Sunday, October 12, 2014

You Might Be a Hog Fan

        A popular comic has a routine in which he shares tell-tale signs that you may be a redneck. In the midst of another football season, you can tell you are a real fan if you have a list like what follows- my ten most memorable Razorback games. These are in chronological order, because there is no way I could rank the memories from best to worst. They are all a part of the fabric that makes up the lives of the people I love the most.
1.      Arkansas vs. Texas A&M-1975 War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.  My former boyfriend gave me and my new fiancé tickets to a game in December that was televised. While generous ex watched from the comfort of his couch, future hubby and I almost literally froze in the end-zone. I remember driving his precious Dodge Challenger through the bumper to bumper traffic.  I was very surprised while researching this column to learn that we actually won that game. The score did not play into my memories at all. I was happy to be with a great guy, but longing for a warmer location!
2.     Arkansas vs. Tulsa 1976- Fayetteville. As newlyweds, we drove up to the Ozarks with some friends and witnessed a defensive duel, highlighted by two record-setting field goal kickers- Steve Cox of Tulsa and Steve Little of Arkansas. Tulsa kicked three of them, and the Hogs only managed one. The final score 9-3 Tulsa.
3.   Arkansas vs. LSU 1996- Little Rock.  Our oldest son, with money from his first job burning a hole in his pocket, bought tickets for himself and his dad. A friend who was a State Legislator at the time let us use his passes, so the whole family went on a cold, rainy weekend after Thanksgiving and stayed for most of a miserable defeat. I remember that the purple and gold ponchos outnumbered the red ones by quite a bit when we finally made our way to the exits.
4.     Parent’s Day in Fayetteville- Arkansas vs. Alabama 1998- While recalling that game today, son’s comment was- “Were y’all at that game?” We watched the action from the student section, and observed our college freshman having the time of his life in the end-zone, A big 42-6 win that cemented our fervor for all things cardinal and white.
5.     Arkansas 28, Tennessee 24, Fayetteville, 1999. We watched on television, as our college student spent the weekend after his 21st. birthday helping his friends dismantle the goal posts after a glorious game. He still owns a baggie with a piece of the turf from that game. Some relics are more precious than gold.
6.     Arkansas vs. Tennessee- September, 2001. Just days before the world changed forever, we were seated on metal seats at the very tip-top of the newly remodeled stadium during severe thunderstorm warnings. After several back and forth trips to the safety of the concourse, hubby and I decided we would be better off watching on the television in our hotel room. Our kids wanted to divorce us that day, but we’ve gotten over it, well most of us have. Anyway, Tennessee won.
7.   Seven Overtimes- Arkansas vs. Mississippi in Oxford- 2001 I actually watched this from a hospital bed after knee surgery. My future son-in-law was keeping an eye on the heart monitor and threatened to turn the television off if I didn’t calm down. Calm? Not a chance. Arkansas 58, Mississippi 56.
8.   War Memorial Stadium- Arkansas vs. Louisiana Monroe 2004.
Our second son had graduated from the U of A by this time, and he came to town for the game. We bought tickets from a scalper outside the stadium, and had terrific seats next to the Razorback band in the South end zone. Son was still in full-on student mode, and performed all of the songs right along with them. We won the game, but it wouldn’t have mattered to us in the least.

9.   Arkansas vs. Mississippi State at Starkville, MS 2008.
This was a road trip with our son’s fiancé and his friends from Memphis. Our now daughter-in-law still remembers that my husband made her leave her warmest coat in the car because it was the wrong color. We left when the game seemed lost, only to hear a rally as we were leaving. Our son pulled in and out of the parking space to get the best reception on the radio. Final score- Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 28.
10.  Arkansas vs. Auburn- Fayetteville, 2009. After a terribly difficult week that included the funeral of someone we all loved, we took a very refreshing trip to the top of The Hill. A great victory, 44-23. How ‘bout them Hawgs, indeed.
A bonus memory that doesn’t directly include me- After my oldest son married, his wife and I stayed at their apartment in Fayetteville, while “the boys” went to the Auburn game. They had two student tickets and a spouse ticket between them, and only one of them was an actual student. Dad was told to try to act like a professor, and brother was praying no-one would challenge his “spouse” status.
The Razorbacks are more than our favorite team, they are part of our lives. Here’s hoping your family has some memories together that will last long after the final seconds click off the stadium clock. Woo Pig Sooie!!

No comments: