks as their official mascot. Since the 1960s, a living, breathing mascot has been at all home games; however, it’s not a native Arkansas Razorback but rather a Russian boar.

The calling of the hogs may well be one of the most recognizable chants in football and all other sports. A quick consultation of Google yields step-by-step instructions for performing the hog call. If you’ve had a hankering to join in, here are the basics: 1. Raise your arms over your head, yell “Woo” and wiggle fingers briefly. 2. Bring both arms down with fists clinched while shouting “Pig.” 3. Extend right arm while yelling “Sooie.” 4. Repeat these steps several times. Continued on page 40

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Continued on page 39

“Gig ‘em!”

texas a&m A short drive from Austin, Dallas and Houston, College Station, Texas, is home to Texas A&M University. The largeness of Texas is legendary, and it could be said that A&M football traditions follow suit, at least in the number of traditions. The Aggie Bonfire and the 12th Man are two of these. For 90 years, beginning in 1909, A&M students built and burned a large bonfire on campus, traditionally each fall near Thanksgiving when A&M played its rivalry game with the University of Texas. The bonfire became an A&M-sanctioned event in 1936, and the fires grew larger and hotter each year. In 1969, the pile of lumber used to start the bonfire set the world record at 111 feet tall. A tragedy occurred in 1999 when the not-yetcompleted bonfire, with about 5,000 logs, collapsed, killing 12 and injuring 27 of the students and alumni working to prepare for the bonfire. The safer restructuring of the bonfire continued to be postponed, and there is no A&M-sanctioned bonfire on campus these days. However, since 2002 a non-university-sanctioned student bonfire burns each year off campus and is attended by up to 15,000 people. The 12th Man tradition at A&M began in 1921. The Aggies were paired against the Centre College Colonels, and A&M players had been plagued by injuries during the game’s first half. Sophomore E. King Gill, who’d left the Aggie football team midseason to focus on basketball, was in attendance. Coach Dana X. Bible found Gill, waved him to the sideline and told him he likely would not have enough players to finish the game. Under the bleachers, Gill put on the uniform of one of at least five injured players. He sat on the bench alone for the game’s remainder but was never called in to play. These days the A&M student body is collectively known as the 12th Man, standing throughout the whole game to signify their waiting to be called upon if the team needs them.

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Hail State mississippi state The cowbell is quite possibly the loudest and most resounding tradition among SEC teams. Die-hard supporters of the Mississippi State University Bulldogs have long celebrated great plays and ultimate team victories with the collective clanging of their cowbells. The cowbell is said to have become a mainstay at MSU games in the late 1930s. How the bells came to be popular at games is not crystal clear, but there is a story that’s favored.

Legend has it that during a long-ago game in Starkville with State pitted against Ole Miss, a jersey cow wandered onto the field, and, later, State soundly bested its Rebel rivals, prompting students to adopt the cow as a good luck charm. It is said that students continued to show up at games with a cow in tow until the four-legged talisman was exchanged for a simple cowbell. The cowbell met with resistance in 1974 when the SEC and NCAA ruled against artificial noise-

makers at football games. Cowbells were effectively silenced until 2010 when SEC schools agreed to a compromise, and the cowbells clanged again.

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“Sailgating” TENNESSEE Up in Tennessee, there’s a group of Volunteers fans known as the VOL Navy. On home football weekends in Knoxville, they gather at the docks outside Neyland Stadium on their boats and barges sized for partying. Casually clad in their beloved orange and white — and wearing rubbersoled boat-safe shoes — they prepare for pregame

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revelry. You don’t have to be an official member of the VOL Navy to find a warm welcome aboard. Old-timers and newcomers alike are greeted with Tennessee hospitality and delicious Southern fare. History has it the VOL Navy first took float in the early 1960s when George Mooney, a broadcaster

who was the voice of Volunteers’ football from 1952 to 1967, used his boat to travel to and from games because of the terrible traffic. In the days before docks, Mooney is said to have tied his boat to a tree and headed to the stadium on foot. These days, as many as 150 to 200 seaworthy vessels celebrate home games.


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OLE MISS T h r o u g h the D e c a d e s REFLECT ON UNFORGET TABLE OLE MISS FOOTBALL MOMENTS WITH SPECIAL MEMORABILIA AND IMAGES THAT GO BACK MORE THAN 100 YEARS. PHOTOS, MEMORABILIA AND HISTORIC INFORM ATION COURTESY OF OLE MISS ATHLE TICS AND JIM STEPHENS

The first football team at the University of Mississippi took the field in 1893 with Professor Alexander Bondurant serving as the first coach. Members of that first team included, front row, from left: W.C. Collier, G.M. Jones and R.H. Bordeaux. Second row, from left: B.P. Smith, J.R. Tipton, E.T. Russell, A.H. Roudebush, W.H. Cook and L.P. Brady. Third row, from left: J.K.Cowan, Claude Still, W.B. Blake, Eric Scales and R.V. Booth. Back row, from left: Dr. A.L. Bondurant, Coach; Judge T.C. Kimbrough and T.J. Foxworth.

ole mis s

FOOTBALL

BEGINS An original M Club certificate belonging to Hubert Stephens, signed by Judge William Hemingway, for whom VaughtHemingway Stadium is named.

1893 The 1894 Ole Miss football team included Hubert Durrett Stephens Sr. (left center in white), the first player from New Albany and Union County. Stephens was the grandfather of Jim Stephens of Oxford, who has a huge collection of Ole Miss memorabilia, including his grandfather's M Club certificate, pictured above.

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Continued from page 45

In the 1920s, tickets to an Ole Miss Red and Blue football game cost $3. The team, led by coach Homer Hazel, played in the Southern Conference.

The Ole Miss football team became a charter member of the Southeastern Conference in its inaugural year, 1933.

An official program from the 21st meeting of Mississippi A&M College (MSU) and Ole Miss. The game was played on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds as part of the state fair.

In 1929, a contest was held to choose the best nickname for Ole Miss athletic teams. The winning entry was Mississippi Flood, but the name did not take hold and, for a time, the teams continued to be called the Red and Blue.

1929 1920

1933 1930 Continued on page 48

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Continued from page 46

Ed Walker was head coach of the Ole Miss football team from 1930 to 1937. Notably, he was also head basketball coach from 1930 to 1935.

All-American Ole Miss football player, Frank "Bruiser" Kinard.

Bruiser Kinard in action.

The 1936 football coaching staff: Tad Smith, Webb Burke, Charles “Chuck� Smalling and head coach Ed Walker.

In 1936, coach Ed Walker coached Bruiser Kinard, who earned AllAmerican first team honors. He was the first of 58 Rebels to earn the national honor. Kinard went on to play professional football and then was part of the Ole Miss coaching staff from 1948 to 1974. In culmination of the 1935 season, coach Ed Walker took Ole Miss to its first bowl game, where the Rebels fell to Catholic University 20-19 in the Orange Bowl.

1935

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The Mississippi Flood was renamed the Ole Miss Rebels in 1936.

The Ole Miss Rebels were the first college football team to fly to a road game. They flew from Memphis to Philadelphia to play the Temple Owls.

1936

1937


As a pro player, Charlie Conerly appeared on the Dec. 3, 1956, issue of Sports Illustrated.

Charlie “The Roach” Conerly of Clarksdale played on Coach John Vaught’s first championship team in 1947.

Ole Miss and Texas met up for the Jan. 1, 1958, Sugar Bowl, where Ole Miss beat the Longhorns. Ole Miss has been to nine Sugar Bowls championships. They’ve won six and lost three.

In 1947, Charlie Conerly became the first Rebel player to contend for the Heisman Trophy. He placed fourth.

In 1947, with coach John Vaught at the helm, Ole Miss won its first SEC championship.

1947 1940

In 1948, Ole Miss defeated TCU in the first Delta Bowl. The ball pictured above is from that game. The Delta Bowl is considered the precursor to the longestablished Liberty Bowl, which is played in Memphis.

In 1954 and 1955, Ole Miss claimed SEC championship titles. Throughout its history, the team has won six conference titles.

1954 & 1955

1948

1958

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Continued from page 49 Quarterback Jake Gibbs, 1961 Sugar Bowl MVP.

A program from the Jan. 1, 1960, Sugar Bowl in which Ole Miss beat LSU 21-0, claiming its first national championship title.

This felt banner from 1960 was signed by coach John Vaught and members of the team.

f irs t

A ticket and program from the Jan. 1, 1963, Ole Miss vs. Arkansas Sugar Bowl.

Ole Miss defeated Rice 14-6 in the Sugar Bowl played on Jan. 1, 1961, claiming its second national championship title.

NATIONAL

CH A M PI O N S H IP

WIN

Ole Miss shut out its rival LSU 21-0 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1960.

Ole Miss beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl played on Jan. 1, 1963, following its undefeated 1962 season.

Ole Miss, coached by John Vaught, won its three national championship titles in Sugar Bowl games played in 1960, 1961 and 1963.

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1963


Coach John Vaught has a conversation with Archie Manning.

Archie Manning led the 1969 team to the Jan. 1, 1970, Sugar Bowl, in which Ole Miss upset Arkansas 27-22. Manning was named MVP.

1969

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Continued from page 51

Randy Baldwin, MVP of the 1989 Liberty Bowl

In 1988, Ole Miss defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa for the first time in history.

Archie Manning of Drew, Mississippi, was the starting quarterback at Ole Miss for three years. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

Before becoming coach of the Ole Miss Rebels in 1983, Billy Brewer played quarterback, defensive back, punted and held for place kickers from 1957 to 1960. He coached the Rebels until 1993.

In 1989, No. 38 Chucky Mullins suffered a devastating injury in a game against Vanderbilt. He was paralyzed.

In 1971, Ben Williams began playing for Ole Miss. He and James Reed were the football team’s first African American players.

In 1983, coach Billy Brewer led the Rebels to their first winning season since 1977. The Rebels went to their first bowl game since 1971, the Independence Bowl. Ole Miss fell to the Air Force Falcons 9-3.

1971 1970

1983

1988

1989

1980 Continued on page 54

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Continued from page 52 Dexter McCluster, MVP of the 2009 and 2010 Cotton Bowls.

Eli Manning in the 2004 Cotton Bowl. The Rebels defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 31-28.

