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Mitchell deserves Hall of Fame honor

Posted Friday, September 7, 2007, at 11:14 PM

I spent some busy days and nights late last week preparing material for nominating our own Jim Mitchell for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Jim played 11 years for the Atlanta Falcons and started all 11 of those seasons at tight end. He was a good receiver and was often referred to by television announcers as the best blocking tight end in pro football.

He was twice named All-Pro.

Earlier this week I received a letter from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame informing me the nomination had been accepted and will be voted on this fall.

Material submitted included his career receptions, a letter from former teammate Wallace Francis, a fine wide receiver who visited here many times and took part in football clinics for the kids and several charity events and a letter I wrote telling of Mitchell's football clinics during his playing days and since he retired.

In fact, Jim told me earlier this week he planned to hold another clinic sometime next summer.

Oh, I should inform those who aren't aware of the situation that Jim has lost his eyesight now due to diabetes.

That causes him some problems…but not enough to keep him from wanting to teach kids the proper basics of football and spending just as much time during his clinics talking with them about building the basics now to become good, solid citizens.

I consider Jim a very worthy nominee.

Should Shelbyville also do something to honor one of its own?

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Just to follow up: Did Mitchell get elected to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame? I completely agree with your nomination and cannot think of a more worthy choice.

-- Posted by Temujin on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 11:03 AM

i agree a street named after him. i have spoken with him alot. jim knowes more about football than anybody i no.he would have made a great coach.lets pray for jim and his eye sight.

-- Posted by breal on Mon, Sep 10, 2007, at 6:31 PM

That's a great idea, Bo. I have a photograph of my son (who is now 38) atop Jim "Pork Chop" Mitchell's shoulders at a clinic he held 30 years ago here in Shelbyville.

He definitely deserves some recognition from his home town.

-- Posted by loveretirement on Sun, Sep 9, 2007, at 6:55 PM

Count me in. I also agree that naming a major street in Shelbyville for Jim (Pork Chop) Mitchell would be a nice touch.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sun, Sep 9, 2007, at 5:30 PM

Sounds like a great idea to me. We have enough streets recognizing people who have never lived here...such as Colloredo and numerous others.

-- Posted by bomelson on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 11:20 PM

Bo I cannot agree more. Pork Chop should be in the Hall. He was a true professional and after football became an outstanding influence both here and in Atlanta.

And the idea of naming a major street in his honor is not only appropriate, it's past due.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 10:13 PM

How about naming a major street in Shelbyville after Jim Mitchell?

-- Posted by Buck Fama on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 10:22 AM

My nephew attended two of those recent camps, and both times I was there on the last day to see him play and see the closing ceremonies. It was obvious, as you say, that Mitchell, and the friends and colleagues he'd brought with them, were stressing discipline and sportsmanship, not just running plays, and I know my nephew really got a lot out of it. Mitchell is definitely a class act.

-- Posted by Jicarney on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 11:35 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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