They’ve got a few more games to play this season, but this weekend was the last Razorback football home game in Fayetteville. It’s been a season of fewer ups than downs — a new coach, young talent, a tough SEC schedule. If nothing else, it’s been a season to get lost in the culture of Razorback football, rather than the football itself.
OK, so maybe that’s just me. I certainly don’t speak for my entire household with such a statement — I know better. Sure sure, it’s about the football. Rankings and records and stats and bowl games. But for this girl — and I don’t think I’m alone here — it’s bigger than that.
The final game in Fayetteville meant the final tailgate of the season. And it was perfect. Tailgates this year have either been blazing hot, pouring rain, or early groggy mornings. But this weekend – was ideal. Crisp. Clear. Cool.
Becky stayed home with the kiddo and we spent the afternoon tailgating with Tena and Scott – and the rest of the Tusk to Tail folks. Kickoff was set for 5:00 – again, perfect. And we headed to the stadium in time to find our seats and settle in. We scored tickets in the Chancellor’s Box for this game – SWEET! – and we couldn’t wait to check it out.
After navigating the crowd and being escorted to the suite level, we were welcomed into the party. As we milled around, checking out the food and bar situation — and the extensive selection of ice cream! — we reminisced about that crazy time we lucked into “the most coveted tickets in sports”. This wasn’t quite THAT, but certainly a good time.
Our tickets had seat numbers on them, but no one seemed to be following any system. A nice couple noticed we looked lost and encouraged us to just find seats – that no one would mind. We spotted the only two empty seats together – in the front row – so we headed down there. As we sat down, the man to my left leaned over and introduced himself. “Hi there. Frank Fletcher. How’re y’all?”
Well, hello Frank Fletcher! Mr. I-own-half-the-car-dealerships-in-Arkansas! Nice to meet you! Jeff and I spent most of the game chatting with Frank and his wife Judy, and though I desperately wanted to, I refrained from asking them to take a picture with us. They were so sweet and are such big fans and supporters of not only the University of Arkansas, but the Walton College of Business.
While I did miss the noise and energy of being closer to the field and part of the action, the view was spectacular, the weather was clear as a bell, and what a perfect opportunity to try out the panoramic setting on my phone!
The game didn’t go our way, which was not unexpected, but the experience was fantastic. And my lucky red pants brought the first Razorback touchdown since early in the South Carolina game a month ago! We’d almost forgotten what those touchdown fireworks sound like!
During the final quarter of the game, Dr. Eli Jones – Dean of the Walton College of Business, invited us to the Walton College box for a quick hello. He and his sweet and sassy wife Fern were gracious hosts and a lot of fun.
And of course, we had to snag a photo with the Chancellor before we called it a night.
A win for the Razorbacks would certainly have been icing on the cake, but we had a great time anyway. Thanks for having us, Chancellor Gearhart! #neveryield