Friday, September 11, 2020

Football Championships Return to Jackson

The state high school football champeenships are returning to Jackson.  The Mississippi High School Activities Association announced yesterday:

The MHSAA State Football Championships will return to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson in December.

The 2020 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic is scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd and Friday, December 4th at the historic 60,000-seat venue that hosted MHSAA football finals from 1992 through 2013.

“We are excited about the opportunity to return the Gridiron Classic to a place with such a storied history in Mississippi,” MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton said. “There have been so many great moments and memories for our schools over the years at Memorial Stadium.”

“This has been and continues to be a challenging year for all of us due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s no different for our schools and communities in Mississippi as together we all try to navigate unprecedented circumstances.”

The Gridiron Classic rotated among Mississippi State University (2014, 2016), the University of Mississippi (2015, 2017) and the University of Southern Mississippi (2018, 2019) for the past six years. MSU had been slated to host this year’s games prior to Covid-19.

MSU now has a home game on December 5th after reworking its football schedule, which could be subject to further changes and delays as the season progresses. Ole Miss and USM face similar scheduling challenges.

“Our universities in Mississippi are dealing with many of the same issues as our public and parochial schools,” Mr. Hinton said. “Their football games and athletic events are under attendance limitations just as with MHSAA schools. Colleges are restricting tailgating for students, alumni and fans. Understandably, administrators are doing their best to avoid hosting any additional events on campus — especially those that would bring crowds.

“Memorial Stadium offers a unique option because the stadium’s capacity is large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend the Gridiron Classic under the current attendance restictions. Yet these games won’t be played on a college campus and won’t create any challenges or issues for staff and students and day-to-day operations at Jackson State.

“We are grateful to Jackson State University President Thomas K. Hudson, Vice-President and Athletic Director Ashley Robinson, Associate Athletic Director Derek Scott and the entire university administration for their willingness and dedication to host the MHSAA State Championships. We have a tremendous relationship with Jackson State. They’ve hosted the quarterfinals of our State Basketball Championships for four years and it’s been first-class in every way.

“Our MHSAA Executive Committee — which is made up of school administrators from across the state — was unanimous in its approval of moving this year’s games to Memorial Stadium. We also hope moving the games to Thursday and Friday for this particular year will avoid any overlap with Mississippi’s college teams and their Saturday game schedules.”

Mr. Robinson said JSU was glad to be involved with this year’s football championships. The Tigers have played home football games since 1970 at Memorial Stadium, which is about 3 miles north of the university’s campus. Kickoff for the Tigers’ 2020 season was delayed from September to February 2021 due to Covid-19.

“We are happy to welcome MHSAA back to Veterans Memorial Stadium,” said Mr. Hudson, acting president of JSU. “Jackson State appreciates this partnership and hopes it continues into the future.”

“We are very excited to welcome back the MHSAA State Football Championships back to Jackson and Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium,” Mr. Robinson said. “There is a long and storied tradition of playing the State Championships in Jackson and we are very excited to once again serve as a partner for this event.”
If Jackson leaders had any sense, which is doubtful, they would get Visit Jackson, the Chamber of Commerce, and other parties together to roll out the welcome mat for MHSAA and make them feel special.  They always gripe about no one coming to Jackson.  Well, here is their chance to change their minds. 

Of course, all they will do is just talk without actually doing anything. 


Anonymous said...

“If Jackson leaders had any sense, which is doubtful, they would get Visit Jackson, the Chamber of Commerce, and other parties together to roll out the welcome mat for MHSAA and make them feel special.”

The welcome mats will be in Ridgeland, Pearl, Flowood, etc. along with good roads and safe places to eat and sleep. Jackson leadership won’t do anything because they haven’t shown they are capable of leading.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kids, would you like to play in an updated facility or in a dump?

Anonymous said...

everything in jackson worth seeing for a tourist is north of i-20 and is a mile or less from i-55. it’s really not that large of an area.

Anonymous said...

The attending fans better put on their bulletproof vests along with their masks.

Anonymous said...

Is that the event that was held there and a group of JPD were hired for security and somehow the whole 250k in receipts disappeared anyway? Then JPD had a questionable shooting about a week later and connections were tossed about then everyone forgot? Or was that a different event held there?

Kingfish said...

Band competition

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we get it, you all need your message boards to post your obsessive comments about Jackson. Visit Jackson might do something in relation to it, but given the significant reduction to their budget due to restaurants being closed or at half capacity and hotel occupancy rates being down (i.e., they are funded by the local tourism tax), such would probably be targeted toward those attending, not to MHSAA, who only put the event temporarily back in Jackson by necessity, not by choice. The Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership represents a 7 county region, not just Jackson. (There is no Jackson only chamber of commerce, despite common misconceptions).

