by Nate Olson
I remember many years when an Arkansas football game in Little Rock the day after Thanksgiving was a hot ticket. Some years, RVs would already be stationed on the golf course and fans would spend their Thanksgiving there.
This, unfortunately, is not one of those years. Arkansas football is historically bad. Most fans are solely interested in who will replace Chad Morris. For them, the season has been over for a while.
I get it, the past two years have been torturous for Hogs fans. However, if you have tickets for the game Friday you should go. If you don’t, you should buy some (There are plenty of good, cheap ones to be had.). Here are five reasons why you should head out to War Memorial Stadium.
1. Support Barry Lunney, Jr. and the Seniors
Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek made a smart decision appointing former Arkansas quarterback and tight ends coach/special teams coordinator, Barry Lunney, Jr., the team’s interim head coach. Lunney has said all of the right things after taking over the reins three weeks ago. Lunney is pure class and a Hog at heart. The team played with more enthusiasm under his tutelage against an LSU team it was just overmatched against. That won’t be the case against Missouri. Arkansas has a chance to win (See below).
Not only should fans support Lunney but also the team’s seniors. The official Senior Day was held before the Western Kentucky game Nov. 9 in Fayetteville in front of a very sparse crowd. These kids have endured a lot over four or five years. It would be nice to send them out with a loud ovation in front of a large group of fans.
2. Keep Little Rock Games
Arkansas football should be better at some point. When it is, it would be cool to still have a contract intact that stipulates games be played at War Memorial Stadium every other year. The deal calls for WMS to sell at least 45,000 tickets per game. Having a good crowd during a terrible season would make a difference with decision makers. The attendance will be scrutinized during this trial run of regular season and spring game combos. Get in those seats and give UA brass a reason to keep this awesome tradition alive.
A bad football team never stopped a good party. The golf course, now closed, adjacent to the stadium is one of the best tailgating spots in the county. Get out there early and have a good time. Just don’t have too good of time that you don’t make it in the stadium or that you end up in a drunken brawl that goes viral. We don’t need any of that.
4. Black Friday Shopping is Overrated
Some of you will use this bad football season as an excuse to get a leg up on your Christmas shopping. Don’t!. And don’t stand in line on Thanksgiving night, either. I did that once, and it nearly came to blows. If you have to go shopping go on Saturday or Sunday or two weeks from now. The deals aren’t that good. Or you can follow my lead and shop at a few local businesses and load up on Cyber Monday and be done without any lines or fisticuffs.
5. A Hogs Win
At last check, Arkansas was a 21-point underdog. I don’t get that. I understand Arkansas is horrible, but Missouri is riding a five-game losing streak, hasn’t won on the road and is only playing for pride since they are not bowl eligible after being punished by the NCAA for rules violations. Mizzou was big-time sour grapes about that, too, to the point where the NCAA publicly responded. They are focused on being wronged and will come out flat. Look for this game to go into the fourth quarter with walk-on Hogs quarterback Jack Lindsey leading the way. It could be a happy, memorable end to a God-awful season.