Hog Calls:

Hogs need help at home: Cut the noise

By: Nate Allen
Published: Saturday, January 19, 2019
The Arkansas band performs during a timeout in the first half of the Razorbacks' 79-67 win on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Photo by Thomas Metthe
The Arkansas band performs during a timeout in the first half of the Razorbacks' 79-67 win on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Obviously these struggling Arkansas Razorbacks need all the help they can get from their home crowd when they return to Walton Arena on Wednesday night vs. the Missouri Tigers.

And they'll get it, too. Or at least as much as the UA allows the fans to help before competing against them with its own kind of "help."

Coach Mike Anderson's Razorbacks stand just 10-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC going into today's game at Ole Miss. They already have lost four at Walton, where they normally seldom lose at all.

Yet the fans have supported and exhorted as much as allowed. Sure many abandoned ship with the Hogs down 48-32 to the Florida Gators on Jan. 9 with 9:32 left, following Arkansas lagging 33-22 after a painful-to-watch first half.

But those staying exuberantly rallied, helping the Hogs rally furiously, closing the deficit to down two before finally Florida prevailed 57-51.

And they certainly hung with the Hogs as much as allowed during last Saturday's fast and furious 94-88 overtime loss to LSU at Walton.

Allowed because it seems when the crowd roars spontaneously the UA then interjects an arsenal of amplified noise that's just noise.

The beleaguered few longtime readers of this column space will presume today's missive flogging a dead horse since variations of this subject have been previously addressed.

But LSU point guard Tremont Waters provided fresh ammunition during last Saturday's postgame.

Of all the SEC head coaches, it seems second-year LSU Coach Will Wade has the least to fear from Walton's mystique. Last season at Walton, LSU led a 23-12 Arkansas team by 20 at half and won 75-54.

Yet last week Wade readied the Tigers for Walton like a Hog Call hell on earth.

"Coach played," Waters said pausing, "I don't know what sound it was during practice this past week, but it was Hog sound and their chant with their band, and he puts it on full blast. You can't hide from it. You can't block it out."

Well you can if the UA itself blocks it out. Notice that Waters said Wade full blasted "the Hog sound and their chant with their band."

No mention of Queen's "We Will Rock You" blasting now at UA games as it generically cookie-cuts throughout basketball.

No mention of the collection of cacophony the UA interjects including one drearily dominating dirge more conjuring some cult's sacrificial rite than rallying basketball fans.

As for the band, once probably worth five points during Jim Robken's Hogwild Band days at Barnhill, it now plays an infrequent distant second fiddle to artificial noise.

Perhaps like Razorbacks football fans, apparently as numbed from ear-splitting amplified noise before kickoffs as they are by 4-8, 2-10 seasons, basketball fans will numb to it all, too.

Razorbacks fans can only hope that baseball isn't "helped" next.

Dave Van Horn and Baum Stadium don't need it.

Not that basketball and football ever did, either.

Sports on 01/19/2019

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