Gazebo Gazette

Veteran sportswriter Rick Cleveland and writer/publisher Neil White have partnered to produce a new coffee-table book, The Mississippi Football Book. Part narrative, part encyclopedia, and part Guinness Book of World Records, The Mississippi Football Book features the greatest teams, coaches, and players from Mississippi’s remarkable football past — and present.

On Thursday, December 7, 2023, Cleveland and White will host two events on the Mississippi Coast. At 2 p.m., Cleveland and White will be joined by legendary Gulfport High School Coach Lindy Callahan at The Nourishing Place (606 Tennessee St, Gulfport) to discuss and sign the book.

Callahan will answer questions about the events leading up to the eleven-year period when Gulfport High and Biloxi High suspended their football rivalry due to fights and “dirty play.” White will also read an excerpt of the events leading up to the suspension that has never-before been published. 

Later that afternoon, at 5 p.m., Cleveland and White will sign books at Pass Christian Book (300 East Scenic Drive, Pass Christian).

Rick Cleveland, the most decorated sportswriter in Mississippi history, wrote in his introduction, “Relatively small and poor and ranked near the bottom in so many statistical categories, the Magnolia State kicks tail when it comes to football talent. We lead the nation in producing the most NFL players and Pro Football Hall of Famers per capita. It’s not even close.”

Neil White said of his co-author, “Rick Cleveland has been interviewing sports figures for more than five decades. His first-hand stories — directly from the mouths of Mississippi’s greatest players — make this book a real treasure.”

In addition to feature stories on the state’s greatest players, The Mississippi Football Book ranks the top passers, rushers, receivers, and defenders at every level of play — from high school to professionals.

The book also lists every national championship team, every single-season statistical leader, every member of the Pro, College, and JUCO Football Halls of Fame, the winningest teams and coaches in history, rare feats, Mississippi football and pop culture, Mississippi football in film, notable Mississippi football books, not-so-great-moments in Mississippi football history, and much, much more. 

Any fan of Mississippi football will want a copy of this one-of-a-kind book. 

The Mississippi Football Book is on sale at Pass Christian Books or online at

Comments about the book:

“If you are a Mississippi football fan — no matter which team you pull for — this book is for you.” – Archie Manning

“As this book shows, the football in our state is untouched. I am honored to be part of the proud history of Mississippi football — so much of which is told in The Mississippi Football Book.” – Deuce McAllister