It's mid-February, which means we're in peak Razorback basketball nostalgia season. This year it's being cranked up to 11 on account of the new banners in Bud Walton Arena for Sidney Moncrief and Corliss Williamson, with Nolan Richardson's banner still to come next week.
There's been a lot of talk on the radio and message boards about who should be the next Hog to have a banner. Let's start by saying that there are a lot of greats in the discussion and there are few wrong answers other than "John Pelphrey".
What I'm interested to know, is what is the standard we should use for hanging a banner for someone? Many would correctly argue that Williamson and Moncrief are the clear 1 and 1A (in one order or the other) in program history and we should leave it at just the two of them.
That's not an invalid point although I disagree with it. I'm firmly in favor of showcasing the rich history of the program in all appropriate ways. There are several players whom I'd like to see honored in the rafters just because, to me, they're iconic as Razorback legends and the more unique banners in the rafters is a great way to showcase that. It seems like every time we watch a Duke game or a similarly elite school, there are always shots of their greats permanently on display from the rafters and it adds to the richness of those programs.
Arkansas has not announced any future banners in future years, but I would be surprised if they didn't hang any new ones. A, these "banner nights" are great gimmicks to sell tickets, and B, it's the right thing to do anyway.
Should there be a hard criteria? Should it be All-America status? There are 27 former All-Americans in program history according to the media guide, but that seems like too many banners. Plus, that would still exclude players like Joe Kleine and Oliver Miller, two players I'd expect most fans would think should be up there. Plus there are some players on that list dating back to the 1920s who few will recognize at this point, although you could argue that's precisely the reason why the banners are necessary. Then you've also got a dilemma with Alvin Robertson due to his really awful life after his playing career.
Perhaps you go by 1st round draft picks if you want to include someone like Joe Johnson, who is having one of the best NBA careers of any Razorback? Are there certain games they have to win or points they have to score? What does Bobby Portis have to do to be included?
Is it just a gut feeling? I can't think of Arkansas basketball without thinking of MayDay and the Triplets, Scotty's shot and Reed's heave. The list goes on.
So, yes, if Arkansas is going to hang banners there are some players that would be no-brainers to have one in the near future, but there are some who may be more disputed. My question is more, where do we draw the line on who gets one and why?