I GOT TICKETS HERE! WHO WANTS TICKETS? WE GOT THE RAZORBACKS HERE, THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS, LIVE AND IN PERSON! TYLER WILSON THROWIN KNILE DAVIS RUNNIN ALONZO HIGHSMITH HITTIN! STEP RIGHT UP STEP RIGHT UP ALL LOWER LEVEL! THERE'LL BE HOG CALLIN AND BAND MUSIC PLAYIN! HOGS BE WINNIN, WINNIN HOGS, WHO WANTS TO SEE WINNIN HOGS? SERIOUSLY THEY'RE PLAYIN LA-MO AND OLE MISS SO THEY'LL BE WINNIN SOMEONE PLEASE COME WATCH THEM WIN!
Single game tickets for Arkansas' two games in Little Rock go on sale Wednesday. I'm not one to tell people how to spend their money, but if you can, help sell these games out. I know it's Louisiana-Monroe and Ole Miss, but still, the games are worth seeing. For a potential top 10 team to not sell out a 55,000 seat stadium in the middle of the state looks bad for not just War Memorial, but the entire fan base.
When a Razorback game does not sell out, it's not just the fault of Fayetteville or the fault of Little Rock. That implies that the only people who fill Razorback Stadium are from Northwest Arkansas and the only ones to fill War Memorial are from Little Rock. That's simply not how it works. Filling both stadiums requires people coming in from out of town. So don't sit back and think this is all someone else's responsibility because you don't live within a 20 minute drive.
I know all about the Great Stadium Debate and how rabidly a huge chunk of fans despise War Memorial Stadium and refuse to watch a game there. Hate War Memorial all you want. Get on the message boards and call it a dump. Fine. But there are only 8 days this year when the Razorbacks will be playing in front of a near-purely home audience. 8. There are 357 days for all of us to discuss, analyze, joke about, hypothesize, and everything else about Razorback football. We get 8 chances to enjoy them in person. To see them run through the A. To sing the fight song and the alma mater and yell "Go Hogs!" at halftime. Don't dismiss the opportunity just because you don't like the stadium. Do you refuse to celebrate Christmas if the family dinner is at the one uncle's house you don't like?
Selling out games isn't just about us as fans either. An interesting and frequent topic on message boards is the lack of football players coming out of the Little Rock area. If you or your company bought tickets and gave them to a charity, say the Boys and Girls Club, it could be a tax write-off, plus you would help foster Razorback football interest among kids in the city. A lot of fans have stories about seeing games when we were kids and about how being in that game day environment helped create the fan devotion that came later.
I know tickets are expensive for most people. $55 for La-Mo and $65 for Ole Miss isn't cheap. I understand not everyone can pull that off. I've been in that boat. But if you can afford it, and you're a Razorback fan, or even if you're not and you just want to see what all the fuss is about, pick up a ticket.
And unless some opponent has an unexpectedly great year, it does appear the Razorbacks will never play a huge game in War Memorial again, so the incentive to keep season tickets for the LSU game isn't there anymore. But it's still the Razorbacks. And you still only get, at most, 8 chances each year to see a Razorback home game. Don't take them for granted. It will be January before we know it.
Doc Harper is the editor of ArkansasExpats.com and is a regular contributor to ArkansasSports360.com. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow his thoughts and observations on Twitter@doc_harper.