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November 17, 2006:  Picayune at Wayne County

Barry Harper


Dear Maroon Tide Nation,

OH YOU MAROON TIDE FOOTBALL TEAM, YOU! Where will this end? When will it  end? I honestly don't know,

but I do know this--we will play the biggest football game this school has played since the South State Championship

against Moss Point in 1986.

This Maroon Tide has come from behind the first two weeks of the playoffs. This bunch never trailed during their

undefeated regular season. How many times have you witnessed a team roll through an undefeated regular season

only to lose in the first or second round of the playoffs? It happens! Some teams cannot handle the pressure, some

can.   Believe you me, this bunch can.  I'll tell you who can't handle the pressure-ME!

I'm sitting at home, listening to the broadcast crew feeling helpless. Have you ever noticed when you are behind, the

halftime seems forever? Thanks to Carey and Dr. Riser for a wonderful halftime interview. It made it go by pretty quick.

I honestly don't know if this is good for my rehab. Oh well, I will be listening again this Friday.

Oh you Dale Meitzler, you! How do you play both ways with so much intensity? Do you ever get tired? Are you related

to that Energizer bunny? You just keep going and going and going and going . . . .

Oh you Double 8, you! You can be so dominate. Whether it's blocking, receiving, or tackling, you play hard. Keep it Up!

Oh you # 2, you. You know who you are. You've had some good games this year, but Friday Night, you had a GREAT

game. I've only got one question for you. Can you do it again this week? I think you can.

What about you # 22? I watched game tape Saturday morning and I saw you fly through the air to break up a pass.

AIR CHANCE- you will get a lot of opportunities this week.

What about you # 14? You may be the Maroon Tide Nation's favorite. JUST WIN BABY!

One more- old double 6. If I ever need a bodyguard, you are high on my list.   Let that motor rest a little bit this week;

however, when Friday night rolls around, turn it back on and kick in the turbo.

I can't mention everyone in my weekly article and I certainly don't want to leave anyone out. This club is not about individual

play. I feel a lot of this year's success has been due to the fact that we play team ball with great leadership. We're very

consistent on both sides of the ball and this may be the best special teams club in the history of Picayune football.

I have several contacts throughout the state just like everyone else. Some of these friends and associates know that

I follow Picayune football. They called to congratulate me on our victory over McComb. So I asked, what's the word
about this week's game? After talking to a few friends this is my opinion: There is no word. As a matter of fact the

Wayne County community and team seem unconcerned. They're not worried at all. Oh well.

FYI # 2
Last year Carey and I went to Wayne County for the South State Championship game against West Jones. We are

always looking for a good game to watch even if we have to drive a ways to see it. There were a lot of Wayne County

fans sitting in the visitor's stands. Now I understand that when there is an overflow crowd sometimes part of the home

crowd ends up on the visitors' side. I don't like it, but I understand it. However, what I really didn't understand was all of

the Wayne County fans strolling the West Jones sideline. I thought this was a recipe for disaster and it was. The jawing

started between the Wayne County folks on the West Jones sideline and the West Jones' fans right behind the fence

that separates the visitor's sideline and the visitor's stands. It escalated and started to get out of control. When the local

authorities showed up, guess who got in trouble? It wasn't the home team. Please don't get caught up in that stuff, it

could be a distraction for our kids.


Barry Harper

Carey Meitzler

Watching the Maroon Tide game video the next day after the game with Barry has been quite interesting the past

two Saturdays. You don't just watch the game with the Ol' Wedge Buster; you analyze it. Barry sees things the first time
that some of us don't see until the third or fourth time or ever. For instance, in the West Jones game he spied a Mustang

take a frustration swipe at Thor after he blocked him and blocked him and so forth. In last week's game against McComb,

he saw some frustration from a McComb Tiger when we scored our last touchdown. The Tiger had just been blocked for

about the 140th time by Big Jon and I think he had, well shall we say, enough.

Now let me explain that Barry is not just looking for late hits or cheap shots when he views the game. He looks for intensity

and footwork. You know, the kind he displays when he makes his halftime run to the concession stand. OOOPS! I forgot,

he said those days are over since the surgery.  Oh well, I thought I was on to something there for a minute.  Barry was

impressed by the way the Maroon Tide was coming off the ball on both sides of the football and the play of our defense

when we needed it most was outstanding.

