Super Bowl LIII is set as the New England Patriots will battle the L.A. Rams in Atlanta this Sunday.

One team not in the Super Bowl game and their fans are unhappy about not going. New Orleans Saints fans are still yelling “wuz robbed,” but to me, it also cost us the ultimate quarterback battle between 41-year-old Tom Brady and 40-year-old Drew Brees.

NFL head referee Bill Vinovich and his entire crew should be suspended for the famous “no call” against the Saints in the final two minutes. It was a very bad no call.

 

Super Bowl teams

The Patriots are 5-5 in Super Bowls while the Rams are 1-2. If the Patriots win, they will tie Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl wins at six. A loss would give them a Super Bowl record for losses with six. They and Denver presently have five losses each. The Broncos were 3-5 in Super Bowl games. The Rams and Patriots met in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans with the Pats winning on a late field goal, 20-17.  The established team in New England has won 10 straight AFC titles while the upstart Rams, who were 4-12 two years ago, tied the Saints for the best mark in pro football this year at 13-3. The game is a pick-'em in the gambling world.

 

Super Bowl bound

Patriots wide receiver coach Chad O’Shea is a former USM coach under Jeff Bower. The rumor mill has O’Shea heading to Miami as the Dolphins' offensive coordinator under new head coach Brian Flores after the Super Bowl. Two Magnolia State players are Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski from Madison and Rams wide receiver Mike Thomas from USM. Thomas is on injured reserve and will not play.

 

Rivera is the best ever?

For the first time in 83 years, the baseball Hall of Fame has had a player elected by a unanimous vote. Former New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, the all-time leader in saves, was named on all 425 ballots. Pitchers Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay and D.H. Edgar Martinez also joined the Hall of Fame. Lee Smith and Harold Baines will be honored with induction as the Today’s Game Era Committee elected them back in December. Bobby Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Shilling all fell short again but keep gaining ground every year.

 

Big 12 takes 
down SEC

Ole Miss lost to No. 24 Iowa State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Big 12 won the event by winning six games in the games played Saturday. Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M were the only SEC winners.  It was odd to me that three of the better SEC teams in LSU, MSU and Auburn were not in the challenge. Having these three teams not play was not very good scheduling by the SEC brass. USM scored 101 points in whipping Marshall. The Golden Eagles are now (12-9, 4-5) for the season. The Lady Bulldogs whipped Ole Miss, 80-49, this past Sunday to improve to 7-0 in conference play.

 



College Baseball

Mississippi State came in at No. 9 in the Baseball America preseason baseball poll. Ole Miss was ranked 13th with USM  21st. The SEC led the way with seven of their fourteen teams ranked in the top 20. LSU (2), Florida (4), Georgia (15), Auburn (17) and Arkansas (18) joined MSU and Ole Miss.  The Bulldogs, Golden Eagles and Rebels all open their season at home on the weekend of February 15-17.

This Thursday, William Carey will play at home against Missouri Baptist to begin the college baseball season in Mississippi. Delta State hosts East Central University on Friday while Mississippi College hits the diamond on Saturday at Harding, Arkansas.

Dale McKee, a resident of Waynesboro, has covered Mississippi sports for more than 46 years. He writes a weekly sports column. You can contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com