Throughout Saturday and Sunday, and even some Monday morning, we went over the particulars of Mississippi State’s big win over Alcorn State this weekend.
Certainly, there were a lot of positives to take from the game.
There was one in particular, though, having very little to do with Xs and Os that I wanted to talk about.
I grew up in Starkville always hearing my dad tell me how much he loved and respected Dr. Jimmy Abraham. He would tell me you couldn’t find a nicer person on campus, nor someone who cared as much about their university.
On Saturday, Dr. Abraham was one of the two honorary captains for MSU’s home opener.
He retired this summer after working for 38 years at State, spending the last eight as the executive director of the Alumni Association.
It was telling when he took the field and received just as loud a cheer as Walt Suggs, the other honorary captain who was an All-SEC lineman for the Bulldogs and spent nine years in the NFL.
I called him this afternoon to ask about the experience, a bit of a surreal event for him.
“I was very humbled to have that opportunity,” he said. “Especially to be on the field with Walt Suggs. My daddy always talked about him when I was growing up and I know he really idolized him as a player.”
Since retiring this summer, Abraham said he’s enjoyed a leisurely lifestyle, working some with Cadence Bank, spending time with his two grandchildren and visiting with family and friends.
And of course, he’s always been a big sports fan, so he’s as happy as can be to have football underway.
Going back to his days as a recruiter, even, he’s seen how much sports can mean to the school as a whole.
“When you talk to students, some of them will say they got their first taste of Mississippi State by watching a football game or basketball or baseball game,” Abraham said. “I was honored to be a part of it.”
Having been a Bulldog for so long – and he still is, he’ll make sure to tell you – he was touched to be invited by the athletic department as an honorary captain.
Abraham still thinks of himself as the little kid from Mississippi, no idea where life would take him.
He certainly wouldn’t have predicted he’d end up on Scott Field, honored next to one of his dad’s idols.
“I and those of us who have graduated from this university can never give back as much as she has given to us,” he said. “To be able to be on the field of the university I and so many people love meant so much.”