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October 20, 2016

A Title Drought Will End

By bryanflynn

Somebody is going to break a championship drought this year in the MLB playoffs. Every team left hasn’t won a title in 20 or more years.

The Cleveland Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948. That is a drought of 68 years, but the Indians did reach the World Series in 1954, 1995 and 1997. Cleveland’s only other World Series win came in 1920.

In 1954, the New York Giants swept the Indians, winning the title. The Atlanta Braves won their only title during their 1990s dominance of the National League, but sputtered in the World Series against Cleveland. The Indians’ last World Series loss came in 1997 when the Florida Marlins, now the Miami Marlins, won the championship.

Cleveland dispatched the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 in the American League Championship Series and reached this year’s World Series. This is just the sixth AL pennant the Indians have won as a franchise.

Toronto’s title drought will now stretch to 24 years when next season starts. The Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.

Title droughts are also part of the National League Championship Series. The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are tied 2-2 in their best of seven series.

It now comes down to which team can win two out of three games to face Cleveland. Both the Cubs and Dodgers are currently in title droughts.

Los Angeles hasn’t won the World Series since 1988, when the team defeated the Oakland Athletics. That World Series is memorable for the Dodgers Kirk Gibson limping around the bases after hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and winning game one.

That 1988 World Series is also known for the Los Angeles pitcher Orel Hershiser’s pitching dominance. In game five of the series, Hershiser pitched a complete game that finished off the A’s for the title.

But it has been 28 years since that World Series win, and the Dodgers haven’t won or even been back to a Fall Classic. Los Angeles is looking for its 22nd NL pennant and a possible seventh World Series win.

Nearly everyone knows that Chicago hasn’t won a World Series since 1908. The Cubs only have two World Series titles won back-to-back in 1907 and 1908. That is a drought of 108 years.

And the “lovable loser” Cubs haven’t been to a World Series since 1945. That’s 71 years since they even reached the World Series.

Chicago is looking for its 17th pennant and possible third World Series win. This could be the year that everything lines up for this “cursed” franchise.

More than likely, most fans, both casual and hardcore, would love to see the Indians and the Cubs in the World Series—two tortured franchises with heart-breaking losses in the postseason that can lead to years of therapy for any fan.

Who fans will root for is interesting in and of itself. Cleveland just ...

October 20, 2016

Former JPD Officer Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison

By Tim Summers Jr.

Verbatim from the Department of Justice:

"Jackson, Miss – Bryan Jones, 45, of Jackson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dan Jordan to 27 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for extortion by use of his position as a police officer, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway.

While working as a JPD officer, Jones violated the Hobbs Act by taking cash during a stop from undercover FBI agents and never recording or placing the money in Jackson Police Department evidence. At the time of the stop, Jones was carrying his service pistol holstered on his belt and driving his patrol car.

A confidential source called Jones in order to provide him with the location where he would find who Jones thought was a drug dealer but was really an undercover agent. Jones, acting in his capacity as a police officer, conducted illegal searches and seized $4,000 and $5,000, respectively. He later split the money with the confidential source and never recorded the money or turned it over to the Jackson Police Department.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Jackson Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Helen Wall and Erin Chalk."

October 20, 2016

Watch Marvel's Doctor Strange Premiere Live

By Todd Stauffer

Marvel's Doctor Strange is coming to the big screen, beginning with a premiere in Hollywood. Watch the AP stream live here.

October 18, 2016

Goldberg Returns to WWE

By bryanflynn

As human beings, we love nostalgia. We love TV series from our youth and get excited about “Twin Peaks” and “Gilmore Girls,” among other shows now getting a breath of new life.

We love listening to music that is considered classic, like those 1990s hits from my high school and college years. We get excited about new sequels such as “Independence Day: Resurgence” that come 20 years after the original.

Our love of the past is why, to wrestling fans, the signing of Sting to the WWE was such a big deal. Then you see his match with Triple H at WrestleMania 31. The match was full of nostalgia, with members of DX and the NWO making appearances.

But the match also showed that the Sting of 2015 wasn’t the Sting of our youth. The WrestleMania match needed all the outside interference because neither him nor Triple H were same men they used to be during Monday Night Wars.

If the WrestleMania match wasn’t enough to convince anyone that Sting was done in the ring, watching his match with Seth Rollins confirmed it. The match between Rollins and Sting wasn’t very good and that was before Sting’s neck was injured by Rollins’ botched powerbomb into the turnbuckle.

