Thursday, December 22, 2011
Mississippi takes its hits.
Other states like to pick on us. Maybe that’s just because they’re jealous.
When I received a couple of new coffee-table books a few weeks ago from creative director and publisher Neil W. White III, it once again made me realize the terrific talent our state has produced. Our state can put all others to shame when it comes to outstanding writers, entertainers, athletes and more.
One book is “Mississippians II,” a limited second edition with more than 300 new photographs and more than 100 new Mississippians profiled.
The other is “Mississippi’s 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time.”
White’s first edition of “Mississippians” has been a centerpiece of the coffee table at the Burleson house. And we’ve had many guests pick it up, look through the pages and say things like, “Wow, I did not know she was from Mississippi.”
“Mississippians II” is bigger and better – 416 pages.
“It is a celebration of the people of our great state,” White said.
The books starts with Mississippi icons such as Oprah Winfrey and Eudora Welty and wraps up with colorful characters like Holly Springs’ own Paul McLeod, owner of Graceland Too which houses the world’s greatest collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia. By the way, Elvis himself, who was born in Tupelo, is in the book.
In between, you will find actresses like Kate Jackson and actors like Robert Earl Jones, sports greats like Will Clark and Sammy Winder, musicians like Tammy Wynette and Harmontown’s R.L. Burnside, writers like Ace Atkins and Natasha Trethewey, visionaries like Robert Khayat and Rod Paige, journalists like Robin Roberts, William Raspberry and Holly Springs’ own Shepard Smith, plus many, many more.
As for Mississippi’s greatest football players, I best not reveal the one atop the list or any other rankings from two through 100.
But you know outstanding athletes like Brett Favre and Deuce McAllister are featured within the 160 pages. Plus, there’s Adalius Thomas and Tom Goode.
“No other state compares to Mississippi when it comes to football,” publisher Neil White said. “Compiling this list was not only great fun, it was mind-boggling to see how many All-Pros, All-Americans and Hall of Famers this state has produced.”
He said more than 800 former Mississippi players were considered for the rankings.
“We know some folks will disagree with our ranking,” White said, “and we welcome feedback and discussion. Our methodology is thoroughly outlined in the introduction of the book. And our website has a feature where fans can submit their own top-players lists.”
The book also includes the All-Time Mississippi Offense and Defense.
It is available at bookstores across the state or online at Mississippians.com.
Maybe you’ve already finished buying Christmas gifts for this year. If so, purchase “Mississippians II” and “Mississippi’s 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time” for yourself and your coffee table at home.
It will reinforce in your own mind Mississippi’s greatness and it will prove to your out-of-state guests that they’re visiting a special place that produces some of our country’s best talent.
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