As the game was looking like a replay of last weekend’s Mississippi State game, the title possibilities for this post included “Same Old, Same Old.”
But with the entry of Casey Dick for his younger brother in the second half and the storybook finish to Casey’s Arkansas career, it became “A Tale of Two Dicks” (When would I ever get to use this again? haha).
It was the best of times and the worst of times of the 2008 season encapsulated into one game. Here are 21 observations from an older brother who was there.
1. The morning of the Mississippi State game involved my crossing the path of a black cat on the way back from getting a paper and the needed sports section. I jokingly told my mother that we might as well call Petrino and the Hogs back from Starkville. Game over. This morning while going for a paper I crossed the path of yet another cat. But it was not entirely black and wasn’t wearing LSU purple and gold, so just maybe things would turn out all right.
2. From Warren to Pine Bluff to Little Rock, my mother and I met one vehicle that was obviously going to the game, and it had a tiger tail hanging out the trunk and Louisiana plates. Would the Hog faithful be there?
3. It turns out that they were, and for the most part, they stuck through the bad weather that was supposed to stay south of Little Rock and the unanswered LSU points of the second and third quarters. The LSU fans traveled well themselves, I should add.
4. The feel walking through the golf course was one that didn’t have the buzz of the 2006 game. You could feel in the air that much less was at stake today. But it was still an Arkansas football game, and we wouldn’t be seeing one of these for a long time, so I considered myself “up” for the game! I was just hoping the players were feeling the same thing.
5. There was still the “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez” element about the LSU tailgaters, even in a year that wouldn’t end in a national championship. I did spot a group of LSU fans, beer in hands, dancing to Cajun music inside the courtyard they had made with their parked RV’s. It was one of those "only in the SEC" moments.
6. Tickets by the handful were to be had outside the gates. And so were free posters once you crossed through the gates. The good people of Chesapeake Energy were giving out these “Ultimate Razorback” posters that shows a cartoon Hog player that has an arrow to the “Thighs: Darren McFadden, Running Back, 2005-07,” the “Arm: Joe Ferguson, QB, 1969-72″ and so forth. When the day was done, they could have added “Feel Good Story: Casey Dick, QB, 2005-08.”
7. We’ve all heard about the rudeness of LSU fans and their in-your-face ways. A fan who accidentally knocked over our bottle drinks and fizzed them up (no spillage) insisted we take eight dollars for the accident. We eventually relented after much protest. Are you expecting me to say this was an LSU fan? In fact, the gentleman was a Hog. My friend Shannon who sat amongst the Tigers with his father reported that they were rude and arrogant, but some did congratulate them after the game was over. But no way an LSU fan would have paid for our drinks, right?
8. Two touchdowns on the first two drives and both at my end of the field. The Hogs are going to roll today, right? I don’t think there were too many poncho wearing Arkansas fans who believed that this initial outburst of Arkansas touchdowns would turn into a steady rain of scores. We all knew the history of the season. If the Hogs were to win, it would have to, by the law of this season, be on the final play, with the opposing team coming up short.