The Little Elf Wally wrote about today. As usual he wrote 600 words and said nothing... I have never seen one person waste that much space as often as he dos.
UA can take LSU, but 2 games must stay
By Wally Hall
LITTLE ROCK — By now some of the disappointment has dimmed.
The LSU game is moving to Fayetteville, replaced in War Memorial Stadium by Ole Miss.
For Arkansas Razorbacks fans in central, south and eastern Arkansas, the game with LSU had become one of pride.
A Thanksgiving weekend showdown.
For the Razorbacks fans in west and Northwest Arkansas, the joy is probably still pretty intense.
Where the disappointed fans are thinking no more miracles on Markham Street, the happy fans are thinking what 10,000 Tigers fans will do for their economy, especially when the games are played on Friday.
Most of those LSU faithful would come to the Rock and tailgate starting on Tuesday or Wednesday and stay until the day after the game.
They fried their turkeys with all their secret ingredients injected into their birds. They talked, drank and ate.
Now, they’ll take over every empty lot in Fayetteville and make it a hot spot for Tigers football.
It is understandable why some are disappointed: The LSU game had become a huge sporting/social event. It was a tough ticket and a hearty party with an estimated 20,000 tailgaters who were ticketless.
Yet, there is reason for the move, and it is about recruiting.
Bobby Petrino will let his boss Jeff Long be the face man on this decision, but the football coach wanted the game moved because NCAA rules only allow recruits to make one official visit to an off-campus facility.
So at Arkansas’ season finale every other year, there were no recruits, and make no mistake, the final visit is very important. Kids tend to remember the last thing they did.
Plus, there is the fact that next year if the LSU game were in the Rock that would have meant three consecutive weekends the Razorbacks were traveling.
The Razorbacks are at South Carolina on Nov. 10, at Mississippi State on the 17th and play LSU on the 24th (yes, it is a Saturday for now).
It seems the decision to swap one of the best teams in the SEC for one of the worst was made with one intent, to do what is best for the program.
All those disappointed fans will be over it by the time the Rebels come to town Oct. 27. It will still be a tough ticket. Arkansas has a long history with Ole Miss.
Plus, there are still two games in central Arkansas, and that should be continued beyond the 2016 contract.
The games in Little Rock connect the entire state. That’s what makes the Razorbacks special, and they are the undisputed No. 1 sports program in the state.
That’s because the family tree, rooted in Fayetteville,has a home away from home in the Rock.
Those two games make every game a family homecoming.
Kevin Crass, chairman of War Memorial Stadium, and all of the commissioners handled last week’s news with strength and dignity.
Crass and his son were at the Razorbacks basketball game Saturday and no one cheered louder or harder for the Hogs.
There is no doubt Fayetteville is no longer a sleepy college community. Northwest Arkansas is a thriving metropolis and it can easily handle six home games, and deserves every one of those.
Right now, the UA and its fans have a win-win situation.
No one is clamoring for more than one basketball game or one baseball game, which sold out in less than 24 hours. They just want to keep those and their two football games.
Granted, War Memorial Stadium isn’t as luxurious as Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium, but the grand old lady is constantly being updated and more improvements are being considered.
And the players love playing in both of their home stadiums.
Last week’s news of the game switch might have been disappointing, but it was what was best for the program, like keeping two games in central Arkansas.