How do you produce 500, 700, 1000 words recapping a game that could be summed up with a single sentence?
Alabama whipped our ass. Completely. On virtually every play, in every conceivable phase of football the mind could create. What we saw Saturday was what you see when a team is bigger, faster, stronger, more talented, more disciplined, better coached, better prepared, and more motivated than their opponent. I cannot imagine ALL of those components wind up on one side of the ledger very often, because I have seldom watched a football game that was so one sided. Even overmatched cupcakes usually find some small, token salvation to take away from a contest, but I can find no such consolation for the Razorbacks.
It was so bad that I really have no idea what team will show up next Saturday to play Rutgers. I also do not have any idea just how good of a team Alabama has this season. Because there is no way for my brain to process what my eyes witnessed Saturday afternoon without totally melting down.
That couldn't have happened. It just couldn't have.
It was apparent from the first play on Frank Broyles Field that the Arkansas game plan was to punt and hope that Alabama would muff enough of them that the Hogs might luck into enough points to make the score halfway respectable. Of course, the Crimson Tide made no such mistakes (or at least the mistakes weren't replay reviewable) while the Razorbacks quickly showed that they could not even punt the football without shooting themselves in the foot.
Think about that. The plan was to punt, and the Hogs couldn't even pull that off.
So, I left.
I left Razorback Stadium with four minutes remaining in the second quarter. As a fan, somebody who saves throughout the calendar year to spend seven or eight Saturdays a season cheering for my team and relishing in the pageantry of the greatest sport on earth, I had to remove myself from the situation because I could not watch anymore. Not there, sitting in the rain, listening to The Million Dollar Band celebrate with fanfare each Alabama accomplishment, which always seemed to coincide with yet another Razorback miscue. It truly seemed that each successive Crimson Tide score drove yet another nail not just into the game, but into the coffin of the entire Razorback program.
So, I left.
I left and returned to our tailgate and ate and drank and was merry. I enjoyed the company of friends I see far too infrequently, and I made some new ones while I was at it. Win, lose, or get completely humiliated. I only get seven or eight of these Saturdays annually. The 2012 season may be one giant waste on the football field for the Hogs, but that doesn't dictate that I have to waste these days I have anticipated so much by succumbing to the pallor as well.
I left, but I will be back next Saturday to watch the Razorbacks play Rutgers, and to hopefully watch the team I had to abandon against Alabama fight some and grow some and win at least some of those phases they got utterly owned in on Saturday. Hopefully there will be some football takeaways to be made from the game that aren't accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders and a rueful, whattayagonnado smile. Because that's all I'm left with after the Alabama game.