Friday Morning Update

Spanning the globe on a Friday morning …

It’s been a tough week for college sports radio in Mississippi.

While one may have been more unexpected than the other it was sad to learn of the passing of both Jack Cristil and Stan Sandroni.

I’ve covered both beats at the Journal though I’ve been on Ole Miss longer. I covered State for six years, and that plus living in Tupelo gave me plenty of time to collect Cristil stories. One of them includes a one-one-one visit with Jack in the hospital in either 1999 or 2000. I was stunned to find only one visitor in Jack’s room when I arrived, and that visitor was leaving. We talked for a few minutes, and then a nurse came in and told him it was time for his walk. The next thing I knew I was walking Jack Cristil down the hospital hall.

I got to know Stan quickly at Ole Miss. Our paths didn’t cross much on Game Day with him on the field and me upstairs. However, I would often catch him on the sideline at the end of the game. You could count on some type of quick and enthusiastic analysis. If the Rebels had done well it might be some of the same analysis he’d shared on the radio. If it had been a bad day for Ole Miss he’d give you some not-for-broadcast analysis. Whichever way it went he gave it with passion.

I strung together a little Twitter tribute for Stan yesterday afternoon. I’m sure more has come in since then. This one bears repeating:

Ole Miss doesn’t have a recent history for great defense, and Dave Wommack, though he coached at South Carolina and Arkansas, is not a household SEC name. For those reasons its possible the Ole Miss defense, as strong as it’s been through two games, could be overlooked by casual observers this season.

It won’t be overlooked by offensive coordinators preparing to face it.

Good read here from Murf Baldwin of SaturdayDownSouth.com on Wommack’s defense. …

Coaches are often criticized for giving second chances to athletes, and there does need to be a line that once crossed can’t be re-crossed.  Obviously those second chances often benefit the coaches.

The benefit the players too, and sometimes stories turn out like this:

I don’t know all that Ken Stabler has done since leaving pro football, but he is now the chairman of the XOXO Stabler Foundation. I also don’t know all there was to know about his college career, but his tweet implies that neither his NFL career nor this foundation would have been around without Bear Bryant’s decision. …

From Nola.com, a look at Saturday’s game between the Cajuns and Ole Miss. …

Washington State coach Mike Leach, formerly of Texas Tech, was on sports talk in Arkansas Thursday. As the Razorbacks prep for a visit to face the Red Raiders here’s how Leach assessed Lubbock, Texas:

Interesting clip here of UCLA coach Jim Mora who appears to be giving the ball boy from Virginia a hard time. I emphasize the word appears because on clips like this you don’t get a before and after. …

Early odds favor Georgia running back Todd Gurley to win the Heisman Trophy. For entertainment purposes only of course. …

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.

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