It’s not too late for New Year’s resolutions. I’ve come up with five ideas that will help make 2014 the year of the Hog fan. Take them or leave them, but I think they will make your fandom more enjoyable.
1. Be Positive
This doesn’t mean do your best "Sunshine" Rick Schaeffer impression all year (although, there is nothing wrong with that if that is your thing). However, there is nothing wrong with constructive criticism.
- "The passing game needs work."
- "Arkansas needs to quit committing personal fouls on kickoffs that go out of bounds."
Those are all fair constructive criticisms. However…
- "Bielema is a terrible coach."
- "Brandon Allen is the worst thing since Casey Dick."
Those are the types of comments that serve no purpose. It is a free country and people have the right to say those things, but nothing good comes from comments like that.
2. Don’t tweet at recruits
This tweet from the compliance office says it all.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Razorback Fans: We appreciate all of ur support, but please refrain from tweeting @ PSAs. Let's leave the recruiting to our awesome coaches!</p>— RazorbackRules (@RazorbackRules) <a href="https://twitter.com/RazorbackRules/statuses/385772016034267136">October 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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3. Start supporting a non-revenue generating Razorback sports team
I spent almost a year covering several non-revenue generating, or some call "Olympic", Razorback sports teams. These are some of the most successful Razorback programs on campus and deserve more support. I have no scientific evidence to support this, but fans that support NRG teams seem happier. You can do some research to pick your own team, but here are some ideas.
Go see an indoor track meet. The men’s and women’s programs are among the nation’s elite. If you like things that are fast, this is an event for you.
Go watch a softball game at Bogle Park. It is one of the nicest facilities in the nation and the Razorbacks made a Regional Final the past two seasons. Beginning his fifth season at Arkansas, head coach Mike Larabee has his best team yet.
Go watch a Razorback soccer match. The way head coach Colby Hale has turned around the soccer program makes me wish he coached American football. They are coming off the best season in school history and they aren’t far off from making a Final Four.
(Editor's Note: We are planning on bringing back GymBacks coverage as well! Look for that over the next couple of months.)
4. Embrace change
I’m 23 years-old and I hate the black/anthracite uniforms. But, guess what? They aren’t for me. If the kids on the team and recruits love them, that’s good enough for me.
Quit saying, "it worked in the past, it should work now."
Just because Nolan Richardson won a national title without a practice facility doesn’t mean we should force Mike Anderson to do the same. Did you know freshman Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley weren’t even born when Arkansas won the national championship in basketball? Good Lord Almighty, if Arkansas hasn’t won one in that long I hope they would change something by now.
I’m not saying all change is good. I understand why they took away the Slobbering Hog for brand unity purposes, but I don’t like that they did. I could write an entire article on why they can’t use the "brand unity" excuse if they then use alternate uniforms. That wouldn’t be productive, so I just embrace it.
5. Don’t bring up the Great Stadium Debate
It has become apparent that abortion and gay-marriage are less controversial topics in the state of Arkansas than where the Razorbacks should play their home football games. Nothing good ever comes from bringing up this topic. It is not a contract year, so let’s go one year without bringing it up.
Happy 2014 Hog nation and Go Hogs.