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Today is Arkansas' Turn At SEC Media Days; We're Terrified

This was written last year before John L Smith took the podium at Media Days. It's amazing how far we've come.

I can't tell you how much I love Jeff Long's face in this picture.
I can't tell you how much I love Jeff Long's face in this picture.
Wesley Hitt

At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, after Voldemort returns to human form and kills Edward Cullen Robert Pattinson (yay!), Voldemort then tortures Harry until Harry is able to make his escape. Instead of allowing Harry the opportunity to take some kick-ass sleeping potion to forget everything, Dumbledore forces Harry to relive the entire horrific episode down to the last excruciating detail while it's all fresh on his mind.

This is exactly what the Arkansas round at SEC Media Days will be like.

We're all ready to forget what happened in April and move on. But, this is the first time the entire national media will have a crack at John L. Smith, Tyler Wilson, Knile Davis, and Tank Wright, so I expect us to basically have to relive the ill-fated Pig Trail Party. Twitter's going to be nothing but Arkansas jokes for like 2 hours straight. Every SEC blogger is probably spending the night drinking and pre-planning the hilarious material they get to unleash upon all of us tomorrow.

And if nothing else, we're putting John L. Smith in front of like 1,000 people tomorrow. With a live mic. What could possibly go wrong?

Smith is destined to continue the tradition of legendary turkey inseminator Robbie Caldwell and turn in a memorable podium performance as the SEC's lone interim coach. Who knows what he'll say. It could be about running with the bulls or climbing a mountain or he could just scream or perform a monologue on the importance of getting one's piss hot. Smith could declare bankruptcy at the podium. Maybe he'll send a collection jar around the room. Perhaps, as a joke and to get in front of the questions, he lays an open an empty guitar case in front of the podium. Oh God!

And then the putrid questions for the players. "How did it feel when you heard about Jessica Dorrell?" "How did you react when you found out Petrino was fired?" "What was the mood in the locker room?" "Tank, we've heard you gave a speech after Petrino was fired. What did you say?" "Do you ride a motorcycle?" "Compare John L. Smith to Bobby Petrino" "Is your piss acceptably hot?" "Is it awkward having Paul Petrino on the staff?" "Does Paul talk about his brother?" "Have you had contact with Bobby?" "Y'all ever plan on beating Bama?"

Once it's all over, everyone will fall in love with John L. Smith, but no one will want him coaching their team. He'll be asked to hop on approximately 742 radio shows. People will feel sorry for the Razorback fans for having to go through all of it.

Razorback fans will get appropriately indignant. Flooding the message boards and twitter with comments about not letting things go and lack of respect and [media organization x] hates us. Then end the day by calling in to Rick and Randy to vent the frustrations. Once it's time to hang up and listen, we'll all need a stiff drink.

Tomorrow could be rough. Or maybe the press will be soft once they're charmed by the old man and give him a standing ovation when it's over. But it will be one or the other. The reliving of a horrific nightmare or the appreciation of a colorful character unafraid to speak his mind. No in between.

Crossing our fingers.

Doc Harper is a regular contributor to and You can email him at and follow his thoughts and observations on Twitter @doc_harper.