Opinion – 2/7/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The Panolian: OPINIONS

 From the 2/7/06 issue of The Panolian :                 
Panola’s son shone brightly from Detroit

Seattle Seahawks fans in Panola County were as scarce as – seahawks in Panola – during Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

The high television viewer ratings that the Superbowl always attracts got an extra boost in this county as we gathered around our tubes to watch DeShea Townsend help – and in a big way – his team win the world championship.

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That he still considers himself one of our own was underscored when he identified himself with "South Panola University." Considering the millions of dollars that sponsors paid for 30 seconds of advertising during the night, the flattering reference to his high school alma mater could be calculated as worth quite a few thousands in favorable publicity for his school and home.

Yet to measure the worth of the young man’s reflection on our community by three words uttered before a television audience would sell him short. Townsend has been an asset to his team, school and community from his youth. The high standard of athleticism that he set for himself as early as junior high and which has propelled him to the pinnacle of his sport has provided witness and influence to countless youngsters. And his his standard of athleticism has always been matched by a high standard of character of which Panolians are equally proud.

Townsend at five feet, 10 inches tall is relatively small for an NFL player. It was readily apparent when he zipped through the line and sacked Seattle’s six feet, four-inch quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck. That makes Townsend larger than life in his home county where from among South Panola’s "three-peat" championship seniors the Clarion Ledger could not find one player worthy of selection for this year’s list of "Top 40 Recruits." Maybe they are all too short also.

Thanks, DeShea, for giving your fans a great game and for such a positive reflection on your home, family and community.

Thanks also for reminding us that a man’s stature is not measured in feet, inches, pounds or what gets said on national television.

Your stature looms large this day in Panola.



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