A signed photograph of David Cutcliffe, head football coach at Ole Miss from 1998 to 2004, with John Vaught, head football coach from 1947 to 1970 and again in 1973.

A Sugar Bowl helmet signed by Chad Kelly, Ole Miss quarterback in 2015 and 2016.

In 1991, vehicles were strictly prohibited from driving onto the grounds of the Grove since a rainstorm the year before had turned the area into a muddy mess.

In 2001, freshman Eli Manning competed with veteran player Romaro Miller for the starting quarterback position.

In 1998, the Walk of Champions arch was built in the Grove.

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1998 2000

In 2011, the Colonel Reb mascot was replaced by Rebel the Black Bear.

2001

2011 2010


In 2018, the Ole Miss mascot changed again; this time, Rebel the Black Bear was retired in favor of Tony the Landshark.

The Daily Mississippian shows fans tearing down the goal posts in celebration of the 2014 win against Alabama.

In both 2014 and 2015, Ole Miss beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.

2014

2018

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Gentle Ben O L E M I S S F O O T B A L L S TA R B U I LT B R I D G E S A S O N E O F T H E U N I V E R S I T Y ’ S F I R S T A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N P L AY E R S . |

PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY OLE MISS ATHLE TICS

STEVE GATES

WRITTEN BY GENE PHELPS


T

he Ole Miss community lost a true football legend and a racebarrier breaker with the May 18 death of Robert Jerry “Gentle Ben” Williams, 65, from natural causes. Williams, a standout defensive lineman from Yazoo City, and running back James Reed from Meridian, were the first Black football players to sign scholarships with the program in the early 1970s. “Gentle Ben’s impact on our university, the SEC and college football as a whole is immeasurable,” said Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter. “Ben not only helped break the race barrier for our football program but was also the first African American student to be elected by the student body for what is now known as Mr. Ole Miss,” Carter said. “He was a great person, player and ambassador for our university and will forever be beloved by Rebel Nation.” Williams, who at a hulking 6-foot-3, 250-pounds earned All-America and AllSoutheastern Conference honors for his play at Ole Miss (1972-75), was tabbed “Gentle Ben” by his junior high classmates in Yazoo City because of his size and friendly nature. The nickname came from a popular television show “Gentle Ben” which featured a large, mostly passive bear living with his human family. Williams’ lone brush with a live bear came while he was playing for the Rebels. He wrestled a touring black bear as part of a basketball game’s halftime promotion at Tad Smith Coliseum. The “Gentle Ben vs. Bear” battle ended in a draw.

On the football playing field, the victory nearly always went to Gentle Ben. “There was nothing ‘Gentle’ about him,” one former football staffer said. Bob Lewis, a retired Associated Press news reporter, now living in Richmond, Virginia, played offensive line — center — for Ole Miss during Williams’ college playing days. “Ben was more than difficult to block,” Lewis said. “He was impossible to block if he didn’t want to be blocked. He wasn’t just quick, he was remarkably powerful. He used his whole body to uncoil on a blocker like a giant trip hammer. “He could literally blow full-grown offensive linemen off the turf.” Williams signed with the Rebels following a standout high school playing career for Yazoo City, one that included AllBig Eight Conference honors and a 1972 Mississippi All-Star Game selection. At Ole Miss, he recorded 377 career tackles, including a career-high 116 stops his senior season. He remains the program’s career sacks leader with 37, including a single-season record of 18 sacks in 1973. Following his senior season, he played in the 1976 Senior Bowl All-Star Football Game in Mobile, Alabama. He also participated in the Coaches All-American Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. Williams was selected as the 78th overall pick in the third round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. His 10 seasons in the league produced a Pro Bowl selection in 1983. He started in 140 games and retired in 1985 with a franchise-high 45.5 career

He used his whole body to uncoil on a blocker like a giant trip hammer. He could literally blow full-grown offensive linemen off the turf. — Bob Lewis

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Ben was never loud, never showy, but quietly confident in what he could do. — Bob Lewis

sacks. He was later named to the Bills’ AllTime Top 50 Team. Following his pro playing days, he provided leadership in several crucial areas for Ole Miss by serving as a member of the Black Alumni Advisory Council, The University of Mississippi Foundation Board of Directors and M-Club Board of Directors, and as chairman of the Minority Scholarship Endowment fundraising efforts. Williams was inducted into the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the

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Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. He received the Distinguished American Award from the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation in 1991. He was named an SEC Legend in 2002 and was honored at the SEC Football Championship Game. Lewis believes Williams’ jersey No. 74 should be retired or designated to a player each season in the same manner as the Chucky Mullins No. 38 courage award. “Ben was never loud, never showy, but quietly confident in what he could do,”

Lewis said. “He was funny. He was naturally gregarious and inclusive — and that smile of his attracted people to him from every corner of campus. He cared about his teammates and was quick to share credit with them. “… Ben’s (story) is not just one of the important stories in Ole Miss history; it’s one of the most important, under-told and underappreciated in all of college football. His memory needs to burn brightly and conspicuously as long as they’re playing football in Oxford, Mississippi.”


