‘The Vet’ Tells Jackson Stadium History
The second in a series of locally-produced gridiron-themed documentaries focuses closer to home.
“The Vet,” the story of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Fondren, and how that stadium shaped society and college football in the South, premiered Saturday, November 17 on the local NBC affiliate.
The film, produced by Bash Brothers Media as part of their original “Between the Pines: Mississippi’s Greatest Sports Stories” series, features a cast that reads like a who’s who of notable Mississippi sports legends and public figures: Archie Manning, Gov. William Winter, John Bond, Willie Totten, Robert Khayat, Rick Cleveland, Eddie Payton, Rob Jay and more are included.
In the late 1940’s, Mississippi Memorial Stadium originated as a product of the post-war boom in Jackson. It helped college football explode in popularity and boosted the city’s economy along with it. Famous double-header days made Jackson “the college football capital of the South” in the 1970s and 80s.
The Vet was also a pivotal arena in the civil rights movement and helped shape racial relations in Mississippi over many decades.
Bash Brothers and C Spire presented their first film of “Between the Pines: The University of South Panola (USP)” on October 13 to rave reviews from across the state. “USP” tells the story of South Panola High School’s famous football dynasty in Batesville, Miss. To view the film, visit cspire.com/ betweenthepines.
Related: Hall-of-fame sports writer and Fondrenite Rick Cleveland’s take on “The Vet,” including the infamous 1983 kick where the wind said “no” (yes, that really happened), written for MississippiToday.org.