Seattle fan base has exponential potential in Panola 1/31/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 31, 2014

Seattle fan base has exponential potential in Panola

By John Howell Sr.
I had an e-mail from my old friend Jim Stroupe reminding me that, as the 2014 Super Bowl nears, Panola and Tate Counties may not be entirely consumed with Peyton-mania.
Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is, one generation removed, the son of the two north Mississippi counties.

Darrell is the son of Baxter Bevell Jr., a 1964 South Panola graduate who moved to Arizona after attending Northwest, and the former Donna Dodson of Senatobia. They become parents of eight children. Baxter coached football at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale. Players over the years included his son Darrell as his quarterback.

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After a redshirt year at Div. I-AA Northern Arizona, Darrell found his way after several years to Wisconsin, where he won the quarterback position and credit for turning the Badgers’ football program around, beating UCLA in the 1994 Rose Bowl.

Unselected in the 1996 NFL draft, Bevell chose coaching and spent several years at colleges before he became offensive quality control coach with the Green Bay Packers in 2000, helping with quarterbacks, including Brett Favre.

In 2006, he was hired by the Minnesota Vikings. In 2011 he went to the Seahawks where he is credited for building a formidable offense around quarterback Russell Wilson.

“These days, he’s on the list of just about every team that has a head coaching vacancy,” wrote Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta in a story published Jan. 6.

Baxter’s mother, and Darrell’s grandmother, was the late Mary Pitcock Bevell, our neighbor from 1971 until 1979 when we lived near her home at the corner of Van Voris and Draper Streets.
Can you see where this is going? Darrell has cousins among the Pitcocks of Panola, including Chancery Clerk Jim Pitcock.

Then, Jim Stroupe’s mother was a Bevell. Jim, his brother, Bill and all their sisters among Darrell Bevell’s cousins — Bolens, Wares, Hennings and Helmes — see how the Seattle offensive coordinator’s fan base has exponential expansion potential among us?

I appreciate Jim sending me this reminder. Pro football itself holds a good news/bad news attraction for me. But throw in a Panola connection (and Panola has had a wonderfully disproportionate share with former SP Tigers so often in the NFL), and I feel like I’ve got a personal stake in the game.