REEDS

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Meet Bully WHETHER YOU’RE A STATE FAN OR AN OLE MISS REBEL, THERE’S SOMETHING INTRIGUING — AND PRETTY CUTE — ABOUT A LIVE MASCOT ON THE SIDELINES. MEET THE MSU BULLDOG, JAK, AND MASCOT COORDINATOR LISA PRITCHARD. WRITTEN BY MICHAEL A MORRIS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

B

ulldogs have been inseparable from Mississippi State University for more than a century. In 1905, the MSU student newspaper published an illustration of a bulldog puppy sitting on top of an Ole Miss-themed casket after MSU shut out their in-state rival 11-0. The live “Bully” tradition officially began in 1935 when an English bulldog named Ptolemy became Bully I ahead of a 20-7 victory over Alabama. In the early days, the bulldogs roamed the campus. But starting in 1993 with Bully XIX, also known as Tonka, Bully has lived with Lisa Pritchard, a head veterinary technician in the small animal internal medicine and oncology departments of the MSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Tonka’s grandson Jak — named for the late MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil — currently serves as Bully XXI. Pritchard answered a few questions for us about what it’s like to care for the most famous bulldog in Mississippi.

Q:

MSU fans love Bully. If they get the chance to meet him, what’s the best way to greet him? A: In non-pandemic times, we are available pregame in the Junction right after the Dog Walk, for about 30 minutes, weather permitting. I only allow two to three people to approach him at a time. Huge crowds, without some sort of organization, don’t work for either one of us. (When people pose with him for photos) there’s no playing until after the photos. He doesn’t listen, and the people don’t listen if they play first. It’s easier to get the photo out the way first. Small children need to be supervised. Continued on page 64

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Continued from page 62

Q:

What kind of training do you do to prepare the bulldogs for being on the sidelines during games? A: The first thing we work on is potty training and normal commands (starting at 8 to 9 weeks old.) When they are about 4 months old, we start going out in public. We go to band practice and walk up and down between band members (to prepare for the loud music and stadium noises). We go to football practice, so he gets used to people running by him. We do the same thing with basketball practice and volleyball practice. A lot of it is socialization. I take him to work with me every day.

Q: What is Jak’s game prep schedule during football season? A: For home games, on Friday, he gets a good bath and pedicure. The (veterinary) rehab department staff gives him a good massage. If it’s an away game, we do all that on Thursday. Q:

Beyond his game day responsibilities, what is involved in being Bully? A: When my work schedule allows it, we visit offices (in the vet school) and classrooms across campus. We visit kindergarten and

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first-grade classes. The teachers are really good about letting us know when they have letter day or color day. We go to assisted living facilities. We love to spread the Bulldog wealth wherever we go.

Q: What is Jak’s life at home like? Does he

have any four-legged friends? A: He lives with three cats and a French bulldog sister. He gets to be a dog at home. He runs, plays and enjoys rolling around in the grass. He will even occasionally jump up on a visitor at home. But when I put on his leather harness, his demeanor changes. He doesn’t roll over to scratch his back or have his tummy rubbed. He doesn’t jump up on people. He’s still happy, but he’s focused.

Q: Does Jak have a favorite treat or toy? A: He loves food. When he does well, he

gets very low-calorie training treats. He knows exactly what pocket I keep them in. Probably his favorite toy is a Nylabone. He is on a special diet and not allowed to have any food except what I give him. (Fans should refrain from offering Jak treats.)

Q: What will this fall look like for Jak? A: It breaks my heart we won’t be

on the sidelines (because of SEC COVID restrictions). I haven’t missed a game in 10 or 12 years. We’ll be hosting a lot of things on his social media pages. If someone wants a one-on-one meet and greet, they can call the vet school. We don’t do a lot of oneon-one visits because of my schedule and his schedule, (but) we’re available October through April or May.

Q: You’ve looked after Bully for nearly 30

years. What has been the biggest reward? A: It’s a lot of fun. Not only do I get to see people react to being able to meet and touch him, but also I’ve met wonderful people who’ve become lifelong friends. (And the dogs) have all been great dogs. I don’t know what I would do without them.


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The Egg Bowl A MI S S I S S IPPI FO OTBA LL C L A S S IC

T H E A N N UA L M E E T I N G O F R I VA L S O L E M I S S A N D M I S S I S S I P P I S TAT E H A S P L AY E D O U T O N T H E G R I D I R O N F O R M O R E T H A N A C E N T U R Y. WRITTEN BY GENE PHELPS

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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JIM STEPHENS & OLE MISS ATHLE TICS

Clockwise from top left: 1997 Egg Bowl champs; Patrick Willis after the 2006 Egg Bowl; Cory Peterson’s game-winning 1997 extra-point reception; an Egg Bowl win for coach Billy Brewer

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The Golden Egg following the 2013 Ole Miss win

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he rich, intense and colorful 116-year history of the Ole Miss-Mississippi State football series — know as “The Egg Bowl” — is a drama that has been going on for over a century. The rivalry between SEC members Ole Miss and MSU is the 10th longest uninterrupted series in the country, with the first matchup in 1901, in which the team then known as the Mississippi A&M College Aggies beat the Ole Miss Red and Blue, 17-0. The teams took a three-year break from their annual meeting on the field from 1912 to 1914, before resuming in 1915. Since 1915, the rivals haven’t missed an Egg Bowl, except for 1943, when neither school had a football season because of World War II. The game was played at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson from 1973 through 1990: the large venue could handle seating for the massive crowd. Later, Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and MSU’s Davis Wade Stadium expanded and updated, making them better able to accommodate the crowds. The rivalry through the years has been one of great intensity. Historically, MSU dominated the early years, but in 1926, Ole Miss put an end to its lengthy losing streak with a 7-6 win. The excitement of the Red and Blue was such that frenzied fans OC TOBER 2020 | INVITATION

