Smith on Sports: Important to have news on Brown at Ole Miss

Danny P. Smith

Staff Writer

A.J. Brown will always be a part of Starkville.

He played football at Starkville High School, performed on the baseball field for the Yellow Jackets and probably could have done a pretty good job at basketball too.

There are many Mississippi State fans who were disappointed when Brown chose to sign a football scholarship and join the rival Ole Miss Rebels. As an MSU graduate myself, it was tough to see Brown leave Starkville, no matter the destination, because I knew how good he was. Brown was going to contribute and make any team better. It just happened to be the team in Oxford.

This was a decision that Brown made in the best interest of himself and his family. There are students at the various schools in Starkville, who make the same choice every year because Ole Miss offers the best situation for them. Brown became a high-profiled story because he became such a great athlete at SHS.

It was no surprise that Brown produced in his first season with the Rebels.

He had 75 catches for 1,252 yards with 11 touchdowns and had a good night with six grabs for 167 yards and a score as Ole Miss defeated MSU 31-28 in Starkville last November to get back the Golden Egg Trophy.

There are many Bulldogs who did not appreciate Brown parading the Golden Egg Trophy around Davis Wade Stadium after the Rebels won. What was he supposed to do? Go sit on the bench and do nothing?

Brown was excited about helping a group of teammates that he’s grown to love enjoy a win over MSU and get the Golden Egg Trophy back. His story was important enough to put into his hometown newspaper no matter how much Bulldog fans hated it.

The Starkville Daily News has been criticized by some for publishing news about Brown and his success. I won’t apologize for it.

Last week, Brown was chosen a first team All-American at wide receiver by The Associated Press. Were we supposed to ignore that accomplishment just because he is at Ole Miss? No way.

His family, friends, former high school teammates, teachers, etc. still live here and they deserve to read about Brown.

Brown’s mother attended a SHS softball game last week and I mentioned that there was a story in our paper about him being an All-American. She was interested and with good reason. This is her son and she needs to have the opportunity to read about him when given the opportunity. She said she was going to get a paper and my job is to sell papers.

More than likely Brown is going to have another great season with the Rebels and we are going to pay attention to it.

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.