Sting was forced to retire after the match, once the injury revealed he suffers from cervical spinal stenosis, a neck condition that could leave him paralyzed or dead if he keeps performing in the ring.

Professional wrestlers normally have long careers, with some working in the ring until they reach their 70s. That doesn’t mean wrestlers should still be in the ring.

Sting was 55 years old when he joined the WWE. That was the last major draw from WCW to join the company. His best years were behind him and not in front of him.

Father time catches up to us all. The Undertaker really shouldn’t be in the ring anymore, and he is nowhere near the wrestler we grew up watching. His last couple of WrestleMania matches were only watchable because that is the only time of year he shows up.

His match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX is mainly remembered for Lesnar winning and breaking Undertaker’s streak of 20-0 at the event. The match was just alright at best and is only notable because Taker lost.

Undertaker is 51 years old and looks to be done after this past year’s WrestleMania 32. It would be shocking if he showed up for WrestleMania 33.

Now comes the return of Bill Goldberg. It has been more than 12 years since Goldberg was in a WWE ring. His last match was against Lesnar at WrestleMania XX.

Goldberg, for those who don’t know, was a professional football player before injuries cut his career short. He was once one of the biggest stars of the Monday Night Wars, as WCW inflated his win streak to 173-0.

Last night (Oct. 17), the ...

October 17, 2016

Sanderson Farms Championship is One Week Away

By bryanflynn

One of the biggest sporting events of the year returns next week. Central Mississippi will host the PGA Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson.

Tournament week begins on Monday, Oct. 24, but the general public won’t be allowed on the grounds until Wednesday, Oct. 26, which is the Allen Exploration Pro-AM.

This year’s Pro-Am features two former professional athletes. Former football player Herschel Walker and baseball player Paul Maholm will play when the Pro-Am tees off at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Walker played college football at the University of Georgia, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1982 and was a three-time All-American. The Dallas Cowboys drafted him in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft, shortly before the USFL folded that same year.

He played for Dallas until 1989, when the Cowboys traded him to the Minnesota Vikings. The trade was the start of the Cowboys’ 1990s Super Bowl runs as the Vikings struggled.

Walker played in the NFL until he retired at the end of the 1997 season. While still active in the NFL, the star running back competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics.

Since retiring, he took on two Mixed Martial Arts fights and won both. At age 54, Walker is still in fantastic shape.

Maholm, a Holly Springs native who won an amateur golf tournament when he was 14, was a three-time letterman at Mississippi State University and an All-American in 2003. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him that year with the eighth overall pick.

The star pitcher spent time with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers before his career ended in 2015.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Sanderson Farms Championship begins when gates open at 7 a.m., and first tee at 7:40 a.m. The full field of 132 players won’t be announced until Friday, Oct. 21, but several players have already committed to the tournament.

Five former tournament winners will be in the field including 2015 winner Peter Malnati. The other four champions are Nick Taylor (2014 champion), Chris Kirk (2011 champion), D.J. Trahan (2006 champion) and Cameron Beckman (2001 champion).

Several notable names will be in the field, including two-time major winners Angel Cabrera and Retief Goosen. Cabrera won the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters, and Goosen won the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open. Other major winners in the field are Stewart Clink, the winner of the 2009 British Open, Lucas Glover, winner of the 2009 U.S. Open, and David Toms, winner of the 2001 PGA Championship.

Several notable names committed to playing are Boo Weekley, Ricky Barnes, Stuart Appleby and Ben Crane. Former University of Mississippi standout and Brandon, Miss. native Jonathan Randolph is also committed to playing.

Friday the tournament opens at 7 a.m. with morning tee times beginning at 7:40. The field will be cut down on Friday with the tournament resuming ...

October 17, 2016

MDEQ Issues Water Contact Advisory for Terrapin Skin Creek in Rankin County

By Tim Summers Jr.

Verbatim Release from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality:

"(JACKSON, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a water contact advisory Monday for a segment of Terrapin Skin Creek in Rankin County. The advisory extends on the creek from just above Highway 80 in Brandon to where it crosses Highway 18 (see attached map).

MDEQ recommends that people avoid water contact such as swimming, wading, and fishing in that section of the creek. People should also avoid eating fish or anything else taken from these waters until further notice. MDEQ will monitor the water quality in the creek and will revise the advisory as needed.