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The 1950 Ole Miss Rebels and head coach John Vaught celebrate a win.

rushed the field and attempted to dismantle the goalposts. MSU fans defended their property with wooden chairs and injuries were reported. Because of the post-game fighting in ’26, a group of students from Ole Miss and MSU met and created the Golden Egg trophy to be awarded the winning team, a tradition that has continued since 1927. Footballs used in the ’20s apparently resembled balls used today in rugby — more egg-shaped and less pointy on its ends. Thus, when many first saw the trophy, it did look more egg-like than football like. The annual game became known as the Egg Bowl in 1979, thanks to Tom Patterson, a sportswriter for the Clarion-Ledger newspaper. Before then it was simply referred to as the Mississippi Football Classic. One particularly dramatic game, the 1983 “Immaculate Deflection” game, was won by Ole Miss, 24-23, in Jackson. That afternoon, MSU kicker Artie Crosby watched his late-game 27-yard field goal attempt blown back at the crossbar by a sudden 40-mile-per-hour gust of wind. The win, and wind, secured the Rebels a postseason bowl game. Ole Miss leads the series 62-46-6 through the 2019 season. On the field, since 2010, MSU has won six games and Ole Miss four. However, the Rebels had to vacate two of those wins as a part of NCAA sanctions against the program. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings. The Rebels last win was in 2017. Legendary Ole Miss head coach, the late John Vaught, thought so much of winning

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the series, he assigned one of his assistants to attend every MSU game during the season. His record against the Bulldogs was 19-2-4. Former Ole Miss defensive back Todd Sandroni (1987-1990), who works in cardiovascular risk management for Cardiology Associates of North Mississippi in Tupelo, saw his Rebels win three of four Egg Bowls during his playing career. “It made the offseason sweeter if you beat (State),” he said. “There were a couple of times when we won, (but until then) we felt like we didn’t have a successful season. One year we beat Alabama and then beat State at the end of the year, but (still) our record was only 5-6.” Last season’s Egg Bowl saw a finish for the ages at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. With a national TV audience watching, the game (a 21-20 Mississippi State win) came down to one player’s inappropriate reaction to a play and a missed extra point.

Ole Miss scored with four seconds remaining on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Corral to wide receiver Elijah Moore to cap an impressive 12-play, 82-yard drive. The touchdown should have led to a 21-21 tie and overtime. Instead, Moore was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty following an indecent celebration in the end zone. A 15-yard penalty was applied to the extra point kick attempt, which was missed by kicker Luke Logan from 35 yards out. Instead of a tied score and an overtime game, MSU celebrated a joyous victory. The loss led to the firing of Ole Miss coach Matt Luke, whose team finished the season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the SEC. MSU, which clinched a postseason bowl bid, improved to 6-6 and to 3-5 in the conference. Oddly enough, the Bulldogs fired their second-year coach, Joe Moorhead, following the team’s postseason bowl game loss.

Major Ralph Sasse, Bob Caldwell, Chancellor A. B. Butts, Paul B. Johnson and President Duke Humphrey (Nov. 21, 1936)


The 1956 Egg Bowl

The programs have hired colorful, offensive-minded head coaches for the 2020 season — Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin; MSU, Mike Leach. The matchup could make for an exciting Saturday, Nov. 28 Egg Bowl showdown in Oxford. “With these two new coaches, football in Mississippi will not only be better, it will definitely be entertaining,” said Gregg Ellis of Tupelo. “And not just on the scoreboard,” Ellis has a unique perspective of the rivalry. He attended both schools as a student and graduated from Ole Miss. He later was a beat reporter covering both programs for the Tupelo-based Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. He served for 10 years as MSU’s associate director of athletic media relations and worked in Ole Miss athletic media relations as a student. He is currently director of communications for Tupelo Public Schools. He believes the addition of Kiffin and Leach could create a healthier rivalry. “It will be a welcomed relief in this rivalry to have coaches who actually respect each other.”

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Tailgate

at H o m e

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN’T TAILGATE IN YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS? TURN YOUR HOME INTO A PART Y PL ACE WITH FESTIVE DECORATIONS AND R E C I P E S L I KE T H E S E G O-TO F O OT B A L L S AT U R DAY S N A C K S . PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

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t’s football season in Mississippi, and, for perhaps the first time ever, fans will not be crowded on campus or outside stadiums to celebrate together for hours before kickoff. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely cancel the festivities. Instead, gather your family for an at-home watch party right in your own kitchen or living room, complete with an over-the-top tailgating spread. Try serving some of these favorite recipes, provided by the staff of Invitation Magazines.

