ALCORN, Miss. — Cardell Jones tended to the grill, looking out at the small lake behind his house. The former Alcorn State coach had nothing big planned for the Fourth of July. His wife came outside.
She was silent for a moment, a pained look on her face.
“I have something to tell you,” she said.
Just the night before, he’d dreamed about Steve McNair. It’s hard to understand the bond between the two men if you hadn’t lived through the madness of the McNair years at Alcorn State. Even 15 years later, the quarterback still came to the coach while he was sleeping. This time, Jones dreamed they’d been hanging out and, before parting, the two men hugged.
“My wife told me, ‘That could have been Steve’s way of saying goodbye,'” he says.
A journey into the mists of myth
Earlier this week, I took a drive back in time. I went home, down Highway 61 into the Mississippi Delta, winding through the dying farm towns of my youth, past the cotton fields and the boarded-up commissaries. I was heading all the way down to Alcorn State University.