The advisory is being issued due to a break in a small, four inch line from a commercial building that is discharging sewage into Terrapin Skin Creek. In addition, the creek is backflowing this water into the city’s main sewer line. The city is excavating this line to determine the extent of the problem and make repairs. MDEQ will remain in contact with city officials and adjust the advisory if necessary."

October 17, 2016

Lil Wayne-2Chainz Collab Comes to JSU

By micah_smith

Two current titans in hip-hop are headed for Jackson.

Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz are currently on tour in support of their collaborative album, "Collegrove," a portmanteau of the neighborhoods where the two rappers grew up, 2 Chainz's College Park near Atlanta and Lil Wayne's Holly Grove in New Orleans, La.

The tour stops in Jackson on Wednesday, Oct. 26, for a performance at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Building at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). The concert coincides with JSU's homecoming weekend and also features a performance from Jackson-native rapper Silas, who garnered national media attention last year with his single, "Gullah Gullah Island."

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $65, and VIP tickets are $100. To purchase tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit

October 14, 2016

USM Looks to go 2-0 Against The SEC

By bryanflynn

Next week the University of Southern Mississippi will host Marshall University for homecoming. But before the team can start to enjoy the festivities, it must first get past a showdown against Louisiana State University.

LSU is spending a good deal of time in the news this football season, and most of it is for what is not happening on the field. The Tigers have fired their head coach Les Miles, former Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette has spent most of the season injured, and LSU and the University of Florida have been fighting about a makeup date over a cancelled game.

Miles shouldn’t have been fired after a 2-2 start in the first four games. Where are the Tigers going to find a coach that will average 10 wins a year now? Former University of Mississippi coach Ed Orgeron is now the head Tiger and gets to make his case to keep the job after the season.

At this point, Fournette should shut himself down and get ready for the NFL draft. The running back has been injured for most of the last two seasons. He needs to heal up and show out at the combine. If he does play again this season, it will be just to show the folks at the next level his commitment and ability to get back on the field after injury.

Florida gave up a home game, and both schools have to buyout their Nov. 19 foes, but they will play. In the end, the Gators will need this game more than the Tigers if Tennessee loses to Alabama on Saturday and if UF can beat Georgia later.

Now, to LSU against USM.

This is an interesting match up.

Southern Miss is coming off a game where the University of Texas, San Antonio burned USM’s defense for 532 yards. The Golden Eagle defense wasn’t much of a “Nasty Bunch” as just plain nasty against the Roadrunners.

Much like the other loss this season against Troy University, USM started slow on offense, was sloppy on both sides of the ball and couldn’t cover or tackle on defense. When they go against LSU, the Golden Eagles can’t play the way they didn’t against Troy and UTSA and still have a chance to win.

USM scores 40.2 points per game, and LSU scores 25.2 points. On the flipside, the Golden Eagles’ defense is allowing 27 points per game, and the Tigers only allow 14.8 points.

The question is which team can reach its average. LSU struggles on offense and won’t have Fournette against USM.

Southern Miss can put up points, but can the Golden Eagles’ offense put up enough points on a very stout LSU defense? The Tigers struggle to score on offense and make it a struggle for foes to score on defense.

While LSU won’t have Fournette, it will have Derrius Guice at running back. This season, Guice has run for 402 ...

October 14, 2016

Factchecking Mississippi Governor Comments on Clinton, Abortion and Religion

By adreher

Gov. Phil Bryant says Constitutional rights are at risk this presidential election, in an email sent from the Mississippi GOP. "The next President will fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacancy and will likely appoint three or four additional Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Putting liberals on the court could set back the conservative movement by decades," the email says.

"We know what kind of Supreme Court Justices Hillary Clinton would appoint if she were elected President," the email continues. "And she has not been bashful about it either when she’s said."

The email then lists the following three quotes from Clinton:

1) “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment [referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, which affirmed individual gun rights]. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

2) “The unborn person does not have constitutional rights.”

3) “Deep-seated religious beliefs have to be changed.”

For some fact-checks and context around those quotes, see below:

"Far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive healthcare and safe childbirth. All the laws we've passed don't count for much if they're not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century."

The deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases Clinton referenced in this speech had everything to do with ...

October 14, 2016

JSU Look to Win Three Straight

By bryanflynn

Jackson State University got off to a rough start at the beginning of the Tony Hughes era with three losses out of the gate.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas pounded the Tigers 63-13 in the season opener. UNLV had the game well in hand at the half with a 42-7 lead, and JSU got outscored 21-3 in the second half.