Bacon BLO ODY M ARY 2 ounces vodka (bacon-infused, if possible) 1 lemon wedge 1 lime wedge 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce 2 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco) ½ teaspoon grated fresh or prepared horseradish Vegetable juice (such as V8) Crisp cooked bacon slice Vegetable garnishes such as: celery stalks, pearl onions, Spanish olives, gherkin pickles, pickled hot baby peppers Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka. Squeeze juice from lemon and lime wedges into shaker. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce and horseradish. Add vegetable juice. Cover with lid, and shake until blended. Pour into a tall glass, and garnish with crisp bacon and vegetables of choice. — Emily Welly

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Roseanna's GREEK PASTA salad 1 (16-ounce) box angel hair pasta 1 (4-ounce) jar pimientos, drained 1 (4.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 6 green onions, chopped 1 (4.5-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained 3 tablespoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ¾ cup olive oil 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese Cook pasta; drain and rinse. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Cover and chill 24 hours for flavors to blend. — Mary Moreton


Monterey J ack SAL SA 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained 1 (4.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 4 green onions, chopped 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 1 tomato, chopped ½ cup Italian dressing ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips. — Lynn McElreath (adapted from “Come On In!” a cookbook by the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi)

Redneck CAVIAR 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained 1 (15.8-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel) or 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro 1 bottle Italian dressing 1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, chopped In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Chill overnight. Serve with tortilla chips. — Becca Pepper Continued on page 74 OC TOBER 2020 | INVITATION

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MUFFULET TA

Dip

1 cup Italian olive salad (such as Boscoli), drained 1 cup dried salami, chopped ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ¼ cup chopped pepperoncini salad peppers 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced 1 celery stalk, finely chopped ½ red bell pepper, chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the parsley; cover and chill overnight. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving, if desired. Serve with French bread crostini. — Mary Moreton

SSTARS ausage 16 ounces ground pork sausage 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 1 cup ranch dressing 1 (4.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional) 4 (1.9-ounce) packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells, thawed Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, brown sausage, stirring until crumbly; drain. Combine sausage, cheeses, dressing, olives and, if desired, mushrooms. Fill phyllo shells with sausage-cheese mixture. Bake until bubbly. Serve hot. — Holly Vollor (recipe by Tod Dorbeck from Moore Groceries cookbook) Continued on page 76


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Citrus

OLIVES 2 large jars green olives, drained 1 large can black olives, drained Zest of a whole lemon Juice of 3 medium lemons 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves 3 cloves garlic, minced Salt and pepper, to taste In a large bowl, stir all of the ingredients together. Cover and chill before serving. — Leslie Criss

BUFFALO

Chicken Dip 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened ½ cup ranch dressing ½ cup hot sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot) ½ cup shredded cheese 2 (12.5-ounce) cans white premium chunk chicken breast in water (such as Swanson’s) Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish, and stir until smooth. Stir in ranch dressing, hot sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve with chips or bread. — Alise Emerson Continued on page 78


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CornFRITOS Dip with 3 (15.25-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained 2 cups light sour cream 1 cup avocado oil mayonnaise 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 bunch cilantro, chopped Cayenne pepper, to taste Cumin, to taste White pepper, to taste Salt, to taste In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving alongside corn chips. This recipe makes a large portion, but it is easy to halve or double depending on the size of the crowd you are serving. — Abbey Edmonson

PIMIENTO

CheeseOKR Stuffed A 16 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded 1 (7-ounce) jar diced pimiento ½ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon bread-and-butter pickles, minced 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 2 dashes hot sauce Pickled okra pods Smoked paprika (optional) Stir together shredded cheddar cheese, pimiento, mayonnaise, pickles, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and hot sauce. Set aside. Cut pickled okra pods in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out seeds. Spoon pimiento cheese into okra halves. Garnish with paprika. — Moni Simpson (This recipe by Vishwesh Bhatt was published in the July 2013 issue of Southern Living) Continued on page 80


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Continued from page 78

Berry Tart

PA S T R Y:

FILLING:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour 11/2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for dusting 9 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup ice water 1 egg 1 teaspoon milk

4 cups of sliced mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) 1/3 cup sugar Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, butter and salt. Pulse until mixture has a coarse, crumblike texture. Add ice water a little at a time until the dough begins to come together.

Once the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator, and roll into a 12- to 14-inch circle on parchment paper. Transfer dough circle and the parchment paper it is on to a baking sheet. Pour berry mixture into the center of the circle, leaving 1 to 11/2 inches of dough border around the edges. Roughly fold edges inward over the berries. Gently brush egg wash onto the pastry edges. Dust with sugar, and bake until the filling is bubbly and the edges are brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream. This tart can also be served at room temperature. — Sarah McCullen

Using hands, form the dough into a ball. On a piece of parchment paper, use a rolling pin to flatten dough into an 8-inch circle. Cover and chill 1 hour. Heat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest, and let sit for 30 minutes. Add cornstarch, and toss to coat berries. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk to make an egg wash, and set aside.

