One more sleep ’til (Arkansas followers’ version of) Christmas.
Thank the heavens. Thursdays are the roughest days of the college football week if your team, or the team you cover, isn’t playing until Saturday. Few teams have availability. Most of the storylines have been gone over and gone over, if not completely played out. The only thing left to do is sit and wait.
Down at the Broyles Center and Fred W. Smith Football Center, the homes of Arkansas football through the week, the play-up to this weekend’s game against Alabama is at a fever pitch. According to one fan, it’s at an all-time high.
Arkansas is treating this like the biggest game in school history and I've already forgotten who we're playing this week twice
— Will Elliott (@Will_Elliott22) October 6, 2016
You’re forgiven, Will. We have busy lives, most of us. He’s right, though, in one respect. Arkansas is going full-bore with its sellout crowd. Every day something comes out about the plan to stripe the stands or breaking a sound record inside the stadium with decibels. Even coach Bret Bielema urged fans to be as raucous as possible Saturday night, something he doesn’t do too often.
Arkansas has a handful of well-known fans. Justin Moore, the country singer, is from Poyen and a semi-regular on local sports talk radio. TJ Holmes, the CNN and ABC anchor from West Memphis, is an Arkansas grad. Syndicated country radio DJ Bobby Bones is from Hot Springs. And, this one was new to me, Matt Besser, one of the founding members of the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, is from Little Rock.
I’m not an Arkansas native, myself, so I had my favorite comedian from the troupe as a Razorbacks fan. If you’re too young (or too square) to remember Upright Citizens Brigade, give this a look. Note: The clip is somewhat mature in nature.
Besser is the second guy you see, the one sitting down. He tweeted earlier this week he was going to be back in town for the game on Saturday. And he has a prediction.
— Matt Besser (@MattBesser) October 3, 2016
I long ago stopped being enamored with players and coaches as celebrities. They’re just regular men and women. But actors? Yeah, I haven’t come to that yet, so …
Matt, you want to hop on our Facebook Live before the game Saturday?
Bama hate week
Earlier this week on Twitter, I asked you to supply me some anti-Crimson Tide memes or jokes. It was the first time I’ve done so but might make it a tradition going forward. Response was fair. Some were a bit too crass to repost here.
However, a few made me chuckle. Here are a handful from the collection.
If you have a car filled with a Bama WR, DT, and LB…who's driving? A cop. https://t.co/GEBkP13Fqz
— Tyler (@ShakeNTaake) October 5, 2016
Topical what with the offseason issues the Crimson Tide have dealt with in recent months. What else?
— Doug Campbell (@gohodoug) October 5, 2016
All right, going a little political crossover. I like it.
@ericwbolin my favorite Alabama saying is "Around the bowl and down the hole, roll tide roll"
— #Fastest40 (@HawgHoops) October 5, 2016
Old school. Right on.
Like I said, a few too many were inappropriate, which I get. Those are funny to some people. Keep it up and we’ll try again soon.
Ah, yes, 2006. I remember it too well. My final senior year of college (don’t ask). The year of Mitch Mustain and Gus Malzahn and 10 wins for Arkansas. The year also was the last one in which Arkansas beat Alabama.
It was the fourth game of the season and the Razorbacks had been, uh, less than spectacular, let’s say that. They were shallacked by USC in the season opener by 36 points; they put up just 20 against Utah State; and they beat Vanderbilt by a mere two. Top 25 Alabama visited next and two words live in infamy.
Alabama’s kicker missed two field goals in regulation and an extra point in overtime as Arkansas pulled off the win inside Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. If you want to relive it …
It hasn’t happened since.
They call him Benny Baseball
Not my favorite nickname. Too easy. But ya know what, who cares? The dude can rake.
Andrew Benintendi, who spent two years playing baseball at Arkansas, hit his first career postseason home run Thursday night against Cleveland, breaking a 1-1 tie in the third inning for his Boston Red Sox.
— SportzNowLive © (@SportzNowLive) October 7, 2016
Benintendi came to bat in the ninth inning with two outs, nobody on and Boston down, 5-4, and singled to keep things alive before Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the game. The 5-4 score was the final in Game 1 of the best-of-5 series, but Benintendi became the youngest player in Red Sox history — which is quite the statement — to hit a home run in the postseason. We’re going to see this guy for a long, long time.
Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow’s status for Saturday’s game is still to be decided. Ragnow returned from Minnesota after the death of his father following Frank’s game against Alcorn State.
The women’s soccer team won its eighth straight game Thursday night, whipping Vanderbilt, which was top 3 in the SEC, 4-0, in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 11 in the nation and sit atop the league with a 6-0 conference record and 13-1 overall mark.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
Don’t get your feathers ruffled on this one. Ahem.
Apparently, it’s an annual tradition at Yellville’s Turkey Trot festival to drop live turkeys from airplanes. People come out and cheer for this, too.
Gross. Turkeys can fly, yes, but they’re not exactly migratory birds. They fly in the air for moments and always take off from the ground. Dropping them from 500 feet is terrible. Shame on the Turkey Trot. I’m with Max Brantley over at Arkansas Blog. This needs to stop.