The team looked to have righted the ship in the first half against Tennessee State University with a 23-19 lead at the break. The second half was another matter, as TSU outscored the Tigers 21-0 and won 40-23.

Entering SWAC play, Grambling State University jumped out to a huge 28-0 lead in the third quarter. JSU added a touchdown in the third and another in the fourth, but GSU’s lead was too large to overcome in the end.

The first win of the season came in the fourth game against the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. JSU jumped out to a 25-10 lead at halftime with a 71-yard interception helping the Tigers build it.

UAPB began a comeback in the second half, as the team scored 10 points in the third quarter and cut the JSU lead down to 25-20. The Tigers added a late third-quarter touchdown, sealing the 32-20 victory.

JSU looked to begin a winning streak against Mississippi Valley State University. The Tigers fell behind 7-0 early in the first quarter against an inspired Delta Devils team. JSU added a field goal late in the quarter, cutting the deficit to 7-3.

MVSU made another touchdown in the middle of the second quarter, building the lead to 14-3. JSU scored 13 points in a furious rally before halftime, taking a 16-14 lead.

Neither team could score in the second, so the Tigers notched the second season win. JSU, which is currently at 2-1 in the conference, owns first place in the SWAC East, with Alcorn State University in second at 2-2.

The team comes off a bye week and looks to win its third straight game for first time since 2013, when the Tigers won six straight. During the winning streak, the Grambling State game ended up being cancelled after the GSU players began boycotting athletic department conditions.

In the SWAC East, it looks like a two-horse race between JSU and ASU. Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University are both 1-4 in SWAC play, and MVSU is 0-4 in conference play.

If you throw out the UNLV game, JSU has been outscored 45-24 in the second half. In SWAC play, the Tigers have been outscored 69-62.

The second-half struggles cost JSU wins against Tennessee State and nearly allowed UAPB’s comeback. Finishing games in the second half might be the difference from reaching the SWAC Championship game or watching Alcorn State play in it again.

JSU hosts Southern University this weekend as it looks for win number three. The Jaguars ...

October 12, 2016

Gov. Bryant Hosts Reception for the Heritage Foundation

By adreher

Gov. Phil Bryant hosted former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) and representatives from the Heritage Foundation at the Governor's Mansion on Tuesday night for a reception in Gov. Bryant's honor for receiving the prestigious Conservative Leadership Award, an honor he received for signing House Bill 1523 into law (even though it didn't actually become law) last month in Washington, DC.

“I am humbled to be recognized as a Conservative Leader by this outstanding organization. It's the greatest professional honor of my career," Bryant said in a press release from the Mississippi GOP. "Standing together, we can right America and make it that shining city on a hill once more. Mississippi has become a beacon to the rest of the nation.”

Demint is the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, which has managed to influence many of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's policy platforms and U.S. Supreme Court nominee list. Demint left Congress back in 2012 to take his role as president of the foundation.

"I'm leaving the Senate now, but I'm not leaving the fight. I've decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas," Demint said in a statement in 2012.

Part of that "fight in the conservative movement" came to Mississippi during the 2016 legislative session when the Mississippi Legislature passed House Bill 1523. Demint wrote an article (posted on the Daily Signal, the media arm of the Heritage Foundation) praising Gov. Bryant's "courage" back in April for signing the bill into law.

October 12, 2016

Cheers from (Some) Mississippi Trump fans: 'Why did we ever give the vote to women and blacks?'

By Donna Ladd

The conservative Heritage Foundation came to Jackson last night for a shindig at Gov. Phil Bryant's mansion a block from the Jackson Free Press.

Apparently, at least one conversation happened there between a Crystal Springs, Miss., man and the former U.S. senator from South Carolina who now heads Heritage, which plays footsy with Donald Trump.

Afterward, Ford Crews, who lists himself on his Facebook page as a web developer, posted public comments about what he told DeMint at the mansion under a public post by Charles C. Johnson, a conservative and sometimes controversial journalist and pundit. Johnson had posted a FiveThirtyEight graphic showing that the vast majority of the country would go for Trump if women didn't vote, following a national trend on Twitter today to #repealthe19th (giving women the right to vote). "This would be a better world," Johnson wrote at the top.

