Barry Switzer sang “Poke Salad Annie” in the elevator

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October 29 – Tony Joe White, ex-Wolfe City who is now Birmingham-Southern’s head football coach, had a chance encounter once with Barry Switzer.

They took the same elevator together.

White recognized and complimented the former Oklahoma-Dallas Cowboys head coach. Switzer then asked for White’s name.

“I am Tony Joe White.”

Switzer then began to sing the 1960s rock classic “Poke Salad Annie”. Hilarious!

Switzer, of course, coached Oklahoma to three national championships and the Cowboys to one Super Bowl title.

This song was written by Tony’s namesake, Tony Joe White, when the singer / musician lived and worked in Corpus Christi in South Texas. That Tony Joe White made the song famous, as did Elvis Presley, who covered it.

This Tony Joe’s father, Eddie White, who coached in Hunt County and was Lone Oak ISD superintendent, named his son Tony Joe after hearing the song “Poke Salad Annie” at the time at the car radio.

Tony Joe’s brother Nathan White told me the story of Barry Switzer’s lift after Nathan’s son Jake White led Forney to a 35-0 win last week over the Lions of Greenville.

Coach Tony Joe White led Birmingham-Southern to their best start since 1934. – The Dallas Cowboys could have used former Texas A&M University-Business running back Gary Perry in their 35-win. -29 in overtime against the New England Patriots.

The Cowboys failed to convert several short-distance plays on the third and one and fourth and one despite the efforts of running back Zeke Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. The Patriots’ defense stopped Elliott and Prescott short of needed yardage, although officials may have missed the call on one or both of Prescott’s stealthy 1-yard line.

Either way, Perry had a knack for jumping over the stack to score touchdowns in close range situations. He was so good he was nicknamed “Air Perry”. Perry won Lone Star Conference honors for the Lions in 1990 and 1991. – Manners are alive and well at Greenville High School.

Last week, I opened the door to nine members of the Greenville Lady Lions volleyball team as they stepped out of the locker room after a volleyball game. Each player said “thank you” to me.

I was impressed and told Lady Lions head volleyball coach Jenna Sickels and assistant coach Angela Butler so much.

You want to see the athletes compete hard during the game, but show good manners before and after the game. Well done, ladies Lions. – Congratulations to the six new members of the Royse City Athletic Hall of Fame: D’Kaira Otis, class of 2016, athletics; Raven Alexander, Class of 2009, basketball; Don Bumpass, class of 1957, football; Martin Harvey, class of 1958, football; Bobby Crowell, class of 1959, football; and Royce Swiney, special contributor.

Otis was an excellent hurdler for the Lady Bulldogs and then competed against Stephen F. Austin. Alexander was an outstanding basketball player for the Lady Bulldogs and went on to play at the Texas Wesleyan.

Swiney, who grew up in Greenville, has been a constant presence at Royse City athletic competitions for the past 40 years and the Bulldogs indoor training facility is named after him. – About once a year I write an all-name team for a sports column, listing the names that caught my eye.

Someone recently sent me a suggestion for another name for the team: Bric Wall, a former football player at Hereford. I hope he was a defensive lineman.

David Claybourn is sports editor for the Herald-Banner.


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