Saturday, November 4, 2017

Old times not forgotten

JJ discovered a video of one of the wackiest games ever played in Memorial Stadium on Youtube.

The Crimson Tide visited Jackson as they took on the Ole Miss Rebels in 1989.  The Tide had a good team that year led by Gary Hollingsworth, Siran Stacy, and Gene Jelks. Good enough to win the SEC and go to the Sugar Bowl where they eventually lost to Miami.  Ole Miss went 8-4 that year as it fielded one of its better teams.  John Darnell was a solid quarterback and had quite a year pitching to future NFL wide receivers Pat Coleman and Willie Green.*  Chuckie Mullins played in the game as well. However, nothing could prepare fans for what happened that day.

Ole Miss took it right to the Tide as it took a quick 21-0 lead.  The nearly-full stadium was rockin' as the Toddies smelled upset.  Alabama is Alabama, even when coached by Bill Curry.  Then the fun began as Alabama got some revenge for the Brick Bowl.  

Simply put, Ole Miss could do nothing right in the second quarter.  Nothing.  The score at halftime was 48-21 but it was Alabama that led.  Ole Miss turned the ball over several times in the quarter.  Alabama would score within one or two plays after it got the ball. Rinse, repeat.  It was one of the craziest games this correspondent has ever witnessed in person.  The stadium was still rocking in the second quarter but the stadium was suddenly awash in a tide of crimson pom-poms.

When you watch the video, keep in mind that most of the highlights occur on back to back plays.  That is what made the game so crazy.  

Oh, there is one final warning.  This game was not televised so you are stuck listening to play by play by the Ole Miss radio crew.   Brother Eli would have been much better. 

One final note.  The article states the attendance was 55,000.  Only a few seats on the open ends of the stadium were empty.  Ole Miss would later state the attendance was much lower when it justified moving all games to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.  

*A great tragedy in Mississippi sports as well as a great "What if" question: It's a shame Favre did not go to Ole Miss.  He would have been throwing to Green, Coleman, and Walls.  What if, oh the what if.  That offense would have been scary. 


Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the ability of Ole Missies to blow a lead.

/conversely, when God blew the football out of the uprights, he proved how much he hates MSU and loves Ole Missy.

If This.. said...

And IF Favre and Ray Guy had both been at Ole Miss at the same time, OM would not have even needed a punter.

Anonymous said...

Had it not required the national guard to let Meredith in Ole Miss might have gotten no telling how many great athletes during the thirty years they spent in the wilderness. Truly, old times were not forgotten as so many great Mississippi athletes said no thanks to those little flags they waved in the 60s 70s and 80s. And 90s.

Anonymous said...

11:44, Ole Miss would not have had enough sense to start either Favre or Guy. And, if USM’s Willie Heidelberg had not run an end-around, twice, Ole Miss would still be all-white.

Anonymous said...

Went to many a game at Memorial Stadium going back to the Sixties. Never got credit how good a place it was to watch a game. Not a bad seat in the house.The SEC doubleheaders were the craziest.

Anonymous said...

I had something that morning and couldn’t make the game. I remember being a boy and listening as the Rebels got up 21-0. After the game the prior year, I was in heaven. We had such an impressive lead, our pack of neighborhood boys wandered off to play football and fish. When we put the game on the radio while fishing, none of us could believe our ears. That collapse was even more impressive than Arkansas last week. We didn’t play another good 5 conservative quarters against the Tide until 2014 - 1st Quarter 2016.

Anonymous said...

Funny story about that 1988 game...

Billy Brewer told me one time - late at night - that they’d had a secretary in the football department whose husband took a job in Tuscaloosa in early 1988. She had really liked Ole Miss and developed a good relationship with the staff. Some time during the week leading up to the Ole Miss - Alabama game in the fall of 1988, she calls Brewer in his office to tell him to keep his eye out for a package she’d sent. She mailed him the Alabama playbook and call signs. The coaches committed it to memory and spent the next two days drilling it into the players. Consequently, Ole Miss beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa for the first time ever.

Anonymous said...

Biggest thing I remember from that game was now-ESPN analyst Brad Edwards, then in high school, but now a graduate of both JA and Bama, strolled into the student section of the Rebels and make the comment at 21-0 that "I think that last one just pissed Alabama off."

Final score agreed. That's why he's on TV on Saturdays and we're not. Well done, Brad.

Anonymous said...

8:48. That's not a funny story. It's crooked.

Kingfish said...

The Ole Miss LSU game up in Oxford that was played the same season as when Mullins was paralyzed was a hell of a game as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, Favre did throw to Michael Jackson, who had a much better team NFL career than Coleman or Willie. He handed the ball off to and threw to Tony Smith, who was a first round pick at running back. Rickey Bradley and Marcus Pope (running back and tight end) both got cups of coffee in the NFL....

The real shameful what if is what if Ole Miss would have not been cowards and ended the series with USM after losing 5 of the last final 7 in the series, including several blowouts.

Kingfish said...

Don't forget Walls.

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