Crews agreed, writing below: "I was at a The Heritage Foundation event at the Mississippi governors mansion, and one of the things I talked about with Jim DeMint was how we need to work to get more men out to vote, and encourage women to stay home, because of how overwhelmingly one sided women's support of regressive ideas is. Sadly when women stay home, conservatives win, when they get pissed off and go vote, they not only vote for democrats, they take their sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and try to push them to vote for democrats. This whole Trump tape dump was nothing more that a way to piss women of so they go vote against Trump."

Other commenters, male and female, unloaded on women's apparent stupidity underneath that post. "[W]ish I could disagree, but after seeing some of their comments—women who don't know the difference between men trash talking among themselves and actual rape are too stupid to vote," Jennifer Verner wrote.

James Flynn advised: "If she wins if a woman wants a favor. Tell them to ask Hillary."

Then this exchange. "Without the votes of women would FDR have been elected? All the suffering liberals have inflicted on this country can be traced back to women voting liberal," Scotty Collins offered.

"I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been, Carter, Clinton and Obama sure wouldn't have been," Crews answered.

"Women are emotional creatures and most vote with their emotions and not logically," Nancy Bennett added.

Then Craig Kerr red-baited women, and slammed us for Prohibition. "First thing women voting gave us was Prohibition. Then they moved on to cultural Marxism," he said.

"I'm a woman and I totally agree. Women are destroying the west," Zita Norte added.

Susan Klassen agreed: "The majority of women vote based on emotion, not logic, and are grossly uninformed or misinformed. They look at govt as a charity. There are of course, exceptions. I am one of them. But before I educated myself via AM talk radio, starting with Rush, I thought I was a liberal. Studying the Bible at the same time gave ...

October 11, 2016

Rebels Still Have A Shot at Winning SEC West

By bryanflynn

The University of Mississippi is the highest ranked two-loss team in the nation in both polls. The team is No. 12 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 13 in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll.

Florida State, ranked No. 14 in the AP and No. 16 in the Coaches, is the next two-loss team in the rankings. The University of Oklahoma, the third best two-loss team, is ranked No. 19 in the AP and No. 20 in Coaches.

The Rebels’ road opponent this weekend, the University of Arkansas, is the last two-loss team ranked in both polls. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 22 in both the AP and Coaches polls.

Just like the Rebels, Arkansas boasts two quality losses, with defeats to the undefeated University of Alabama and Texas A&M University. UM has lost to Florida State and Alabama, with the Crimson Tide still undefeated, and FSU with loses to the University of Louisville and the University of North Carolina.

Even with the two losses, the Rebels are still alive in the SEC. UM needs to win out and have Alabama lose twice along the way.

The good news is Alabama gets the University of Tennessee and Texas A&M in back-to-back weeks. The Tide must still face Louisiana State University and an improving Auburn University in the Iron Bowl at the end of the season.

Arkansas is part of a tough three-game stretch for the Rebels. UM to LSU next and hosts Auburn to close out October.

A nearly sure win against Georgia Southern University begins Nov. 05. If the Rebels don’t stumble their way out of October, a major showdown looms on Nov. 12 against Texas A&M.

UM finishes the season at defensive-minded but offensively challenged Vanderbilt University and in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State University. That’s a tough stretch to close the season, but every team in the SEC faces a similar stretch at this point.

Lets just hope the Rebels did a better job with their two weeks to prepare for its game against Arkansas than MSU did with its two weeks before it played Auburn. The biggest story was Rebel quarterback Chad Kelly rushing the field during his brother’s high-school game back in Buffalo, N.Y.

It should be exciting when the Razorbacks and Rebels meet up.

Last year’s score was 53-52 and included overtime, a crazy fourth-and-25 lateral and a two-point conversion for the win. These teams have a history of playing some wild games when they get together.

Recently, Arkansas has gotten the better of UM in this series. The Razorbacks have won four of the last six and seven of the last 11 meetings.

While the Razorbacks haven’t beat MSU the last four years, they have been in the heads of the Rebels, including a 30-0 victory in 2014.

Against LSU, the Rebels are 4-4 in its last eight ...

October 11, 2016

AG Hood Recovers $33 Million, Wants to Use Funds to Offset Budget Cuts

By adreher

The attorney general's office recovered $33.95 million and delivered that money to the state Treasury on Monday. In a press release, Attorney General Jim Hood encouraged the Mississippi Legislature to use the money to offset budget shortfalls for vital state services.

“Hopefully, this will undo some of the damage inflicted to agency budgets because of state leaders’ untimely devotion to tax breaks for big businesses,” Hood said in the release. “Those misguided corporate tax cuts along with the problems associated with Senate Bill 2362 and the Legislature’s mathematical error have led to a reduction of beds at the State Hospital, layoffs at the Department of Revenue and the Forestry Commission, and closure of National Guard armories. Lawmakers will fall far short of collecting the $188 million that they anticipated collecting in the special funds sweep, and I’m concerned that there are more significant budget cuts ahead.”

The majority of the $33,951,305 is from a judgment against pharmaceutical manufacturer Sandoz Inc., which defrauded the state by manipulating the prices it charged for its drugs to the state Medicaid program.

October 10, 2016

Hopes for Bowl Dim at MSU But Still Alive

By bryanflynn

Rarely do you see a game turn as quickly and suddenly as the game between Mississippi State University and Auburn University on Saturday, Oct. 8. It looked like the Bulldogs would take advantage of their two weeks to prepare for the Tigers.

Auburn’s first drive ended when MSU intercepted a tipped pass. One might think that is where the game turned, but it wasn’t until after the Bulldogs went on offense that the Tigers began their stride.

Auburn forced MSU to try a field goal after that interception, and the kicking game came up lame for head coach Dan Mullen. Another missed field goal, after a missed field goal lost the University of South Alabama game, turned this game.

In their next three drives, the Tigers went nine plays for 80 yards, 12 plays for 79 yards and 12 plays for 60 yards. All three drives resulted in Auburn touchdowns to build a 21-0 lead.

Here is how the rest of the Bulldogs’ drives went for the first half: three plays and punt, seven plays and a lost fumble, three plays and a lost fumble, three plays and punt, six plays and punt, one play and a lost fumble for an Auburn touchdown, and one play at the end of the half.

Auburn had one more touchdown drive before the sack-fumble by the Bulldogs. At the half, the Tigers led 35-0, and it was really all they would need for the rest of the game.

MSU, with two weeks to prepare, couldn’t tackle, stop the run or cover receivers, and it didn’t look like the Bulldogs knew where to line up at times on defense. Auburn also whipped the Bulldogs’ offensive line most of the game on defense.

The Tigers got pressure with their front four on the defense as the five Bulldogs offensive lineman struggled to keep a clean pocket. MSU’s play-calling was questionable at best throughout most of the first half.

Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald didn’t seem to have anything going for him against Auburn. His throws were poor, by and large, and when he did have a good throw, the receiver would end up dropping it.

MSU wide receiver Fred Ross had a game to forget. Ross fumbled a couple of punts, which the Bulldogs recovered, and he might have dropped more passes in this game than he has during his entire college career.

The Bulldogs looked like they were just going through the motions on Saturday, and the Tigers took them behind the woodshed for their lack of focus. Auburn racked up 432 yards on offense and didn’t do much in the second half, and the Tigers limited MSU to just 298 yards on offense.

Auburn was six for 13 on third downs and averaged 11.3 yards per pass and 4.1 yards per rush. The statistics don’t tell the full story since Auburn was so far out in front that they really ...

October 10, 2016

State Political Leaders React to Donald Trump's 'Locker Room Talk,' Second Debate

By adreher

After the Washington Post released a 2005 video recording of Donald Trump and Billy Bush having a lewd conversation about permissible ways to treat women, several former Trump supporters backed away from their endorsements. Among these politicians were Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and two Alabama members of Congress.

Mississippi political leaders, however, did not back off their endorsements. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves did tweet his disapproval with Trump's remarks on Oct. 8.

"As a dad of girls, @realdonaldtrump's remarks on video are reprehensible and outside the bounds of decency. I hope his apology is sincere," Reeves tweeted on Oct. 8.

Trump issued an apology in a short video later, but defended the discussion as "locker room talk" in the second presidential debate on Sunday.

The Mississippi Democratic Party released a statement in response to Trump's views on sexual assault last Friday.

"It was revealed this afternoon that the Republican presidential nominee continues to hold astonishing views about how he can get away with sexual assault. Yet, not a single Republican statewide or legislative leader has called his actions deplorable," the statement says. "America deserves better leadership than this, and voters should remember his words when they vote on November 8th."

Following the debate, Gov. Phil Bryant did not back off his endorsement of Trump, and on Facebook, he said issues like repealing Obamacare and appointing judges to the U.S. Supreme Court were at stake in the election.

