Famed British explorer Percy Fawcett was convinced the Amazon wilderness hid a mythical lost city of gold, which he referred to as Z.
His 20-year quest for Z probably led to his death in 1925, when a three-man expedition that included Fawcett and his oldest son Jack disappeared in central Brazil under unknown circumstances.
His quest for Z was well chronicled throughout the early 20th century and for Fawcett, the quest became an obsession. Fawcett was convinced "El Dorado" was real, and his eight expeditions into the heart of the Amazon spawned worldwide media coverage, books, documentaries and ultimately, rescue missions. And in all probability, no Z.
Fast forward 90 years, and the Arkansas Razorbacks -- sadly, tragically -- have been cast in the role of Fawcett. The SEC is the wild and unforgiving Amazon, and that elusive SEC win -- we know it's there -- is Z.
Our quest is the lost outcome of W. (SEC ‘W,' of course, but by now that's really the only outcome that matters.) Narrative, of course, is hard to come by. What do you say? Some of us are reduced to writing about historical footnotes, even...
Against another top team, another heartbreaking loss slips through our fingers in the fourth. That pretty much sums it up. How do we keep finding fresh ways to drive a stake through our own collective heart? How do we continue to zig (hello, 4th down) when we should zag, and vice versa?
Cries of "Chaaaaaaaneeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!" echoed through the house in the first half only to be silenced somewhat after halftime and then resurrected late, especially on those frustratingly familiar third and fourth down calls inside the 5 in the waning minutes.
The defense. This D deserves to be remembered among the greatest Razorback defensive units. It's not close to any sort of measurable statistical greatness, of course, but it's reminiscent of the Spartan 300: Outmanned but fighting with all it's got.
MSU found coverage soft spots in the middle, but we gave up one play, essentially. Unfortunately, our "one plays," like last year in Baton Rouge, tend to be big ones.
Offense...well, we put up 400 yards on the No. 1 team in their place. Disappointed the OL didn't get more push, and I'd love to see us get more creative in the run game. More Duwop, please.
And did anyone see that last drive coming? Hunter Henry...oh my. That drive goes down in Hog lore if we score and finish it in OT. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, might've been nice to look for 84 again after we reached the 16. Of course, a timeout might've been nice there as well. Not like we needed to save it to get the FG unit on the field.
Speaking of special teams....Hill is back and looking good; without Marshall on KO return, our only hope is to get it past the 20; Cornelius looked good on PR...it took us all season to figure that out?; and McFain....sigh.
Numbed disbelieve is exhausting. Wears you down. But our play on the pasture -- false starts notwithstanding -- was encouraging. It provided some much needed reassurance that we are, in fact, a good team, ahead of schedule, and that Georgia was mostly anomaly. In any other conference... But we're not in any other conference. We play in the SEC, the Amazon of college football.
Morning broke Sunday with a renewed state of resolve, the extra hour perhaps necessary to polish away the fog of more dull ache. LSU comes to town in two weeks on the heels of what will be an emotional outing against Alabama.
And we're gonna find our Z.