Ghosts of Ole Miss

Wright Thompson’s 30 for 30 piece on Ole Miss airs tomorrow night at 7 on ESPN.

Here’s a little bit from Thompson on his work on the 1962 Rebels team that won SEC and national championships while the same fall that the entire school wondered about its future during the forced enrollment of James Meredith, the school’s first black student:

“The amazing thing to me is that everybody knows the story of the riots, though I would argue that nobody really knows,” Thompson said. “We’ve all heard it described as a riot, and a riot doesn’t seem like a very big deal. I’ve seen the footage. There are things there that as a Mississippian who did not live through that time are very hard to watch.”

More from Thompson:

“When you see them now, they know why they went undefeated and other teams didn’t. Everyone saw the worst in Mississippi, but those guys, through the way they played and the way they won, could show people the best. To some degree in 1962 – and still – they served to balance out everything else that happened that year.”

More on Ghosts of Ole Miss in Tuesday’s Daily Journal.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Football
  • I knew Ray Gunner, one the two murdered out there that night, Ray went to Yocona School and was a good young man, he and my cousin Charlie should have never had went out there to that HELL HOLE in the first place, That is one of reasons that I hate Ole Miss so badly. I try shaking it off at times to remember the good days, but then this horror keeps popping up and re kindles my dislike and hatred for that university. Guess i will be pulling for Georgia dawgs this week..and from here forward.

    • The truth

      It’s ridiculous that you would hate a university that has done everything in the world to change their perception of a racial MS and to honor the people lost in that horrible time. Shame on you for being the pessimist that so many people have devoted their lives to trying to change. You should really question your moral integrity.

      • What a shame!!!!

      • The Truth: This is the last time I will be addressing this subjuct, but when some hick questions my moral integrity I will respond, Now mr truth:

        Romans 2:1

        King James Version (KJV)

        2 Therefore
        thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for
        wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that
        judgest doest the same things.

        • The truth

          Wow way to try to dodge the fact that you are white trash and probably just another trolling MSU fan. And yes I’m judging you. Just like you judge an entire university for something that was going on in every southern state’s universitys. Sorry I don’t have a cute little scripture to go along with my comment.

          Hotty Toddy Go Rebs!

          • Ghost of Col. Reb

            Its funny how hypicritical Christians like this do exactly what is contrary to biblical teachings and then throw out a bible verse like they live it. JB is an uneducated bigot lost in the 50’s. My daddy protected Merideth, not because it was popular, but because it was the right thing to do. He also graduated from Ole Miss. It wasn’t easy, but doing the right thing isn’t always easy.

  • Is this going to help us our hurt us? I know you media guys say “any publicity is good.” Not sure I agree……How many young athletes may see this and think to themselves…I don’t want to go to a school that had issues of this magnitude regarding this particular subject…..

    • SeattleReb

      Come on, Matt, get a grip on yourself and chill. You ‘HONESTLY’ think that today’s kids/athletes are that naive and shallow that they’d allow an ‘event’ HALF a century ago —-a totally different time & era in our country, sadly—–I thankfully, didn’t grow up during that ‘morbid’ period of intolerance & bigotry so prevelant not only in Mississippi but ALL across the South (as the doc stated). What happened that night occurred over 50 FREAKIN’ YEARS ago. Your comments lead me to say this…….Ever heard of a thing called ‘GOOGLE’?….Provides you with the ability of your fingertip to extract info on all sorts of topics/things that you’d like to know or not know about……suggest you peruse it somtime and give it a whirl…..what you’ll find, should NOT amaze you (I sure hope not); That is, the fact that since all Southern State – Supported Universities THEN had ALL – WHITE student populations which, of course, caused similar racial inadequacies to sizzle and boil-over to varying degrees of consequence………..hateful, violent actions often being the result.

      • I’m not worked up, but a lot of people this day and age had no idea that any of this happened at all, and as some of the ’62 players said in the movie, “I hope you have the right intentions and letting us heal instead of stirring up emotions.”. I had the same questions. I know how I feel, but I don’t feel the same way, or perceive things the same way as everyone else in this beautiful country.

  • Parrish Alford

    Personally, I think the story presented in this manner will be positive. I also know that people may see something like this and choose to interpret it differently. This, however, will be a positive presentation of an Ole Miss historical event.

  • And let’s just be honest, I don’t see 5 star athletes sitting around the house, googling and finding a link to the JFK electronic library that provides even further detail. I do see them sitting on the couch and watching ESPN about 90% of their downtime, which puts a subject in front of their face they would otherwise have no means of knowing. I appreciate your attempt to embarrass and insult my intelligence, however. That helped drive your argument to not only me, but every other barefoot Southerner that you left for the much greener and healthier living in the Great Pacific Northwest. Hotly Toddy kind sir.

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