Fomer football star pens book

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 13, 1999

Former Ole Miss All-American fullback and NFL kicker Paige Cothren compares writing a book with lining up for a field goal.

&uot;They both take a lot of discipline,&uot; Cothren said Sunday while signing his latest book -&160;An Academy Called Pain – at Cover to Cover. &uot;One is more mind over body.&uot;

Cothren’s latest book, his 19th – is a continuation of his last book, &uot;Walk Carefully Around the Dead,&uot; which was about his playing days at Ole Miss, and former Rebel freshman coach Wobble Davidson.

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&uot;So many guys came to me and said ‘I wish you would have gotten this story in,’ and there were other stories I wanted to tell of what it was like to be a freshman back in the ’50s,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;There was the M Club Iniation and other things like that. People will not believe some of the stories on the M Club.&uot;

One particular story involves a former teammate, George Rhodes.

&uot;George was probably the strongest man to play football in 1949,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;He actually loaded logs by hand. Buster (assistant Rebel coach Buster Poole, Cothren’s uncle) went down there to scout him in Sturgis and came back and told Coach (Johnny) Vaught if he had not gone down there and seen it for himself, he wouldn’t have believed it. George would pick up one end of a log and put it on the truck and then pick up the other end.&uot;

Cothren, a member of the famous Poole family, grew up in Crosby before moving to Natchez, where he played football at Natchez High is senior season.

&uot;The biggest move for me more than anything was moving from Crosby to Natchez,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;I had been reading about guys like Floyd Eppinette and Tony Byrne and they were kind of like my high school heroes. But we were a close team at Natchez and I really enjoyed it.&uot;

Cothren had several stories on the Pooles and says there are more of the same in the latest book.

&uot;But I haven’t touched the hem of the garment on stories about Ray (Poole),&uot; Cothren said.

Cothren said &uot;An Academy Called Pain,&uot;goes along with the adage of &uot;No Pain, No Gain.&uot;

&uot;The other book had short, funny stories,&uot; Cothren said. &uot;This book is more about the culture of ’40s. ’50s and ’60s especially when I played football.

Cothren sold 3,000 books of Walk Carefully Around the Dead.

&uot;I never thought it would lead to another book, but people just kept coming to me telling me other stories,&uot; Cothren said.

Cothren is currently working on a rough draft of his next book, a novel about a retired football player trying to adapt to life after the game.

&uot;It’s about the emotion and mental changes in his life and the ramifications that come from retiring,&uot; Cothren said of the book that will be out next year. &uot;All players go through changes after they step on the football field for the last time.&uot;