The season approaches and with it comes Razorback Nation's sense that the Hogs could have a really special year this year. The offense is in place. The defense, well, it should be better. Tejada has some competition, so possibly his kicking will be improved as well, or the new guy will take his job. Though still a tough schedule, it does look better than what we had last year. Florida morphs into Vanderbilt at home, for example. But what the Hogs are going to need too is a good bit of luck. Championship teams and just really good seasons involve luck and the ball bouncing or being tipped in just the right way. We started the year back in Memphis with the opposing team's kicker having a complete meltdown. Will the Hogs continue the year living off the bad fortune of other teams? Will we have that great turnover ratio again this season? Will some other team's quarterback stumple and fumble the ball within the remaining two minutes of a game? I don't know. But I do employ certain superstitious tactics of my own to help the Hogs, such as looking away at another channel for a moment, eating a ham sandwich to bring about touchdowns, and holding my ancient Greek coin with its running Razorback (Calydonian boar) to the tv screen. But whatelse might the fanbase do to bring the Hogs some good luck? Here is what a brief google search turned up.
RUSSIA - Carrying a fish scale in one's purse or wallet is considered lucky. Well, our fanbase has plenty of bass fishermen in it, so I don't think we would have a problem turning up with fish scales to games.
CHINA - The number eight is considered lucky because its pronunciation is similar to the pronunciation of the Chinese character meaning prosperity and wealth. So maybe we, as a collective fanbase, should just holler out the name of the player who wears number eight?
CHINA (pt. 2) - They paint their door red before New Years as a way to bring good luck. Sounds like a great way to help us in our quest to win back to back bowl games.
CHINA (pt. 3) - Lots of good luck ideas come from China, including the idea that the pig itself is a good luck symbol. Hey, can a billion Chinese be wrong? They also probably have not seen a lot of Razorback games, or they might have some doubts about their pig theory.
INDIA - The swastika is a good luck charm that dates back to the Neolithic period. For the Hindus, it is a symbol of the elephant headed good luck god, Ganesh. The word itself comes from svastika, which means lucky charm. Well, I just don't think this one is going to work for us. Nazi Germany ruined things here. If you think Ole Miss catches hell for fans waiving a rebel flag, imagine us waiving the swastika and trying to claim it as a good luck charm!
SOUTH AFRICA - Lottery players consider a vulture head a good luck charm. Hey, you are welcome to gather all the vulture heads that you want to stock-up on, but like the swastika, I think this one is better left at home.
EGYPT - The custom of putting a figurehead at the bow of a ship can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. There is an old sea legend that a woman's breasts will calm the seas. Can you see us putting a wooden carved cheerleader, breasts bare, on the front of the team bus? haha. I don't think so.
EGYPT (pt. 2) - The ancient Egyptians considered scarabs in the form of a beetle a good luck symbol, for the beetle was a symbol of rebirth, regeneration, and transformation. I am for putting a scarab in the locker of each member of our defense. That transformation, regeneration idea sounds like just what they need.
JAPAN - A statue of a laughing buddha is considered a good luck charm. You rub the Buddha's belly for good luck. I have one of these that I picked up in Thailand. I'll be sure to rub his belly some this fall. I bet a large portion of the Baptists of Arkansas would overcome their scrubbles and rub that belly in a tight fourth quarter with Alabama! haha.
ARAB Countries - A hand with an eye painted amid the palm and two thumbs is used to protect against evil (Nick Saban). Could you see at War Memorial 50,000 plus sets of eyeballs looking down on the field when we do the Hog call? Now, the question is would Jeff Long charge us for those extra eyes? I would hope not.
UNITED STATES - I save the weirdest for last. A raccoon penis bone is considered a good luck charm by some. It is also called the "Texas Toothpick." Hmm, does this explain all the bad luck Tennessee has been having of late? They lost their raccoon penis bones, you know the ones they had tucked in their coonskin caps the night that Stoerner fumbled in Knoxville.
Well, that is a sampling, and a strange one, of what I found. We here at Arkansasexpats are curious to hear in the comment section what lucky charms or rituals you'll employ to bring the Hogs the luck that I am sure they are going to need at more than one point this season.