PAYDAY

fall mix

2 cans peanuts 2 bags candy corn Stir together, and serve! — Whitney Worsham Continued on page 82


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OLE MISS

popcorn

10 cups popped popcorn 16 ounces vanilla candy coating (such as CandiQuik) ¾ cup red and blue milk chocolate candies (such as M&M’S) 2 tablespoons red and blue sprinkles Lay waxed paper across countertop. Place popcorn in a very large bowl. Melt CandiQuick in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Pour over popcorn, and stir until coated. Spread popcorn mixture onto waxed paper in an even layer. Top with chocolate candies and sprinkles, gently stirring by hand so toppings stick to popcorn. Allow to cool and harden for approximately 30 minutes. Break into pieces, and serve in a large bowl or individual cups. For a Halloween-themed treat instead, replace red and blue candies with candy corn and use orange and black sprinkles. — Emily Welly

Easy BROWNIE Bites Store-bought bite-size brownies Cream cheese frosting Strawberries, quartered Arrange the brownie bites on a platter. Pipe or dollop each brownie with cream cheese frosting, and then top each with a strawberry quarter. — Anna Zemek

Special thanks to the Abraham family for allowing us to use their home to showcase these recipes and to Oxford Pop + Party for the balloon decor. Turn the page to read more about the Abrahams’ house and their love for Mississippi football.


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Entertaining WITH THE ABRAHAMS

AN OXFORD HOME IS A GREAT GATHERING SPACE F O R FA M I LY A N D F R I E N D S . WRITTEN BY LESLIE CRISS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY JOE WORTHEM

W

hen longtime Vicksburg residents Ginny and Bobby Abraham relocated to Oxford six years ago, they did not feel like newcomers. The couple had spent so much time in the university town, it already felt like home. Bobby attended undergraduate school at the University of Mississippi before heading to University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. And though she was not a student on the Ole Miss campus, Ginny received a degree in dental hygiene from the University of Mississippi. Her husband’s love of Ole Miss football may have helped determine Ginny’s allegiance a little, but she said even before they married she leaned toward Ole Miss. “I do like football,” she said. “And if I had to choose a team, Ole Miss was probably it before we got married. And, of course, I love Ole Miss even more now that we live in Oxford.” In 1979 or the early ’80s, Bobby took the lead in starting the Vicksburg tailgate spot in the Grove. “He’s the founding father of the Vicksburg tailgate,” said his wife of 17


Thanks to the Abrahams for allowing us to photograph our staff’s favorite tailgating treats in their home. Find the recipes on pages 70-82.

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years. “He claims to be the first to actually put a tent in the Grove.” All these years later, the Vicksburg group maintains its tailgating spot, though, thanks to COVID-19, tailgating in the Grove this fall will take a safety break. But the Abrahams, both fond of entertaining, will likely find creative ways to safely socialize before games. Three years ago, the couple built a house with several things in mind — the present and the future for themselves and their son Luke, now a seventh-grader. “We wanted our home to accommodate Luke, so there’s a basketball court and pool,” Ginny said. “And we wanted a house we could grow old in with a single level, no stairs.” And because the Abrahams enjoy cooking and entertaining, their house was built with that in mind, as well. “We have a very large kitchen island that seats eight,” Ginny said. “I had much rather entertain in a small, intimate setting.”

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CL AY CL A SSIC PHOTOGRAPHED BY LISA ROBERTS

The 26th annual Clay Classic and Elite Eagle event, hosted by Winchester Ammunition, took place Aug. 21-22 on the grounds of Camp Yocona, between Pontotoc and Oxford. The shooting event serves as a fundraiser for the Yocona Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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1. Gray and Jim Cassidy 2. Brad Miller, Raymond Jourdan and Sam Agnew 3. Christopher Cassidy, Niles Lovelady and Walker J. Swaney 4. Rob Hairston and Rex Smith 5. Craig Sanders and Mitchell Brazeal 6. Paul Fischer, Andrew Caldwell, Erik Roming and Will Russell

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7. Daniel Howell and Luis McCombs 8. William Holcomb, Will Doda, Chris Barnett and Gary Hall 9. Jamie Osbirn and Drew Robertson 10. John Green, Lee Harris and Kent Smith 11. Justin Murphy, Greg Burks and Witt Long 12. Ricky Roberts, Evan Ellis, Terry Spencer and Neil Patterson

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CORINTH FARMERS MARKET PHOTOGRAPHED BY WHITNEY WORSHAM

The Corinth Farmers Market takes place every Saturday, with vendors selling locally grown fall goodies from stands on Shiloh Road, through the end of October. Popular fall items include pumpkins, mums, pecan pies and corn stalks.

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1. Rachel Goddard and Diane Phillips 2. Phoebe Butler and Janice Streetman 3. Eddie Parvin and Earline Crabb 4. Beverly Green and Amber Dixon 5. Mike Cartwright and Wade Smith 6. John and Nila Savell

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SALTILLO STORM FUNDRAISER PHOTOGRAPHED BY LISA ROBERTS

The Natchez Trace Golf Club was the setting for a Sept. 12 fundraiser golf outing for the Saltillo Storm travel baseball team.

