Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Take the Rick Cleveland Quiz

Brett Lorenzo Favre brings to nine the number of native Mississippians inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That the Magnolia State ranks No. 1 per capita in producing Hall of Famers will not surprise anyone who regularly reads this column.

We may rank low in per capita income, lean body mass, and education, but we can play ball. Boy, can we play football.

Consider: New York, with a population of nearly 20 million, has produced 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers, one more than Mississippi with fewer than 3 million people.

And this doesn't count Hall of Famers such as Gene Hickerson (Tennessee), Deacon Jones (Florida) and Ray Guy (Georgia) who played their college football in Mississippi.

Mississippi-born Pro Football Hall of Famers include Pelahatchie's Bruiser Kinard (inducted 1971), Brookhaven's Lance Alworth (1978), Yazoo City's Willie Brown (1984), Gulfport's Lem Barney (1992), Jackson's Jackie Slater (1991), Columbia's Walter Payton (1993), Vicksburg's Billy Shaw (1999), Crawford's Jerry Rice (2010), and Kiln's Favre.

Now seems as good as time as any for a quiz about Mississippi's Pro Football Hall of Famers. See how many you can answer:

1. What Mississippian's draft stock went down because he ran a much slower than expected 4.71-yard 40-yard dash at the NFL draft combine?

2.Which Hall of Famer would probably have attended Ole Miss had it not been for the fact he was married, and Hall of Fame coach John Vaught had a rule against married players?

3.Which Hall of Famer famously recovered his own kickoff in the other team's end zone for a touchdown in a college game?

4.Which Hall of Famer once sang back-up on a hit record for recording star Marvin Gaye?

5.Which Hall of Famer has a son who now is special teams captain of the New England Patriots?

6.Which Hall of Famer once picked off a Fran Tarkenton pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl?

7.Who is the only Pro Football Hall of Fame player who never played in the NFL?

8.Which Mississippi Hall of Famer had only one Division I scholarship offer (to Kansas State)?

9.Which Hall of Famer graduated from college with a major in special education?

Now then, for the answers:

1.If you guessed Jerry Rice, you are right. His college coach, Archie Cooley, was once asked why Rice ran so slowly for scouts. Said Cooley, “Nobody was chasing him.”

2.Lance Alworth. Ole Miss might have won two or three consensus national championships, if the Rebels had recruited the married Alworth out of Brookhaven. He was that good. And he went to Arkansas.

3.Bruiser Kinard. Frank “Bruiser” Kinard was nearly always the biggest, fastest player on the field. In a win over Ouachita College in 1937, Bruiser Kinard scored a touchdown on his own kickoff. He outran the backpedaling return man to his own end zone and fell on the ball for six points.

4.Lem Barney sang back-up on mega-hit “What's Going On.” In return, Barney helped Gaye get a tryout with the Detroit Lions. Gaye was cut.

5.Jackie Slater's son, Matthew, who played collegiately at UCLA, excels on special teams for the Patriots.

6.In Super Bowl XI at New Orleans, Willie Brown intercepted Tarkenton and ran right into the end zone cameras and NFL history.

7.Billy Shaw played his entire career for the AFL Buffalo Bills and retired the year before the AFL and NFL consolidated.

8.Walter Payton was in Jackson to catch a plane for Kansas State when JSU coaches (and brother Eddie) changed his mind.

9.Brett Favre, the son of a teacher and a coach/teacher, got his degree from USM in teaching with an emphasis on special education.


Rick Cleveland ( is historian at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and a syndicated columnist.


Anonymous said...

I think the list should include Jackie Smith, born Columbia MS 1940. Played for the St.Louis Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys and inducted in the NFL HOF in 1994.

If I am right, where would that put Columbia, MS (Smith and Payton)on the per capita list for cities with NFL HOF members?

Anonymous said...

"We may rank low in per capita income, lean body mass, and education, but we can play ball."
Sports programs are some of the only positive reinforcement and experiences that some kids are exposed to. It creates a sense of belonging and pride that helps them excel and discover not only athletic talent, but self confidence and pride that leads to a better future.

Anonymous said...

I believe Super Bowl XI was held at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS