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Extreme Sports Fan

The Panolian sports writer Angie Ledbetter shows off a small portion of her collection of sports memorabilia. She donned a Brett Favre New York Jets jersey, where she got the 27th one that came off the line.

Writer’s collection an example for contest participants

The Panolian is conducting a contest to find all the Extreme Sports Fans in Panola County. To get the ball rolling, Panolian sports writer Angie Ledbetter was asked to share her story of being an extreme sports fan to show an example of what to submit to the contest.

Although Angie is not eligible to enter the contest as a Panolian employee, she was happy to share her extreme fanatical side.

Extreme Sports Fan nomination forms are on the back page of this section. The deadline is Wednesday, July 1 to have it in the office.

Commentary by Angie Ledbetter

Yes I’m a female and I love sports. I can sit and talk with any male all day long about sports and hold my own. I live and breathe sports, especially football.

Ten years ago, I became one of few females that called into a football scoreboard show on Friday nights to talk about their teams. I’ve gone live on the shows in Jackson to talk about games. Last year, I was one of two females that called in. I’m the only original female to call into the show on Friday nights after football games. I can compete with any of the games that call into the show when talking about my football games.

At a young age, I became a sports fan due to growing up with brothers. I always wanted to play football with them.

As the years went by, I became more and more a football sports fanatic. When most women want to get away from their television when games are on, I want to be right under my 72-inch television during the entire game. I can sit and watch football games seven days a week and never be bored.

I attended football games growing up and continue to this day. It doesn’t matter if it’s junior high, high school, college or NFL. I would go to a football game seven days a week if I could.

As I got more into the sport, I started to favor certain players and teams. I always loved my Ole Miss Rebels and you can say that I am a die hard Rebel and always will be.

I have attended games for several years including football, basketball, baseball and tennis at Ole Miss. I’ve tailgated in the grove for years as a fan. As everyone knows, football is my favorite.

You can say that I have missed very few football games over the years. I’ve gone to bowl games and one of my greatest memories is the Cotton Bowl game when Eli Manning was the quarterback. I was in Dallas for a week and followed the team everywhere they went. Some people refer to me as the paparazzi, which I never minded.

Not only do I attend games and support my Rebels by wearing all my attire such as hats, shirts, shorts, pants, socks, jewelry and a must have purse, I also collect Rebel items. Some of the items I have in my collection include game day shirts, jerseys, programs, bowl shirts, hats, jewelry, purses, cups, mugs, dishes, pictures, books, pins, frames, ornaments and pottery.

With Christmas being my favorite time of the year, I’ve been collecting Rebel ornaments for the last few years. I’ve always wanted a Rebel tree so this year I will have my first after collecting enough ornaments over the years to decorate it.

Many friends have given me ornaments every year to add to my collection. I also have a collection of Ole Miss Rebel Christmas figurines. I have the entire collection now and anyone can see my collection displayed in my living room during the holidays.

A collection wouldn’t be complete without autographed items.

I have autographed footballs, basketballs, baseballs, helmets, caps, shirts, pictures and program books from players and coaches. A few of them include Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Cooper Manning, Deuce McAlister, Patrick Willis, Deshea Townsend, Hines Ward, Brett Favre, Tony Dungy, Tommy Tuberville, David Cutcliff, Ed Orgeron, Sylvester Croom, Mike Bianco, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lebron James.

I have attended several NFL games and most have been to watch one of my all time favorite players, Brett Favre.

I’ve gone several places to watch him play but the best ever place is Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I love that place.

I fit right in with my famous cheese head and Green Bay attire. You name it and I have it in Packer items.

The other half of my office contains Packer things I’ve collected. I’ve been a die hard Packer fan since Brett started playing with them after the Atlanta Falcons trade.

Again, I’ve been referred to the paparazzi when it comes to Favre. I’ve gone to Green Bay to watch him play. On one of those trips, I did a bizarre thing to get a glimpse of Favre close up.

I stood in the rain for two hours just to watch him come out after the game was over so I could get some pictures of him. I ate at his famous steak house in Green Bay on one of my trips.

When Favre decided to retire the first time, I went into mourning. I cried for days and was glued to the television where I recorded five days of him talking and all the media attention on him. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears.

I knew Favre could never retire. I couldn’t ever imagine him not playing football and especially for the Packers. When he did retire, I collected a few last things. I got a #4 jersey and a few other things. One of my co-workers even gave me a t-shirt that said “Favre for president.” I framed that one.

While Favre was still with the Packers, he played a game in Nashville against the Titans. I wanted to go but my doctor wouldn’t let me. One of my friends, who played for the Oakland Raiders, got in touch with Brett and went to see him. He told Brett about me being sick and how I was a die hard Packer fan. Brett autographed one of his pictures just to me and wished me good luck with my health. That picture means the world to me.

A few years ago I visited the football Sports Hall of Fame in Ohio. What an awesome place. I spent all day going through it and thinking about all the football players that I had seen play ball over the years or knew about them. I left there with a very exciting collection item that included an 8×10 autographed framed picture of Brett in the game he played right after his father passed away and a medallion that he received that night.

I wouldn’t take anything for that picture. That game was very special and Brett made me cry watching him play one of his best games ever. I had wanted to attend his father’s funeral but didn’t so that it wouldn’t be bombarded with media during a difficult time.

When Brett decided to play for the Jets and it was officially announced by ESPN, I was online for about eight hours trying to get one of his first jerseys. Not knowing if I’d get one or not, I paid for it ahead of time. About four weeks later, the package came with his #4 Jets jersey in it and it had a number with it that showed what shirt I got. I ended up getting jersey # 27.

 Since Brett has retired from the Jets now, my plans are to learn to play golf so I can go to Hattiesburg to watch Brett play golf at the country club so I can talk to him.

I also get on the internet to keep up with all of my teams. I love sites that I can get quick information on. I receive daily emails from updates on the Packers, Steelers, Giants, Saints, Colts and Jets. I’m a subscriber to magazines such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Ole Miss Spirit.

So my life is full of sports memories and I will always be a die hard fan. I support all of my local teams and also my local NFL players.