Editor’s Favorite Razorback Moments
My dad and I were supposed to pick my mom up from a church function at about 10 p.m., on a Saturday night. This, however, would never happen, because this was the night Arkansas played Ole Miss and the game would last seven overtimes. I have always said that being a Razorback fan is worse than being a Cub’s fan considering how often we come so close to doing so well but fall short at the finish line. That night, however, quarterback Matt Jones, made sure that Arkansas would defeat future NFL quarterback Eli Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels. I still remember the game winning tackle by Jermaine Petty to prevent an Ole Miss Rebel from scoring and jumping off the couch with pure joy after such a long, hard-fought battle. Of course, my mom did eventually forgive us for not picking her up on time, but from me to you… it was worth it.
My favorite ‘Razorback moment’, per se, doesn’t really involve the Razorbacks at all. It was my sophomore year of college, and I was a clarinet player in the Razorback Marching Band. The game was on October 30 — and the timing was perfect to perform a Halloween-themed marching show. Our ‘Zombies in Fayetteville!’ show involved a few ‘zombified’ band members, a buff Batman and a macho Ironman. My favorite part of the show was the ending. It’s impossible to explain the feeling that overcame as all 350 band members placed their instruments down on the field of Donald W. Reynolds stadium and, without missing a beat, began the first few moves of Michael Jackson’s legacy — Thriller. The stadium exploded with applause as soon as they realized what was happening. What an awesome, adrenaline-pumping, exciting night that was. It’s definitely a memory I will never forget.
My favorite Razorback moment was actually not in the student section, though there is something awesome about sitting with thousands of other students and fans and singing “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble.” Rather, my favorite moment was the first time that I ever shot a game on the sidelines, when I showed up with my zoom lens and press pass, ready to get the best shot of the Arkansas vs. South Carolina game in 2011. There is nothing quite like walking through the tunnel and hearing the thousands and thousands of fans changing “Go Hogs, Go.” Seeing the action up close, feeling the breeze as the huge athletes stampede past you as you hold your camera tight, and feeling pretty important as you stand with the other media staff is something special. I’ll never forget my first day at Razorback stadium when I went onto the field and saw the wave of Razorback red and the scores of fans singing the fight song – now that’s a Razorback moment.
There is something special about watching the Hogs with family. In 2002, I was in Drasco, Ark., with my family sitting in a cabin at “Tannenbaum,” our traditional family reunion site. That Friday night, my family and I held our breath as we watched Matt Jones throw a 31-yard pass to DeCori Birmingham … we fell out of our chairs when it was complete. The “Miracle on Markham” secured a 20-20 score, and David Carlton secured the win with an extra point, which was a 35-yard attempt, because of an excessive celebration penalty. The Hogs went on to be the 2002 SEC Champions, and there was no better way to earn that title than Matt Jones’ 81-yard drive that most Hog fans will never forget.
There is a special atmosphere in a student section of Donald W. Reynolds stadium, and there is an even better feeling in the student section when a punt is caught by Joe Adams during the 2011 Tennessee vs. Arkansas game. Adams caught the ball, then ran all the way into the end zone with the Volunteers in his dust.
Asst. News Editor
When I saw the football team run through the “A” at the beginning of my first game, I just teared up out of sentimentalism. Then, when I heard the cannon go off for the first time, I was startled and fell into the girl in front of me, spilling her popcorn and making her tear up.
You can’t beat the pure adrenaline rush I experienced my freshman year as I watched Ryan Mallet throw a 43-yard pass to Ronnie Wingo on their first drive to make their first touchdown against No. 1 Alabama in 2010. I can still hear the silence in the air — full with hope and anxiety — as the ball flew into the hands of Wingo and he powered through to the end zone, giving us a 6-0 lead in less than 50 seconds after kickoff. The fans in the stadium erupted into a frenzy. We were ranked No. 10 at the time, and we knew going in it wasn’t going to be easy. When we made that touchdown, though, we were invincible, if just for that moment. I’ve always liked how the Razorbacks are often the underdog, and we seized our moment then. It was about as heartbreaking as an actual break-up watching them eventually lose by 4 points, but I’ve never been more excited at a Razorback game.
Asst. Companion Editor
When I think back on all my Razorback moments: the adrenaline, the game-day dresses, the kettle corn, the $4 diet cokes – I digress – my absolute favorite Razorback moment was the first game I went to freshman year. I came from a high school where my attendance at football games was more about socializing than actually watching anything important, so heading straight into the hog-crazed, 80,000-seat Donald W. Reynolds stadium was a magnificent sight. Your first game (especially when your school is in the SEC) is something you never forget, and even though the game against Tennessee Tech meant nothing to everyone else, it helped mold me into the Razorback fanatic (win or lose) that I am today.
I don’t have a favorite Razorback football moment that I can single out in my mind. My favorite experience in the football stands is singing “Oh, Lord It’s Hard to Be Humble.” The opportunities to link arms with my friends and sing loudly and out-of-tune have been limited this season, but I remain optimistic that I’ll get to join my voice with the rest of the fans and sing about how my beauty increases each day.
Asst. Sports Editor
My favorite Razorback moment has to be the Joe Adams punt return against Tennessee. I was at that game with my dad, and our seats were about five or six rows from the very top, which gave us a great view for this particular play. Time seemed to move slower during this play. At the beginning, when Adams kept reversing field and getting farther from the end zone, everyone seemed to be holding their breath, hoping he would just give up. Then the jets came on. By the time Adams laid the ball on the turf, I really thought our section was going to tumble to the ground.
Special Projects Editor
My favorite Razorback moment was the first time I sat in the student section at the football game. I had never been in an environment with so much energy and passion for one purpose: to support the Arkansas Razorback football team. As we stood up and cheered together, screaming with joy as we made touchdown after touchdown, I realized this would be a moment that would stay with me forever.