Picking an all-time football team simply unreasonable

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 12, 2005

[12/11/05]

Those familiar with college and professional football are certainly well aware of the phrase, &#8220upon further review.”

Sometimes a play is overturned, other times it’s upheld.

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In the world of picking the best players to ever play in this county, a referee barged into the newsroom, looked at a video replay of all those who were voted as the best.

Then he made his decision.

&#8220Upon further review… we find that picking one team out of 50 years of football players in Warren County is an impossibility. The call has been reversed. First down.”

The referee then disappeared and the game continued.

No members of this sports staff, nor many in the community, will be able to argue with that decision. How does one go about picking 22 players from a list so steeped in football greatness? How does one decide what backfield to start?

Talk to some of the football pioneers in this community and they’ll tell you no running back in the history of Vicksburg was better than Claude King.

Fans of the 1970s will bellow, &#8220Whoa, podnah, not so fast.”

Was Claude King better than James Jones? or Sylvester Stamps? Could he possibly have outrun 1980s All-America running back William Prince or the great Brian Darden of the 1990s? How about St. Aloysius running back Mike Kavanaugh, who rushed for more than 4,000 yards?

The fact is, trying to whittle an already unbelievable list of players into one team, even if the community picked said team, would be too much to accomplish.

Instead, review the four previous eras’ teams with the 1990s (found on page C6 today) and put together a team of your own. Then compare it to a friend’s team and let the arguments begin.

If this project has shown one thing, it’s that the tradition of this grand old game we know as football is as deep as it is storied. Hall of Fame coaches, All-Americans and professional athletes roamed the local fields.

What is most interesting is what these players are doing now. Many have scattered across the country, becoming armed forces veterans, corporate executives and world-renowned musicians.

Many returned home to become coaches, preachers and teachers. Nearly all of them have made significant contributions after the sun set on their football careers.

Vicksburg and Warren County should be filled with pride when talking about this county’s football tradition. It has been building and growing generation after generation after generation. Hopefully, it will continue to grow so the sports editor of this newspaper in 2055 can put together an all-century team.

Who knows who will grace our sidelines over the next half century. If they are as good players, people and citizens as those who graced these pages over the last two months, well, we are in fine shape.