Remember those SEC football radio men?

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Southeastern Conference is not progressing exactly as preseason pundits predicted. Perhaps the season is still too young to get a tight feel on some of these teams.

Take, for instance LSU. These Tigers were predicted to be “ferocious” this year. But after that shellacking they absorbed at the hands of Mississippi State Saturday night, one wonders if they are ranked too high. Of course, the season is young and they could turn things around.

What about Mississippi State? They could very well be the surprise team in the SEC.

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Florida used a last second heroic effort to polish off what appeared to be a somewhat strong Tennessee team. Could this win be a stepping stone for the Gators to claim top standing in the SEC East?

And, how about Alabama? Boy, did they ever seem to fall short of their lofty first place standing by rendering 23 points to a mediocre Colorado State team. Even Auburn found it difficult to muster big points against lowly Mercer.

Right now, it is really difficult to figure out which teams should be ranked close behind Alabama. Two teams that definitely do not fit in this category are Missouri and Arkansas. They can’t even measure up against teams with losing records in other conferences.

Actually, the Atlantic and Big 12 Conferences seem to be fairing quite well compared to the SEC. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are terrific teams from the Big 12.

Yes, the season is young and, yes, there is a world of football to be played. There are definite surprises and disappointments ahead.

Speaking of the SEC, I think back to those glory days in the 1950s and 1960s, listening to some of those great radio play-by-play announcers.

John Ferguson of LSU and Ed Thelenius of Georgia were two of my favorites. Each possessed strong resilient voices. They captured the flow of the game, depicting each play as if watching it on TV.

Then there was Larry Munson, also of Georgia. Maury Ferrell and John Forney kept followers on their seats with outstanding announcing of Tide games. It was Forney who coined that phrase, “Great Pair Says The Bear,” referring of course, to Golden Flake chips and Coca Cola advertising spots on the Bear Bryant show.

Jim Fyffe, of Auburn, was one of the most descriptive announcers of his time. Do not forget about Cawood Ledford of Kentucky, John Ward of Tennessee and Jack Cristil of Mississippi State.

Most of these great announcers have passed on. But their familiar broadcasts still ring clear in our minds.

Now, let’s take a look at some tidbits from the 1970s.

One of our leading department stores, Bedsoles, drew large crowds with a half price sale on ladies’ dresses, and Winn-Dixie sold cube steaks at 10 cents each.

DAR “Good Citizen” awards went to Mary Emma Floyd and Dick Lodge. They were seniors at Escambia County High School. Tammy Beasley, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Beasley, was selected fall carnival queen at A.D. Kelly School in Wallace.

Atmore native Greg Salter received the Bronze Star for bravery and exceptional service in Vietnam.

Atmore merchants and business leaders sponsored a one-day trip to New Orleans for the Blue Devils to watch the Alabama-Nebraska Sugar Bowl football game that year.

How many of you eat out on weekends?

Ouida and I do and enjoy it immensely. We share our visits at all our fine restaurants in town and enjoy it very much. But, you know, I never see some of my friends and acquaintances eating out. I don’t know why and I probably should not probe why. I am sure they have their reasons.

We enjoy our meals and we enjoy seeing others and talking with them. Let me rephrase that. There are one or two friends we try to avoid because when they come over to our table and start up a conversation and then our food slowly “freezes up.”

One night, I was compelled to politely tell one table-visiting friend, “I sure enjoy talking with you and I will be glad to talk with you later, but right now I cannot talk and eat at the same time as my food gets cold when I talk.” Gracious, should I have said that to a friend who wanted to be sociable?

I may not have said it totally in these words, but she got the massage and moved on. Actually she moved on to another table and started up a conversation with another couple that was trying to enjoy their meal.

More from years gone by, next week.

You can email Lowell McGill at