Seriously, I really enjoyed the quality time I have spent with Blue Boy the past two Saturdays. Besides watching the game

film, I figured out that Barry is trying to get me to lose some weight. He's sneaky, that Barry. Here's how he tricked me into

thinking I was doing him a favor when in fact he was concerned about my fitness level after listening to me sound like I had

lost my breath during the broadcasts a couple of times. He can be so deceptive, unassuming, down-right sneaky. He had

a secret weapon. The High Definition antenna.

HDTV off air antennas to be exact. Yep, that's how he does it. You see, Barry wanted channels 13 (ABC), 4 (CBS), and

8 (FOX) all to come in clear on his HDTV antenna. He didn't tell me that it was next to impossible to get them all to come

in “clear”. You can point the antenna almost due south and get 13 very clear, but it leaves 4 a little jumpy. But when you try

to adjust for 4, then 13 goes pixel crazy. I thought I could get it all to work at the same time, and Barry knowing me oh so

well, knew I wouldn't settle for anything short of "near perfect" and that I would keep trying until I had it "just right". He figured

at least 10 to 12 up and down the ladder runs (toward the end, more like crawls) were in order and that would be a good


If someone has this HDTV configuration, there's no need for the treadmill or stationary bike; no, Mr. HD (Harper Dude)

has another method. First you pull down the ladder, then climb it, step smoothly over and in between the air ducts in the

attic (kind of like those ropes the Tide runs through in Spring training), adjust the antenna between a south to southwestern

direction, back track your steps, down the ladder backwards this time, and wait for HD to say, “ I think you need to move

it just a little. Now the other channel is not working. Sorry.” And off I'd go over and over again. Channels 4 and 8 won
out over 13. Channel 4 gave him the SEC game and 8 had the Saints for Sunday. Sorry A.J., but Barry wouldn't hear

your "Hello everybody" on this night.

After about a dozen of these up and downs and you feel like you chased Albert Richard or Drew Cole for a couple of

plays and were blocked by either Huey, Thor, Brady, Dillard, Flowers, Billups, or  Dale.  I tell you, Barry is on to

something with this workout routine. It could become a marketing campaign for the HD off air antenna manufacturers.

Something like, “ HDTV off air: We put the picture on while you take off the pounds.”

Now, Barry thinks I haven't figured it out yet that he was toying with me. Yeah, it took me two Saturdays and a smaller

trouser size to catch on, but as you can see, I catch on pretty fast.

Speaking of fast, when Drew Cole ran down McComb's Justin Powell, Drew was scooting. And as BilI Hillery and I

said on the Sam Adkins Morning After, that play saved our grits. As HD mentioned above, a lot of guys doing good
things for the Maroon Tide.

MENTAL. That's how I sum up this week's game at Wayne County . The physical aspects of this game will take care

of itself. Both teams will be ready for what looks like a great match-up. Wayne County 's wide open, spread the field
offense against Picayune's take what you give me offense. Both defenses are good and tend to turn up their volume

(intensity) when they need it most.  Contrast of styles, but two very good teams.

Back to the mental part of this game. When two teams are as evenly matched as these two are this week, it comes

down to the mental preparation and the ability to move that preparation to the forefront of one's mind for split second

responses to what the other team does. In a nutshell, that's what execution is all about.

I tip my hat to the Maroon Tide Nation and the turnout in their "Maroon” attire.  At the conclusion of last week's

game, I began to spread the word to wear “white” this week since the Tide would be wearing that color.  Well, I have

compromised a change to Maroon or White because I was given a fashion lesson and a few other messages

after propagating the wear “White” charge.

No, it wasn't Michelle (wife); she gave up on me and fashion right after my leisure suits faded a few years ago.

I got a couple of emails: “Don't you know that you never wear white after Labor Day.”  No, I do it all the time.

I guess that explains the looks I get.   Another wrote: “We are the Maroon Tide; not the White Tide”. Okay, sustained.

But the last one was the best. “I'll be there wearing my Maroon shirt, standing throughout, supporting the Tide.
Carey, though I appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to fire up our crowd, the fact is that most of the Nation will

wear the same shirt they've worn all year. Furthermore, it may be cold, and we in the Nation will probably wear
jackets.”   I don't think Barry could get this guy to climb the ladder; he's too smart.

To the Maroon Tide, I say this:
Believe in yourself.
Believe in your teammates and coaches.
Believe you can win.
We Believe.

Look's like another Ground Hog Friday. May the Lord shine His light on your path.

God Bless you all. Roll Tide Roll…..