State wins amid tough conditions

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

That’s Mississippi State making all that racket on the basketball courts lately. Some of that racket, of course, was made in losses. But what I’m getting at is that State snapped a losing streak last Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., when the Bulldogs took Arkansas 77-70.

Actually, State didn’t exactly mow ’em down (the Razorbacks, I mean) in the trip to Arkansas’ home court, but a 21-1 overall and 10-1 SEC record implies quite a lot in my book. And don’t forget that Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury is almost always full-time competitive wherever he plays, no matter the opponent.

No team hardly ever goes in expecting to lose for sure, but Mississippi State had to dread playing the Razorbacks way up in Arkansas where they’re always mean. In fact, the Razorbacks scratched back to within 73-65 when Jonathan Nodica canned a 17-footer at the 2:31 mark.

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It was &8220;look out&8221; time, but Mississippi State wouldn’t cringe. Frazier continued to lead by canning four-of-four free throws during the end with just over a minute remaining, and you know that helped State. Modica then hit Arkansas’ ninth 3-pointer of the night, but State still didn’t run and hide.

Arkansas likes to beat State or Ole Miss in anything, so you can imagine how happy the Bulldogs were to take the Razorbacks.

Ole Miss, meantime, eased past Auburn in Oxford 72-68. It wasn’t as easy and it wasn’t expected, either. The Tad Smith Coliseum crowd of 5,373 roared its approval.

&8220;The gun&8221; in this instance happened to be Aaron Harper, who canned 21 of his 30 points in the second half. Ole Miss has now won four home games in a row, so the home court has helped some. Evidently.

Better watch this SEC basketball when you can. It ain’t bad a-tall.

Irvin Favre died recently on the Coast. He was the father of Brett Favre, outstanding All-Pro quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Nuff said &045; he’s got it.

But it’s not enough said: After all, Irvin Favre was his now-famous son Brett’s high school football coach. Sometimes that’s not so good &045; dad doing the coaching. But he was a coaching-dad that recognized his own son’s potential, so he coached him accordingly, and Brett &8220;was full of it when he got here,&8221; one Packer coach remarked.

They say that coach Favre’s personality left a last impression of his son, who, incidentally, sought no special attention from his dad in high school.

Brett’s tough as nails, and that’s one thing that serves him well. Quarterbacks take a lot of punishment, as all of us know, so you can bet his dad Irvin stressed toughness on the part of his leader-son in high school.

Of course, some have it and some don’t, and for the record, Brett has it. Don’t you just love to like father-son combinations like the Favre’s?

Fine athletes like Brett Favre surface all over the country now and then, and it happens in Mississippi real often.

And when &8220;ole dad&8221; has a hand in his son’s successful career the way Irvin Favre did in his son Brett’s, it’s fun for writers to jump right in and say it.

Glenvall Estes is a longtime columnist for The Natchez Democrat.