‘Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.This planet has-or rather had-a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans. ‘
Welcome to Fayetteville Arkansas, friend. A location that until the recent Expansionapalooza 2011was one of the furthest locations in the SEC, second only to Gainesville (who no one really wants to go to anyway) in distance.
The Puerto Rico of the SEC as it was once written of, with no rivals near it's home, no one to threaten its base, and road games require hours of travel to come in to a location that is, to put it politely hostile territory.You have heard the horror stories of Arkansas fans. They aren't bad lot, compared to say LSU fans for instances.
As a fellow Vol fan who lives in the area commented to me "Arkansas fans aren't crazy....they are scary."
The evidence speaks for itself:
- How many college fan bases have hired airplanes to fire their head coach, for instance?
- How many college fan bases have had reporters fired for their head ware?
- How many colleges can inspire celebrity vandalism?
- How many people do you know could actually consider that the scariest words in college football could be (forgive me here) "Woooo Pig Soooouie"?
No for me, the scariest part? Is that I work here.
You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen."
I actually live in Missouri, but I am barely 3 miles from the Arkansas state line. I work in Bentonville, like half the population of Northwest Arkansas.
Arkansas folks are nice over all. You almost feel like you are in the deep south except the folks here have no accents, and you have got 50/50 shot on whether or not a restaurant will serve sweet tea.
Until you bring up Razorback football.
Then it becomes a Jekyll and Hyde like scenario. Their eyes bug out, their palms get sweaty, and they start breathing hard. Your wondering if you should offer to call an ambulance or run for your life.
Arkansas fans remind of of the Atlanta Brave fans in the 1990's: always the brides maid and never the bride. Let me tell you, these folks are very conscious of the fact that their team has not won a Championship, and they feel slighted. Actually cheated may be a better word. The fan base is the Napoleon Bonaparte of the SEC and the rest of the Conference is out to get them.
I sympathize with them to an extent. There's no doubt the Hawgs have had some very talented teams, and their high school programs produced some exceptional players. Despite these profits they have continuously managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and most stage a retreat back to th Ozark Mountains with a winning season, but little else.
"Delay?" [Zaphod] cried. "Have you seen the world outside this ship? It's a wasteland, a desert. Civilization's been and gone, man. There are no lemon-soaked paper napkins on the way from anywhere."
"The statistical likelihood," continued the autopilot primly, "is that other civilizations will arise. There will one day be lemon-soaked paper napkins. Till then there will be a short delay. Please return to your seat."
There is no other football other than Arkansas Football and thou shalt have no substitutions in its place.
Daily I am subjected to this superiority complex. I fight back, my desk looks like a Asian shrine to the Volunteers.
Our season, however, does not help in this war. Each day there is a host of Arkansas fans who make their way to my work related domicile. "So how did Tennessee do this weekend?" *snicker*snicker* I smile, laugh, play it off, note that next year will be better, all while keeping the pepper spray in my brief case close at hand.
The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of Arkansas fans, common sense snuck in at number 79.
"My capacity for happiness," he added, "you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first."
The Tennessee faithful in the area are few and proud. We are also in the local witness protection program. We can not acknowledge each other in public, must hide behind any nearby vegetation and pass notes like whispers lest the indigenous fan base spot us and immediately
capture us for interrogation belittle us in public point us out to he other Arkansas fans in the area.
It's like having PTSD, just without all the shooting like when I got it the first time.
Was I amongst friends when the Haggunenon admiral evolved into a life pod and everybody aboard his flagship escaped leaving me aboard as it steered itself into the nearest star?
Was I amongst friends when I was left to walk in circles on a swamp planet?
Left to park cars outside a restaurant for millenia?
Left for the Krikkit robots to use for batting practice?
Friend? I don't think I ever came across one of those, sorry, can't help you there.
We have some high points to this match up. The Hogs have been outscored 83-52 in the first half of their last five games. That includes double-digit deficits in the first half at Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, teams with a combined 1-9 record in the Southeastern Conference.
Which leads me to say We have a chance.
Key word: chance. As in, remotely possible, it could happen, provided everything goes our way the stars are in alignment and Bobby Petrino can't be found save for a lot of post it notes on his players lockers an hour before kick off.
If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now!
The Hogs have gone three-and-out on their first possession in five consecutive games. Typically that first half is our bread and butter, when we score hard and score fast. This could play to our advantage.
Unfortunately what makes this not as good is the Hawgs are slower to start than my old '73 Ford. Second half is when they come out swinging, this is bad because as we all know the second half is when we have been typically laying down to die.
This is truly a hog hunt. Smokey the hunting dog versus a Razorback hog in the mountains of Arkansas. A give and take.
This could still be quite a match up. The rumor is Tyler Brays cast may come off today, and we have seen flashes of brilliance from Justin Worley.
But Arkansas's Tyler Wilson is no slouch, and has an arm that may be more finely tuned as former QB Ryan Mallets if not as powerful.
They have a minimal running game with the loss of Knile Davis at RB, a fortune for us as our running game has struggled as well.
Call this the Mountain Shootout if you will, because thats what it is. This will be a pass heavy game, and one that could be fraught with perils and dangers.
Arkansas football game is much like that quote from So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!
The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying "And another thing..." twenty minutes after admitting he's lost the argument.
As I said their first halfs are typically dismal. If they start scoring in the first half you may as well start popping caps on cold frosty beverages because the second half is practically assured to be uglier than that girl I refused to dance with in 5th grade.
Why are you staring at me like that?
"I come in peace," [the silver robot] said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."
Ahem. Anyway back on topic. Playing Arkansas is rudimentary. Just keep in mind the following:
Anything that happens, happens.
Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.
It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
Now the downers.
"Temporal reverse engineering."
Arthur put his head in his hands and shook it gently from side to side.
"Is there any humane way," he moaned, "in which I can prevent you from telling me what temporary reverse bloody-whatsiting is?"
Defensive end Jake Bequette likes Quarterbacks. For breakfast. And lunch. And for virtually any other meal he desires. After missing several games due to a hamstring injury, he came back against South Carolina with a vengeance that included 3 sacks and a forced fumble. Oh and they don't consider him to be at 100%.
Chris Gragg is our Michael Rivera both in position and use. They get it in to a bad position, Gragg becomes the safety valve. However, his production hasn't been awe inspiring thus far. He has a mere 25 catches for the season.
Why mention him then? 3 of those catches were against South Carolina which means they may be going to him more.
Something else to note is Arkansas has a troubled relationship with SEC officials.
I fully believe this commercial was written in response to a SEC referee's personal experience in Arkansas. Remember what I said earlier about Arkansas fans thinking the rest of the conference was out to get them? Well it's not paranoia if.....
In short what can we do, but pray really? And in times like this there is a perfect prayer located in The Guide.
Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know.
Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know.
Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about.
There's another prayer that goes with it that's very important. … '
Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer.
And that's it.
Most of the trouble people get into in life comes from leaving out that last part.
I'll be among the Tennessee faithful at the game. Look for the Tennessee fan with the Groucho Marx glasses and digitally blurred out facial features to protect the guilty.
Oh and So Long .......and thanks for all the fish!