"Tonight, Donald Trump focused on issues important to the American people -- securing our borders, rebuilding our economy and repealing and replacing Obamacare. Bill Clinton was correct when he called it the craziest thing in the world. It was good to see most of this debate centered on things that are important to Americans," Bryant said in a Facebook post on Sunday. "Hillary Clinton spent the evening proposing the same policies that have failed for 30 years, including appointing liberal judges to the Supreme Court who would advance the Left's agenda rather than respect the Constitution. Most conservatives understand this election is about the United States Supreme Court and the future of our country."

Thus far, no state political leaders who formally endorsed Trump have swayed in their support of the Republican presidential candidate. The deadline for Mississippians to register to vote was on Saturday.

October 7, 2016

One Blowout to Rule Them All

By bryanflynn

One-sided games are not unusual in college football. Nearly every season has a few games where the score gets lopsided in favor of one team.

In 1916, one of the biggest blowouts in college football took place, and today is the 100th anniversary of that mauling. The game involved the Georgia Institute of Technology and Cumberland College.

Georgia Tech rolled to an amazing 222-0 win over Cumberland. The Yellow Jackets scored 63 points in the first quarter alone.

But why did Georgia Tech pour it on Cumberland? And why was the game so one-sided?

The second question is easier to answer than the first. Cumberland dissolved its football team in 1915 but failed to properly notify Georgia Tech that it was cancelling the game.

Then-head coach of the Yellow Jackets John Heisman threatened to sue Cumberland for $3,000, roughly $65,000 in today’s dollars, if the tiny college from Lebanon, Tenn., cancelled the game.

Instead, a student manager put together a team of 13 players that consisted mostly of fraternity brothers to head to Atlanta and fulfill the contract obligations.

The myth of why Heisman wanted to play the game so badly was that Cumberland beat the Yellow Jacket’s baseball team, which Heisman also coached, 22-0 in the spring of 1915. He even threw in $500 (worth about $11,000 in today’s dollars) and paid the travel expenses for the Cumberland team he was about to slaughter.

Georgia Tech scored on its first play of the game, and Cumberland fumbled on its first play, which the Yellow Jackets recovered for a score. That was how the matchup went—Georgia Tech would need only one to three plays to score and forced Cumberland into 15 turnovers.

The Yellow Jackets led 126-0 at halftime. Heisman showed some mercy, allowing the teams to play the third and fourth quarters at 12 minutes instead of the normal 15 minutes.

Georgia Tech scored on every single one of its possessions, tallying 32 touchdowns. Cumberland had six interceptions, nine fumbles and zero first downs.

The Yellow Jackets racked up 501 yards of total offense on just 29 offensive plays with 20 first downs. Cumberland finished with negative-28 yards, and the team’s main offensive highlight was a 10-yard pass completion on a fourth-and-22 play.

Cumberland has shuttered its football program five times at various points, despite being a college-football powerhouse at one point. In 1903, the team finished with a 6-1-1 record after a spectacular run of beating the University of Alabama, Tulane University and Louisiana State University by a combined 113-0 score in the span of six days. Cumberland’s only loss was a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Sewanee, and its lone tie came in an 11-11 game against Clemson.

That season, Cumberland met Clemson University in the championship game of the former Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which contained teams that later formed the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference. Cumberland now ...

October 7, 2016

Community Leaders Call on Gov. Bryant to Apologize During 'Racial Reconciliation Month'

By adreher

Community leaders will hold a press conference at the Mississippi State Capitol next week to call on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to issue an apology to Mississippians during “Racial Reconciliation Month”.

They are asking Gov. Bryant to apologize for his refusal to back the removal of the Confederate symbol from the Mississippi flag, and for his declaration of the month of April as "Confederate Heritage Month," a press release says.

Duvalier Malone, a Mississippi native, who was a part of the Take It Down America movement, which culminated in a rally in Washington, DC to bring awareness to the Mississippi state flag, is helping to organize the press conference next Thursday, October 13 at the Capitol at 11 a.m.

In order for any reconciliation to take place, the Governor and the state of Mississippi must first join the rest of America in the denunciation of the Confederate emblem, and all that it stands for, Malone said in a press release. Malone has spoken on how hate crimes link the Confederate symbol to the swastika, the emblem of Nazi Germany.

“It's time for us to recognize that although the Confederate symbol and the Nazi symbol originate from different countries," he said in a press release. "They are equals in terms of hate, intolerance and bigotry.”

