Web site lets rivals debate amicably

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

As the old saying goes, welcome to the neighborhood. Or in this case, another old saying could be more appropriate.

There goes the neighborhood.

It’s all inside the Internet message board at www.misslousports.com, the idea of Web master and local businessman Keith Rayborn and perhaps the hottest item in the Miss-Lou since the French.

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With any site of this nature, there’s plenty of jawing going on. This is no different, but only now has the site really taken off &045; not only from those in the Miss-Lou but others in the state and in Louisiana.

What was a small, fledgling site a year ago has turned into a common topic of conversation at any sports function.

The site started April 16, 2001, and had some 6,000 hits its first year. Since then, however, that number has exploded to 68,000 so far.

&uot;And my year isn’t up yet,&uot; Rayborn said. &uot;I’ve got until April 16. It’s really gone crazy. The whole site has taken on a mind of its own. When I first started it, there was about three or four of us. Now you can’t keep up with everybody.&uot;

It’s here where you can meet the regulars &045; there’s keith, joey, tom, Andrew, Walter, Porky, Jo-Jo, beau b, chuck, glenn, Glenn W, Caleb W, hoff and Michael.

Then you’ve got your cast of folks who don’t reveal their identity &045; leaving those on the board to figure it out &045; Doc Fungo, Greenie82, jmw, G.P., smurfdaddy, fan, accs fan, kf51, LA, OBC, curious onlooker, Jeffersonian and a plethora of others.

But the biggest group is the people who log in and don’t post a thing. They just sit back (count me in) and watch as people flare up at one another and go at it over various topics &045; some more heated than others.

Scared? Possibly.

Entertained? You betcha.

&uot;There’s a lot of people that will never say anything,&uot; Rayborn said. &uot;There’s probably five times as many that read it and never say a word. I’m getting 500-700 hits a day. I’ve had people say things about people, ‘I can’t believe they said that.’ Others say they love it. Some people get a kick out of it.&uot;

The biggest way to flare up the number of hits, Rayborn acknowledges, is to heat up a touchy discussion. There have been the classic arguments of ACCS-Trinity Episcopal, MPSA vs. MHSAA, Jackson Prep vs. the rest of the MPSA along with personal jabs at one another that get more people involved.

Things got so heated and personal at one point recently Rayborn cleared the board and rigged it where each post includes the IP number of the user to keep people from posting under different names.

Coaches get on there and trade scouting reports. High school athletes trade jabs at who is the better team. And others just vent over anything else sports.

Just watch what you say.

&uot;I’ve only had one lady complain about me,&uot; Rayborn said. &uot;I had said something on there that I thought Huntington was the better team than Porter’s Chapel and they had a bad game, and that lady from Porter’s Chapel got on me.&uot;

Hey, it’s just like the site reads: Hop on in: the water’s warm.

Just don’t forget to swim.

Adam Daigle

is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3632 or by e-mail at