Ten Reasons Everyone Should Be an Arkansas Razorback Fan
The University of Arkansas’ athletic teams have not always been called the Razorbacks. During the early years of its athletic history, the Cardinal served as the University nickname.
A lot of things changed in 1909, however, when Arkansas football coach Hugo Bezdek claimed his team played like “a wild band of Razorback hogs,” after guiding them to a 16-0 victory over LSU on October 30, 1909.
Alluding to the Razorback, characterized by a ridge back and tenacious, wild fighting ability, Bezdek never forgot this idea and often called his team “a fighting band of Razorbacks.” This new nickname became increasingly popular and the student body voted to change the official University mascot from the Cardinal to the Razorbacks in 1910.
In the 100+ years since, the Razorbacks have charged to National Championships, Conference Championships and participated in the Greatest College Football Game of All Time, The Shootout.
So why should you be an Arkansas Razorback fan? Here's ten good reasons...
10) Baum Stadium: Home of Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball
When Baum Stadium opened in 1996 it was the class of college baseball venues. Now, more than a decade later, Baum Stadium remains the gold standard for college baseball facilities.
Arkansas became the first team in NCAA history to average more than 8,000 tickets sold per game (8,069) with a total of 266,270 tickets sold for the 33 home games in 2007. UA also turned in an impressive average actual attendance of 6,007 per game with 198,218 fans passing through the gates for the season.
Each year, UA officials are approached by coaches and administrators requesting access to the Baum Stadium blueprints as they plan to renovate an existing facility or build a new one in hopes of replicating the comfort and style of the Razorbacks' home.
9) Arkansas Razorback Track & Field and Cross Country
40 National Championships. Enough Said.
There are only a handful of universities which maintain a live mascot program, the University of Arkansas is one of those schools. The live mascot for the University of Arkansas is named Tusk. He is a Russian boar that closely resembles a wild razorback hog and weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. The razorback hog is all but extinct in the United States, with the only confirmed sightings taking place in Austrailia.
Tusk attends all home Razorback football games, as well as various other events.
7) Bud Walton Arena: Home of Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball
Also known as "The Basketball Palace of Mid America", Bud Walton Arena seats 19,368 hog fans which makes it the 5th largest on campus basketball facility in the United States.
During the inagural season of Bud Walton Arena in 1993-1994, thanks to the leadership of Coach Nolan Richardson, the Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994 defeating Duke University. The following season the Razorbacks appeared in the championship game against UCLA. The Razorbacks have been to the NCAA Final Four in 1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994 and 1995, and won the SEC Tournament in 2000.
6) Hogs in High Places
The University of Arkansas is home to an elite group of alumni including the "Head Hog", Former President Bill Clinton. Arkansas was also the launching pad for legendary NFL coaches, players and owners. The Razorback nation is strong in Basketball, Baseball and in the broadcasting booth of your favorite sports networks.
Notable Razorback Alumni Include:
- Bill Clinton - 42nd President of the United States and UA graduate
- Jerry Jones - Dallas Cowboys owner and former Razorback football player
- Jimmy Johnson - Former Coach of Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys and former Razorback football player
- Barry Switzer - Former Coach of Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys and former Razorback football player
- Pat Summerall - Legendary broadcaster and former Arkansas Razorback football player
- Joe Johnson - NBA All-Star with Atlanta Hawks and former Arkansas Razorback basketball player
- Cliff Lee - Top starting pitcher in MLB with the Philidelphia Phillies and former Arkansas Razorback baseball player
5) The Razorbacks in the Rock
Two times each season the Razorback football team calls War Memorial Stadium home, the 55,000 seat stadium located in the state capitol of Little Rock. The 18 hole golf coarse adjacent to the stadium transforms into a sea of red days prior to the game, as Razorback fans from across the state set up shop for one of the biggest tailgate parties in the south.
The Razorbacks are 128-51 all time at War Memorial Stadium, with the marquee matchup with LSU coming to town every other year.
4) Razorback Pride
Fans love the Razorbacks and that is easily evidenced by the more than 1 million people who were in attendance at last year’s athletic contests.
1,149,641 - Total number of fans attending Razorback home events in 2009-10
The Hogs are the only show in town in the state of Arkansas, with no other major Division 1 schools and no professional sports teams. Every child born in Arkansas bleeds Razorback Red from day one.
3) The Rivalries
The Battle for the Boot
Arkansas battles LSU each season in football for rights the massive Golden Boot, a 4ft tall, 175 pound trophy replicating the states of Arkansas and Louisiana.This rivalry has heated in recent years, with the outcome of the game having huge BCS implications.
LSU won the inaugural game in 1996, 17–7, and for the next six years, the trophy changed hands every meeting, beginning with LSU in 1997. After Arkansas' "Miracle on Markham" victory in 2002, LSU won the rivalry and the Golden Boot four consecutive times from 2003 to 2006.
The trophy returned to Arkansas' possession on November 23, 2007 when the Razorbacks beat then top-ranked, and eventual BCS National Championship game winner LSU 50-48 in three overtimes in Baton Rouge. Arkansas successfully defended the Golden Boot again in 2008 with a spectacular come-from-behind victory in the last minute of gameplay. However, in 2009, LSU recaptured the trophy with a field goal by Josh Jasper in overtime. The 2010 matchup was played on November 27 in Little Rock, and was won 31-23 by Arkansas.
The Southwest Classic
Arkansas and Texas A&M battled each other for years in the old Southwestern Conference, playing their final game in 1991. However, thanks to former Hog and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the rivalry has been renewed with the Southwest Classic. The game takes place at "Jerry's House" in Dallas each season and serves as a Razorback home game, despite it taking place in A&M's state.
On October 3, 2009, the two teams met for the first time since 1991, with Arkansas winning 47-19. Arkansas came back from a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter to win the game over the Aggies 47-19 in the first "Southwest Classic" game. Last season Arkansas took home the hardware once again with a 24-17 win.
2) The Hog Call
There's not a more unique chant in all of college sports than the Hog Call. The tradition is said to have started in the 1920s when farmers attempted to encourage a Razorback football team that was losing.The next home game produced a group who repeated the cheer often. Today, the cheer can be heard before the kickoff and multiple times throughout the games.
The Hog Call was ranked the #6 College Football Chant by Bleacher Report in 2009.
1) There's Only One Razorback
There are dozens of Lions, Tigers and Bears, but in all of college athletics there is only one Razorback.
The distinctive logo of the Arkansas teams is officially known as the Profile Hog, but is known to many fans as the Helmet Hog -- a fixture of the football team’s helmet for almost half a century.
There's no greater distinction in college sports, than the Razorbacks. There's no greater pride in college sports than cheering for them.