Anonymous said...

Why not just move the games to safe cities like New Orleans or Memphis or maybe even Birmingham since Jackson is so dangerous. And the kids could play in modern facilities that aren't dilapidated like Legion Field.

Anonymous said...

Those that attend these games should make sure their car insurance is up to date.

Busted car windows and auto theft were one of the main reasons Ole Miss & State quit playing
games in Jackson.

Shame On This Organization said...

Whoever made this decision ought to be immediately fired! Period. There are a number of safe high school venues in this state that could host these games. Didn't I just read that this organization has new leadership? If that's the case, fire his ass!

None of the people attending these games (if held at Memorial Stadium) in Jackson would dare to eat, sleep or even stop for gas in the city. Even Academy has moved out, so they'll need to buy ammo in Madison.

Anonymous said...

6:13 I wonder what's the death toll of all those thousands of people who visit and work at UMC everyday and use Memorial Stadium as a parking lot. Must be hundreds of dead and wounded. It's sooooo dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Great, maybe somebody can steal the box office receipts again!

Anonymous said...

“Memorial Stadium offers a unique option because the stadium’s capacity is large enough to accommodate everyone who wants to attend the Gridiron Classic and still be a target for robbery. In addition, Jackson leadership will make every effort to blame all visitors for the woes of this dilapidated city”

Anonymous said...

I agree the city leaders should do more to court events like the state championships but complaints about Memorial Stadium are just pure bullshit.The central location of Jackson is most convenient, there are available hotels and restaurants and no matter what may be happening in some other parts of Jackson the Medical Center area has been relatively safe. I've never heard that people are afraid to go to the medical center because of crime and they use the stadium parking lot. It's a damn good decision and good use of an available facility. If you're scared, stay home.

Anonymous said...

Should note that Don Hinton the High School executive director is retiring at the end of the year. Doesn't have to answer to anybody.

Anonymous said...

7:01 - The employees and student at UMMC have no choice.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, 9:29. The MHSAA appointed Don Hinton's chief lapdog Ricky Neives as the new MHSAA director. The MHSAA conducted an exhaustive search to find someone who could match Don Hinton's level of incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Will there be a shuttle bus from Shakey's Pizza Parlor?

Room With A View said...

9:28 - 'Relatively Safe'? Is that what families look for? A place to take their kids that's 'relatively safe'? Where are these motels and restaurants you mention? Why do you think so many hotels have sprung up in Rankin and Madison Counties within five miles of this stadium. It's because there IS no 'relative safety' in Jackson. Nowhere in Jackson.

Count the shootings and killings that have occurred in Jackson hotel/motel/extended stay places over the past ten years and compare them to those that have (not) occurred in Madison and Rankin counties.

Not counting IHOP that was robbed earlier this week and Church's Chicken, please name the restaurants of which you speak.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, y'all!

Did you not know that after that even Madison's crime rate is increasing? And, given that it's population is small and affluent and it's safety rating has been high, that's the case.

Anonymous said...

11:48 There is no public place in Mississippi that is absolutely safe. At best you must settle for "relative safety". Kids have even been killed in the school room and it wasn't in Jackson. Where was it? There are hotels and motels and restaurants all along the main highway I-55 and even a new hotel in Fondren just yards from Memorial Stadium. People live and work and park their cars in that area every day and are not all dead. No, it is not perfect but it is a reasonable alternative to college stadiums that are not available. Those college stadiums are also only "relatively safe".

If you hate Jackson and the people in it, just say so and stay away, but let other people go about their lives in "relative safety".

Roll Them Dice said...

11:00 - Your argument is real special. There has not been a shooting or knifing at Southern Miss, MSU or Ole Miss in forever. They're a couple of notches above 'relative safety'.

You're attempting to dumb down the definition of personal safety by suggesting 'relative safety' is a goal, when it's not. If you wish to take your family to a venue of 'relative safety' or send your sixteen year old daughter out on a date to a place of 'relative safety', go for it.

Anonymous said...

"People live and work and park their cars in that area every day and are not all dead. "

Well, "not all dead" is good enough for me and my kids.

Thanks for the ringing endorsement, Sparky

Anonymous said...

3:24 Alright, you've made your point. You will probably never take your family to Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Houston,
Dallas, Miami , Birmingham, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Chicago, or at least 50 more American cities that can only provide "relative safety" at best. There's not that much to see in those places anyway.

Play the games and stay in Pearl, where it's safe!

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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).

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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.

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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