Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Reader emails in search of sports answers
Years ago when email was becoming common, the personal decision was made to treat it like hand-stamped and delivered mail.
If someone could take the time to write, yours truly could take the time to reply.
In all these years, the guess is 99.9% were answered.
The vast majority of the emails are sincere, and most show a true passion for sports in Arkansas.
Understand, this reporter doesn’t have all the answers. Far from it. While not always right, I’m always trying to be.
Here’s a random sampling of some of the emails received recently:
You haven’t predicted how many games my Razorbacks will win this season. I’m thinking with an improved line, new coaches and a quarterback with SEC experience that 6-4 is possible.
Henry in Harrison.
Henry, if memory serves, you picked 9-3 last season and 10-2 the season before. You are becoming much more objective.
Like you, the belief is the offensive line has to be better. Last year, the line gave up more sacks on Saturdays than Walmart.
Sam Pittman brought a disciplined attitude to practice, and how a team practices is usually how it plays.
All that said, the Razorbacks are not just in the toughest football conference in the country, their in the single toughest division. Then they had Florida and Georgia added to the schedule.
They don’t necessarily have to win games to show improvement, but the guess here is they win at least two, and one will be a surprise. Actually, considering the past two years, maybe any win will be a surprise.
Will we have basketball this year?
The NCAA Basketball Tournament was canceled when the cases of coronavirus reported were low. Now they are not so low, but some conferences are playing football.
Will that affect basketball?
Finally will Arkansas and UALR men ever play?
Jerry in Fort Smith.
Jerry, if the football season is canceled at some point, that could affect basketball. But as of today, it appears basketball will start play in December.
Cancelling the basketball tournament in March was the right decision, but everyone has learned a lot about social distancing and living in a bubble since then.
Besides, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the NCAA’s biggest fundraiser, and it needs the money.
Yes, there will be a basketball season.
Yes, the Razorbacks will meet the Trojans in a real game. Last year, the ice was broken when they played an exhibition game to raise money for flood victims.
What will be the biggest football game played in Arkansas this season?
Sandy in Fayetteville
Sandy, there are dozens of great high school games every Friday night.
As for college football, two seem to really stand out, including the University of Arkansas’ opener with No. 4 Georgia. Sam Pittman was the assistant head coach of the Bulldogs last year.
The other is in Jonesboro on Oct. 10 when Arkansas State University hosts the University of Central Arkansas. It would have been sold out if not for the virus.
It seems that even though some schools aren’t reporting virus numbers (and why not?) among football players that it is growing and could cause the season to be canceled or postponed.
What do you think?
Donald in Little Rock
Donald, the number of virus cases among football players is much lower than the general population on campuses. Until there is a vaccine, there will be new cases daily, on and off the football field.
Just Tuesday, ASU postponed its game set for Saturday against UCA because too many Red Wolves are unavailable.
If the pandemic becomes an epidemic among football teams, then yes, it could be canceled or postponed.
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