October 6, 2016

A Lot Has Changed Since 1908

By bryanflynn

It might be a challenge to find anyone who happened to be alive the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, meaning it has been 108 years since the team last won it all.

The last time the Cubs were even in the World Series was 1945. Chicago has waited 71 years to see a Cubs team in the championship series.

To put those 108 years in perspective, there were only 46 states and 65 sovereign nations, and the president was Theodore Roosevelt. MLB only had 16 teams, compared to the 30 teams today.

The highest-paid MLB player was Nap Lajoie, who made just $8,500 (that would be $210, 678 in today’s dollars) that season. MLB players salaries now average $4.4 million.

The average ticket price to see a game was just 25 cents (that would be 6.20 in today’s dollars) in 1908. Today, a ticket will cost you an average of $44.81.

There wasn’t even a NFL, NBA or NHL when the Cubs last won the World Series. Baseball was America's game, but football has since been dethroned it.

Every Chicago team in the four major sports but the Cubs have won a championship: the Chicago White Sox (two titles), Blackhawks (six titles), Bulls (six titles) and Bears (nine titles).

The Braves have won the World Series in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta since the Cubs won it all. Of the teams founded after the Cubs’ last World Series win, the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks have won one or more titles.

Even long-suffering teams have broken out of their funk while the Cubs have waited for another title. The New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shed their loser labels by winning a Super Bowl, and the Golden State Warriors became good again en route to a title.

A few “curses” have been lifted since the Cubs’ 1908 win. Most notably, the Boston Red Sox have won three World Series, starting with the epic 2004 title, followed by the 2007 and 2014 titles.

In 1994 the New York Rangers broke their own curse and won the Stanley Cup. The biggest curse to be lifted recently happened for the whole city of Cleveland when the Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals.

The Cubs have their own curse, “The Curse of the Billy Goat” that occurred during the 1945 World Series. A lot written has been written about the curse, but the jest of the matter is that the team insulted Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis’ goat, so Sianis cursed the ball club.

That was the final World Series appearance for the Cubs, and the club has become known as “loveable losers” ever since the curse.

But things could change this year. The Cubs won 103 games, the most in MLB ...

October 6, 2016

Saints Still Alive For The Playoffs

By bryanflynn

Normally at 1-3 heading into their bye week, you would think the New Orleans Saints’ season would be over. Since the playoff format changed in 1990, only 14 percent of 1-3 teams have made the playoffs. That number works out to 183 teams. Last season, the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs made the playoffs after a 1-3 start.

Remember, I said normally. This season, 13 teams in the league currently have a 1-3 record. That is nearly half the league, and if you add teams that are 2-2, that number balloons to 18 teams.

Currently only 14 have a winning record, and only three are still undefeated. Except for the 3-1 Atlanta Falcons, every team in the NFC South has a 1-3 record like the Saints.

New Orleans still has seven 1-3 teams left on the schedule, including the both, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice. The Saints also play the .500 Kansas City Chiefs for eight games against teams .500 or under at this point in the season.

That leaves four teams with a winning record on the schedule. Those teams are the undefeated Denver Broncos and three teams at 3-1 in the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons.

If the Saints beat all the teams at .500 or below left on their schedule, they would finish 9-7 on the season. Right now in the NFC, nine teams that have a .500 record are worse.

Unless the 3-1 Falcons run away with the NFC South, chances are, the Saints are still alive in their division. The Carolina Panthers, last year’s Super Bowl loser who are also at 1-3, could come back, as well, to take the NFC South.

I know what you're thinking: How can the Saints still have any playoff chance with their defense? It’s true that New Orleans has the 32nd ranked defense with 32.5 points per game.

But the rest of the NFC South isn’t much better. Tampa Bay is 31st with 32 points per game, Atlanta is 29th with 31 points per game, and Carolina is 28th with 29.5 points per game.

The Saints have the fourth-ranked offense with 28.5 points per game. Atlanta has the best offense in the league at 38 points per game, Carolina is sixth with 27.3 points per game, and Tampa Bay is 25th with 19.3 points per game.

Let’s look at this as a glass-half-full situation. New Orleans has been this bad on defense with an extreme number of injuries. The Saints, in theory, should get better on defense as the season goes along, and they begin to see defensive player return.

There is hope for the defense if it can get players back and play like it did in the second half against the Chargers. New Orleans outscored San Diego 21-10 in the second half and forced timely turnovers.

Right now, New Orleans ...