Dear Unstable Razorback Fan,
Things are pretty bleak now, aren't they? Walking out of Razorback Stadium Saturday following the don't-call-it-an-upset of the Hogs at the hands of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, I looked over the railing onto the concourse level below me, and for just one fraction of a second consid-- oh, whatever. Like you didn't. And then I laughed and shrugged things off as much as I could, because I have done my best over the past two weeks or so to come to terms with what this season is and what it represents. I've made my peace.
I'll be fine. You could be too, but first we've got to exorcise the crazy out of you. And being an Arkansas fan, the crazy has most likely seeped deep, deep into your bones. Fortunately for you, numbered lists are the holy water to your inner demon, and I am here to provide.
So, please. Read. Follow. Leave batshit crazy for A&M and Alabama.
1. You do not get a personal audience with Jeff Long. Not in the best of times, not in the worst of times, and not now, when we have entered the surreal realm of a Walter White/Gaylord Focker lovechild of bad decisions and rotten luck. Peppering the Broyles Center with bitchy call after bitchy call when nothing immediate can be done to address the situation does nothing but frustrate those who are charged with bailing water from this sinking ship. If you must call, call once. Not every day. If you are truly the fan you claim to be when you call into every radio show within the state's borders, then you want those you are seeking the ear of to be spending their time working on a solution to the football program's many problems instead of listening to a fan rail about the same things he or she railed on yesterday. John L. Smith is not being fired this week. Butch Davis is not getting hired this week. Razorback Stadium is not switching back to Coke this week. Give. It. A. Rest.
2. Speaking of call-in radio shows, just don't. Thanks to the internet and Eisenhower's brilliant Interstate Highway System, your idiocy can be heard by citizens of all 50 states as well as the rest of the online world. I, along with the rest of the state, give no further credence to the ridiculous and factually impossible rumor passed on to you via a respected fourth-hand source just because you spout it off to every show in the state. Caller-driven radio is bad enough, but when the callers are as crazy as you, well... let's just say that it makes one remember with fondness the time(s) that Rainwater used the word 'sequential" instead of "consequently". Don't be that guy. Bite your tongue, turn it up, listen to the rest of the idiots and be proud that it's not you.
3. You are hereby prohibited from uttering (or even thinking!) the following names:
Nick Saban, Les Miles, Jon Gruden, Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer. Not coming. No way. No how. Move on.
4. I swear to God, if you even think about flying a banner... In your feeble-minded rush to torch the barn and kill the rats because it feels good, it seems that you forget the impact such a maneuver would have on the seasons down the road. 2012 is lost. Get that through your head. A slash and burn strategy just to get what you want now instead of later comes at the expense of yet another black mark against the Razorback fan base. It's just not worth it. Banners and real estate signs are the calling card of crazy. Save it for a coach whose fate isn't already sealed. Or better yet... DON'T BE SO FREAKING CRAZY ALL THE TIME.
5. Twitter tip. Tweeting a Razorback that you follow with a picture of your child wearing that Hog's jersey is one thing. Even tweeting one or two of your favorite players with words of encouragement is okay. Tweeting them out of anger, with specific questions about the game, or with conspiracy theories concerning the next coach are quite another. We are all passionate, but do remember that it's still a spectator sport. Interaction with the participants should be calm, cordial, and kept to a minimum. We are fans. We cheer. That's our job.
6. Enough with the Fire Jeff Long ridiculousness. Obviously, the decision to bring on John L. Smith is not one he's going to list as one of his best. Quibbling over whether or not he had a choice to fire Bobby Petrino back in April is pointless. Regardless of what he did with it, he was dealt just about the worst possible hand he could have gotten in this whole sorry affair, and judging his ability based upon his failure to turn it into a winner thus far is just wrong. Simple as that. Give him an opportunity to make a hire with a fair pool of viable candidates, and ample time to woo them. The last school to hire a coach following a prolonged coaching search was Ohio State, and they landed Urban Meyer in one of the very few "home run" hires of the past decade. Those who want to fire and hire an athletic director before we hire our next football coach are not operating in reality. This probably means you, cray-cray.
Things are bad now, crazy man, but just remember that they are probably going to get worse before they get better. Much worse, in fact. So do yourself a favor, follow the above list to the letter, and make yourself less of an embarrassment to this fine state.
Silence is golden,
Trent Wooldridge will be that guy with enough bourbon. He loves the S-E-C chant and honks because he hates Texas. He puts honey on his pizza, demands aisle seats, and sees quitting golf as more of a hobby than actually playing golf. Follow @twooldridge and track his quest to transform his two-year-old into a southpaw ace in the bigs.