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1. Jonathan Buchanan, Brandon Barrett, Barrett Rowsey and Will Swans 2. Austin Byrd, Dustin Carrell, Nick Burns and Hayden Gordan 3. Casey Thornton, Tim Lee, Patrick Wallace and Chandler Wright 4. Wesley Dobbs, Tucker Holmes, Josh Logan and Drew Dobbs 5. Blake Holly and Michael Downing with Chase and Adam Hill 6. Les Ellis and Justin Kitchens 7. Jake Logan, Blake Hutcheson, Jim Tally and Joey Hutcheson 8. Chris and Caden Henley with Steven Bush 9. Clint Berthay and Will Morgan 10. Matt Baker and Peyton Dunlap

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YOUTH CAR WASH PHOTOGRAPHED BY LISA ROBERTS

The young people of Sherman Apostolic Tabernacle hosted a car wash Aug. 22 at AutoZone North Gloster to raise money for their youth program.

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COMMUNITY YOGA PHOTOGRAPHED BY ABBEY EDMONSON

Oxford yoga lovers are taking advantage of special events offered by Sparrow Yoga, including yoga at Harrison’s 1810 Wednesday afternoons on the porch; RebelWell group fitness classes on the Ole Miss campus; and yoga with Brooke FlySpears on Wednesdays at Plein Air in Taylor.

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1. Lily Porter and Gabby Merrell 2. Anna Kate Joyce, Erin Bridgman, Kaki Shadoan and Toni Bounds 3. Anne McQueen Whatley and Caroline Pollard 4. Melissa Becker, Dev Ganapathy and Sophie Cantu 5. Ellie Rotan, Brighid Gibney and Mary Crow Miller 6. Brittany Murphee, Carly Chinn and William Foster

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OLE MISS BID DAY On Sept. 6, sororities at Ole Miss held their traditional Bid Day festivities entirely virtually. Later in the day, members of several sororities were out and about on the Square, safely celebrating the new school year and their new pledge classes.

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1. Hannah Glover and Alex Arnette 2. McClaine Huffman and Presley Sullivan 3. Kemery and Kate Atkins 4. Danielle Delavaldene, Josie Kinder and Jacquelyn Delavaldene 5. Jennifer, Georgia and Genna Ishee 6. Kiana Monet, Kinsey Carlson and Mary Elizabeth Nordberg

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OHS TENNIS TOURNAMENT PHOTOGRAPHED BY JESSICA RICHARDSON

Oxford High School Students for Alzheimer’s hosted a mixed doubles tennis tournament Aug. 22 that benefited Memory Makers. In addition to the tournament, a silent auction also helped raise money for a worthy cause.

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1. Steve Shipman and Anne Bishop 2. Stephanie Young, Debbie Swindoll, Bill Turner and Robert Grantham 3. Pratt and Hassell Wilkinson 4. Presley and Amy Fowler 5. Ada Grace, Anna Reed and Lucy Perry 6. Bolen and Chris McAlilly

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7. Sarah and Brooks Buffington 8. Tim and J.J. Collins 9. Allen Ligon and Donald Fowler 10. Will Shipman and Will Mott 11. Connor Bradley and Bryson Barksdale 12. Downing Koestler, Brown Turner and Carter Young

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OUT & ABOUT 6 ’n Tu b b s T h i rd T hu r s d ay C r u i s e - I n

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Tu p e lo C o m mu n it y T he at re P re s e nt s “S pa m a lot ”

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N E I G H B O R PA R K S

INTERVIEWED BY LESLIE CRISS

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY M AT T BOWEN, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PHOTOGR APHER

F

ormer Corinth High School Warrior Parks Frazier is in his third season as part of the coaching staff of the Indianapolis Colts. The 28-year-old Frazier has moved around a good bit in these early years of his coaching career, but Mississippi, he said, will always be home.

Q:

What was it like to be assistant to the Colts head coach for the past two years? A: It was an amazing experience. I learned so much of what it takes to hold that position, and working for somebody like Frank Reich took it to an entirely different level. He represents everything I believe in and pushed me to become a better version of myself as a coach and person.

Q: What will your new job entail? A: Basically, I’m an offensive assistant coach. My main focus is with the quarterbacks, but I spend a lot of my time looking for ways our offense can gain an advantage over upcoming opponents. I still work closely with Coach Reich because he is the offensive play-caller, but I now work more with our offensive coordinator, Nick Sirianni.

Q: You played football in college and have coaching experience with both college and NFL teams. How are they different? A: The most obvious difference, from my perspective, is that professional football is just that: professional. The players are not student-athletes; they are professional football players. In the NFL, we are able to spend the entire day working with the team, while in college, your time daily with the players is split with their academic responsibilities. The things that don’t change are why I got into coaching in the first place, which is the opportunity to invest in your players’ lives on and off the field. 104

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Q: What is your ultimate career goal? A: I want to be a head coach. I love every

My youngest brother, Cooper, was a senior offensive linemen for the Warriors, so I was still very connected to the team! It was really great to not only see Corinth High School win the title, but to see my brother be a part of something so special for the town.

Q: CHS won the 2019 class 4A state football

Parks Frazier is the son of Dr. Randy and Tammi Frazier of Corinth, and is older brother to three siblings; Erin Frazier Montgomery, Baylor Frazier and Cooper Frazier. His wife, Caroline, is originally from South Carolina.

detail of running a football program. I’ve got a lot to learn and experience before I’m ready to take on the responsibility of a head coach, but every day I get to walk into a football facility is a step in that direction.

championship. How did that make you feel? Are you still connected with the team?

A:




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