1999 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hall, Rayborn

Senate Concurrent Resolution 581

(As Adopted by Senate)


WHEREAS, Jimmie "Mississippi Red" McDowell, a storied sportswriter from Brookhaven and the founder of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, was born on March 24, 1926; and

WHEREAS, appropriately dubbed "America's Ambassador of Football," Jimmie McDowell began his writing career at the tender age of 11 when he wrote his first column entitled, "Pop Flies and Errors," for the old Brookhaven Leader; and

WHEREAS, after graduation from Brookhaven High School, Jimmie McDowell served his country from 1944-46 in the United States Navy Armed Guard and received an honorable discharge; and

WHEREAS, Jimmie McDowell then resumed his higher education at Ole Miss and received his bachelor of arts degree in education in 1949; and

WHEREAS, upon graduation Jimmie McDowell quickly rose to the position of Assistant Sports Editor at the Jackson Daily News, and in 1951 was named Sports Editor of the Meridian Star; and

WHEREAS, from 1951-55, Jimmie McDowell served as Director of Public Relations and Athletic Publicity at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, and in 1955, returned to Jackson to accept the position of Sports Editor at the Jackson Daily News; and

WHEREAS, in 1956, Jimmie McDowell expanded his talents to television at WLBT-TV, where he hosted his own sports show, one of the first ever on Mississippi television; and

WHEREAS, Jimmie McDowell moved north of the Mason-Dixon line later in 1962 as he was named Executive Sports Editor and columnist for the Trenton Times in Trenton, New Jersey, but in 1964, returned to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked as Executive Sports Editor and columnist for the Commercial Appeal; and

WHEREAS, in 1964, Jimmie McDowell was hired as Director of Public Relations of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, and six years later in 1970, was appointed executive director of the organization; and

WHEREAS, from 1964 until his retirement in 1991, Jimmie McDowell would serve the NFFHOF as Chief Administrative Officer, overall administrator of national chapters, Chief Fundraiser, editor of all foundation publications, and a key organizer of the Hall of Fame Bowl played originally in Birmingham, Alabama, and now located in Tampa, Florida; and

WHEREAS, after his retirement from the NFFHOF, Jimmie McDowell was named as Director of Corporate Development of the Liberty Bowl in Memphis and also remained active as a consultant with the NFFHOF and for the Ole Miss Loyalty Foundation, the fundraising wing of the Rebel athletics; and

WHEREAS, feeling the itch to do even more for the sport of college football, Jimmie McDowell formed the All American Football Foundation in 1994, a non-profit organization which hosts a Banquet of Champions and selects an All American Team after the college season is completed; and

WHEREAS, as of March 1, 1998, there are 129 collegiate members of the All American Football Foundation; and

WHEREAS, named Outstanding Mississippian of the Year in 1973, Jimmie McDowell has received a cavalcade of awards and honors for his support and relentless promotion of the sport of college athletics; and

WHEREAS, Jimmie McDowell, a resident of Jackson, still remains active in sportswriting as he has been a freelance columnist for 10 newspapers in Mississippi since 1991:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby congratulate and commend Jimmie "Mississippi Red" McDowell upon the occasion of his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Jimmie McDowell and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.