Rebels have done well after previous Sports Illustrated cover shots|Opinion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2008

Many people believe in jinxes. There is the Chicago Cubs goat, the piano Babe Ruth allegedly tossed into a lake near Boston and the greatest of them all, the Sports Illustrated cover jinx.

For Ole Miss’ sake, let it not come true this time.

Greg Hardy is shown planting Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow on this week’s cover under the huge headline “Rebels Rise.” It’s a deserving piece of recognition for Ole Miss for last Saturday’s defeat of the No. 4 team in the country, a team led by Tebow — college football’s Superman.

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But the jinx …

Ole Miss graced the sports magazine’s cover twice before. On Sept. 14, 1970, it was Archie Manning who appeared on it. The Rebels had gone 4-0 to start the season. They lost to Southern Miss, but won their next three before dropping their final three games.

And in 1962 the Rebellettes were on the cover of the Sept. 24 issue and the team responded with a 10-0 season. Led by former Culkin quarterback Glynn Griffing, the Rebels beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl and earned a national championship.

So maybe the cover jinx does not affect the Rebels as much as others. We’ll find out Saturday against South Carolina.

Fuller sisters had their chance

On Saturday, Brittany and Tiffany Fuller played softball in the same game on opposite teams for the first time in their careers. Rhea, the girls’ father, had envisioned the game coming down to the bottom of the last inning, tied, with the winning run on base. Brittany would be pitching for William Carey University against Tiffany and Gulf Coast Community College.

It almost happened.

Brittany entered to pitch in the seventh inning with Carey holding a 5-2 lead. She retired the first two batters with ease and Tiffany came to the plate with none on and two outs. According to Rhea, “Both girls were smiling at each other and both dugouts were going crazy.”

Carey’s coach called time out and, as Rhea reported, reminded Brittany that she is a senior, the oldest of the sisters and wanted an out to end the game. Then she said to Brittany with a grin, “When I get back to the dugout that smile on your face better be gone.”

On the second pitch, Tiffany hit a shot back to Brittany, who easily recorded the third out.

And one more from the gridiron

Some of the best high school football in Mississippi is played by teams in small towns where the outcome of Friday night’s game will be the talk of the town until next Friday night.

One of those places is Puckett, located on Mississippi 18 southeast of Brandon. The Wolves have played in the last two state championship games and are undefeated heading into Friday night’s showdown at St. Aloysius.

With only one football game in town Friday night, it should be on any football fan’s can’t miss list. It should be a doozy.

Sean P. Murphy is sports editor. He can be reached at