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Shedlia Freeman said his phone “walked across the table” after his picture in last week’s paper had a slight alteration. That phone was buzzing from messages sent from friends across the country and back in Water Valley.
Freeman is one of the most avid and vocal fans of the Dallas Cowboys in Water Valley. He was among participants in the city’s second annual 9-11 Memorial Walk and was wearing his Cowboys’ shirt after his favorite team obliterated the New York Giants a day earlier. One of his “buddies” suggested that we put another team logo on his shirt and with a little help from Photoshop, Freeman was sporting a New York Giants shirt in the newspaper.
Freeman picked up a copy of the Herald when it came up last Wednesday and was flipping through the pages when he had to look twice.
“I stopped at that page and said ‘what the hell,’” he told me Monday.
The joke was fueled by multiple Facebook posts from his friends with the picture and the good-natured accusations ranged from a team traitor to a turncoat. The news was still buzzing during Friday night’s football game. He could understand the staunch Giants’ fans like Jerry Turner and even his youngest son getting in on the fun, but surely not his longtime fellow Cowboys’ fans.
“I got about 60 messages from it. Sherman Gooch saw it and had to run with it,” Freeman told me Monday when he dropped off the jersey for me to wear.
What I forgot to tell Freeman was that the Cowboys’ karma was instant. When I got to work Wednesday morning to deliver the papers, the first thing I noticed was the Larson’s Cash Saver circulars were missing.
The press crew at the Tupelo Daily Journal had forgotten to insert the circulars. I delivered the papers and went straight to Tupelo to find out what had happened. Thankfully they were able to print an abbreviated edition and mail it Thursday morning with the Larson’s Cash Saver circular. I thought to myself that the Cowboys’ karma had ruled the day.
I can probably count on one hand the number of times we have pranked someone in the Herald, and you can bet it will be a long time before we pull another stunt.